Last Sunday in the Grand Salle, the Secretary of Central Bank, Elson Gaskin, made this announcement at the opening of the 2014 Central Bank Crop Over Visual Arts Festival, held in association with Republic Bank.
He promised artisans last evening, “I do not want you to imagine for one minute that the Bank’s commitment to Art and Culture ends here. On the contrary, we are poised for an expanded role.”
He declared that as some projects come on stream in the upcoming months, “We at the Central Bank therefore anticipate that in less than twelve months, the Central Bank and its environs which include Queen’s Park and the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels, will be a hub of cultural activity in Bridgetown.”
Expanding on the plans in store, he said, “The Bank owns and maintains the Frank Collymore Hall, a world-class and much sought after venue for the performing arts. This year the Hall is set to undergo a major upgrade in terms of its stage and technical capabilities. Other upgrades are planned for the not too distant future that will cement the Hall’s position as one of the leading performing arts venues in the region.”
He added, “But this is not all; the Church Village Green and amphitheatre has opened to much praise. Recently, it successfully hosted its first event – a Barbadian movie evening under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture.”
Additionally he confirmed the completion of the acquisition of more space for the Arts, culture and heritage: “We have also finalised the tender award for the fit out of the Historic Museum of Bridgetown, which will be housed at the refurbished Masonic Lodge Building. This museum, though not officially named, will showcase the history of commerce, currency, education and Freemasonry in Barbados.”
Therefore, he affirmed that the Bank expects that with these projects, which have been “scrupulously executed in line with the World Heritage status of Historic Bridgetown”, will see locals and tourists more drawn to the UNESCO World Heritage site on island in the future.