No foreigners: Seychelles Production Company appeals to government

Since the start of his door-to-door visit of hotels in 2014, Alain St.Ange the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture has put a lot of emphasis on visiting every tourism licensed establishments an

No foreigners: Seychelles Production Company appeals to government

Since the start of his door-to-door visit of hotels in 2014, Alain St.Ange the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture has put a lot of emphasis on visiting every tourism licensed establishments and this ensuring that every small or large hotel establishments and stand-alone restaurants were visited. For the first time last week the Ministry of Tourism and Culture introduced a change of strategy in its door-to-door visits and introduced stops with a cultural element to mark what Minister St.Ange says is the consolidation approach of tourism through the development of culture and the protection of culture through a buoyant tourism industry.

This change of strategy incorporating culture and tourism within the Minister’s door-to-door visits is a well thought mechanism to illustrate that on the ground, mixing culture and tourism is workable.

Visiting small and large tourism establishments on the western side of Mahe, Minister St.Ange, principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune and Sherin Naiken the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board were joined by Jimmy Savy Chief Executive of the National Arts Council to tour Mr. Clifford Telemaque licensed “Relation Sound” studio, an outlet specialized in leasing out PA System and he also owns a reputable recording studio for artists.

Located at La Misere, Mr. Telemaque and his son Eddy have built a flourishing business tapping its revenue from the field of entertainment. It was way back in 2002 that the Telemaque family opened the recording studio.

The location, away from the main road and surrounded by a lush and dense green vegetation created the perfect environment for well established artists in the country, such as Philip Toussaint, Marie Antoinette Dodin, Joseph Sinon and Elijah to take retreat from the commotion of a busy town to record their albums.

As the recording studio blossomed and gained its notoriety, in 2006 Clifford Telemaque and his son ventured into creating their own production company, leasing out PA systems to indoor and outdoor events such as conferencing and musical shows staged locally.

Starting off with eight speakers, Relation Sound Company increased its available equipment to now include 60 speakers. The company run by father and son is now employing 5 workers. Mr. Telemaque confirmed that 90% of the company’s revenue comes from its production line of leasing out PA systems.

The Relation Sound Company believes that the annual events held by Ministry of Tourism and Culture is good for his business as it is good for Seychelles. Clifford Telemaque said Relation Sound Company and everything that falls within the Culture Industry of Seychelles needs events to survive. He went on to say that the business of a production company should remain for Seychellois businesses only.

“My appeal to government is not to allow foreign companies to come into the game. We are too small as a country,” said Mr. Telemaque.

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He said that Seychelles needs to learn from other small countries where foreigners have been licensed to enter into the production company and where as a result they invested big into high tech equipment and today they are killing small local businesses who have their heart and soul in their country.

Mr. Telemaque is no stranger to the country’s musical arena. In 1980, he created a seven-member musical band “Relation” and earned a solid reputation.

Minister St.Ange was very impressed with the company set up by Mr. Telemaque and he appreciated the statement made by Mr. Telemaque that reminded Seychelles of the fact that small businesses needed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s annual events to survive.

The National Arts Council mandated to support artists had kept a close eye on the business development of Mr. Telemaque and other newly established production companies in the country. Mr. Savy said the country’s business climate is ideal for the production businesses.

“There are many Seychellois who are in the production businesses and they have remained in business because of the events being staged in Seychelles. These businesses can only remain in business if the licenses are controlled and it is not overtaken by big companies,” Mr. Jimmy Savy said.

Mr. Savy said as he toured the Telemaque Studio at La Misere that he has an open door policy to work with artists and with companies venturing into technical and production businesses.

The next stop on the Minister’s tour was at Mr. Egbert Marday who owns an Art Gallery that is today well established at Helvetia in La Misere.

Unlike Mr. Telemaque who found his happiness in a production company, Egbert is an established sculpture and artist since 1999 who has created a name for himself. Mr. Egbert Marday is now thinking of developing his business further.

Visiting his art gallery, Minister St.Ange and his team were impressed with the mediums transgressed in his paintings.

Mr. Marday revealed his intention to bring a face lift to his gallery to encourage more visitors to his gallery and is thinking in due course to try and have a room or two in the gallery itself for tourists looking for a holiday more centered of the arts. Mr. Egbert Marday showed Minister St.Ange and his delegation a collection of his works that marks the slave era saying that he has always believed that this collection of paintings and carving works should be part of the National Collection of Seychelles. Minister Alain St.Ange who was clearly impressed by this collection that marked the macabre part of the islands history, said that we needed to agree to a price and then as a country try to find a benefactor who would be prepared to assist.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .

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