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Seychelles’ new music stadium gains funding for its first phase construction announcement made as three ministers meet performing and visual artists

Seychelles’ new music stadium gains funding for its first phase construction announcement made as three ministers meet performing and visual artists ( A sum of R6.5 million has been allocated in the mid-year budget review for the construction of its first phase on the new music stadium in Victoria.

The project which will soon be tendered out by the Ministry of Land Use and Housing, and is expected to be ready for the official opening of 30th edition of Festival Kreol in October 2015.

The first phase will include a boundary wall, building to accommodate a stage, toilets, and changing room facilities. There will also be backstage parking, as well as parking arrangements for the public, close to the stadium. The second phase is costing the government R2.4 million, and will be undertaken once construction work on the first phase is completed.

It was during a meeting held at Savoy Seychelles Resort&Spa that the sum was disclosed by Christian Lionnet, the Minister of Land Use and Housing.

The meeting, organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on behalf of performing and visual artists, was chaired by Alain St.Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture; Jean Paul Adam, Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy; Christian Lionnet, Minister of Land Use and Habitat; Benjamine Rose, Principal Secretary for Culture; and Jimmy Savy, Chief Executive of the National Arts Council.

Opening the meeting, Minister St.Ange emphasized its core objectives.

He said it is a platform for performing and visual artists to voice their concerns and suggestions and to bring culture to the next level. The meeting opened addressing whether performing and visual artists should be making their contributions to the Value Added Tax (VAT).

It was made clear at the meeting by the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, that in principle, artists do not pay a tax contribution to the Seychelles Revenue Commission, because they fall within the threshold of small businesses with a turn-over below 2 million rupees.

The Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy said it is open to suggestions from artists for a feasible mechanism to create a win-win situation whereby both government and artists could benefit.

Minister Adam said culture is a “vehicle for economy prosperity” and playe a pivotal role in the “welfare of the country.”

He added that it is, therefore, “in the government’s best interest to find a different mechanism to push forward this industry and open doors for artists.”

The Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy added there is the Small Business Finance Agency, where artists can secure loans of up to 300,000 rupees with 4% interest to develop their industry.

When artists took a stance to give proposals as to how government can assist them to top up their income and gain international exposure, the discussions turned towards government assistance for them to tap into reputable international musical fairs such as the World Music Market.

Minister St.Ange welcomed the proposal, saying his ministry will be undertaking an outreach mission at these respective fairs to get a first-hand impression of how this works.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture emphasized the need for an income-reporting mechanism for artists. Miss Rose said the mechanism will speed up the assistance that the government gives to artists. She said one measure taken by the ministry is to ensure these data are collected by the National Arts Council.


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