GB Business Outlook to highlight creative industries

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – With its innovative “Creative Conversations”, the Grand Bahama Business Outlook (GBBO) is putting the spotlight on the value of creative industries, with a focus on the arts.  Scheduled to be held at Freeport’s Grand Lucayan Resort on February 21, the forum is marking its 21st anniversary under the theme “Connecting Resources, Maximizing Opportunities, Transforming Grand Bahama”.

The Creative Conversations panellists, all Grand Bahamian residents, represent several different branches of the creative field, including the visual and culinary arts, writing and music. They are Chantal Bethel, Gea Pierre, Chef Tim Tibbitts and Kevin Tomlinson. Moderating will be Dr Ian Strachan, acclaimed literary figure and vice president of the University of The Bahamas-North. Dr Strachan will also present at GBBO on the topic “Grow UB to Grow GB”.

Joan Albury, president of TCL Group and founder of the Bahamas Business Outlook (BBO) Series, commented on the inclusion of Creative Conversations in the GBBO line-up.

“As chief organizer of BBO, I believe that is now urgent for us to drive the creative industries forward, as they are valuable to social and economic development. It is so necessary to promote the understanding that the various art forms—writing, the visual and performing arts and architecture—have the potential to create a strong, third pillar of the Bahamian economy. And because Bahamians are generally highly creative, development in these areas can embrace and benefit more people. The Bahamas Business Outlook Series, which is now spread over seven islands, is all about driving solid information, skill-building and networking to empower Bahamians to grow and enhance our economy for the benefit of all Bahamians,” said Albury.

Mixed media fine artist, Chantal Bethel, has exhibited in The Bahamas, the United States, Canada, Belgium, France and Cuba and her work can be found many collections at home and abroad, including the Waterloo Centre for the Arts Museum in Iowa. Bethel has long been involved with the development of art, history and culture and is a member of the working committee for the Museum of Grand Bahama. She co-founded the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation and is a former Deputy Chair of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. She studied at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Canada.

In 2014, co-owner with his wife Rebecca of Freeport’s Flying Fish Restaurant, Chef Tim Tibbitts was named one of the Top 25 Chefs in the Caribbean by the venerable Caribbean Journal. Tibbitts is acclaimed as bringing a new level of culinary expertise to Grand Bahama, emphasizing local sourcing and working directly with farmers and fishermen. He is a classically trained graduate of George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Toronto, Canada.

Grand Bahamian Gea Pierre is one of the noted playwrights of The Bahamas and has written a number of humorous productions such as Crazy Love 1, 2 and 3Perfect in Weakness and I Object, which have been received by large, enthusiastic audiences. By invitation, she wrote the script for Out of the Ashes Entertainment’s successful production, Election 2017, the Final Shuffle.

For the past eight years, Kevin Tomlinson, founder of the Kevin Tomlinson Academy and director of the Grand Bahama Youth Choir (GBYC), has featured the choir in a special concert held during the Easter holidays.

According to Joan Albury, the Grand Bahama community of artists is mounting Pulse, an exhibition of the works of 12 local practitioners to demonstrate to GBBO organizers and forum attendees the strength of the fine arts on their island. Those showing are Chantal Bethel, Paula Boyd Farrington, Claudette Dean, Lisa Codella, Eva Dehmel, Greg Farrington, Ken Ferguson, Del Foxton, Ken Heslop, Lisa Streather Robinson, Laurie Tuchel, and Sheldon Saint, who will host the exhibition at his Treasure Nest Gallery, Port Lucaya Marketplace. Following the one-day conference, GBBO attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists and tour their special exhibition.

To register for GBBO, visit www.tclevents.com or contact Mercynth Ferguson of Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce at 242-352-8329 or info@gbchamber.org. Interested persons may also contact Margaret Albury of the TCL Group at 242.322.1000 or malbury@tclbahamas.com