Non profit umbrella organisation for all aspects of Arts, Heritage and Culture

The Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture (Ireland) Limited

By on Mar 9, 2014 in News |

The Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture (Ireland) Limited

What is the Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture?
The Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture (Ireland) is a new nationwide organisation. It was established as a company limited by guarantee which is stand alone, not for profit and dedicated to working with all other organisations involved in culture, heritage, the arts and business to ensure that the cultural sector is developed and commercialised and is a key economic driver for the nation. It is an initiative of Audrey McKenna, now CEO of the chamber and a council member of the DLR Chamber. Audrey is a practitioner of the arts who runs her own successful music academy that supported the DLR Chamber under its then President, Neil Keenan, who is now Chair of the organisation and who, with the help of many others including Tim O’Connor, Chair of the Gathering, launched the organisation.

What is the remit of the new Chamber?
Our remit includes cross referral opportunities, networking between business and the cultural sector, organising events and symposiums on the theme of harnessing the cultural sector as an economic resource, developing cultural hubs in our towns and cities and developing international links including with European policy makers. Our Chamber, since its launch, has been connecting with groups such as Chambers Ireland, British Irish Chamber of Commerce, embassies and diplomatic staff, and arts organisations, all of which are very supportive of the initiative.How will the new Chamber be funded?
Our Chamber will be funded through membership patronage and corporate sponsorship. We are looking for like minded people to work with us to help build this organisation so that the cultural sector can be a key driver of economic growth and instead of being a sector requiring State funding, will be a sector that will contribute hugely to the economy.

What is the Opportunity?
We believe there is an unparalleled opportunity in Ireland to harness our creative tradition to build sustainable businesses and create employment. There is also a convergence between creativity and technology in sectors such as computer gaming and website design. We have a great cultural tradition in Ireland and already have very successful cultural exports such as U2, Riverdance, Guinness and the like, not to mention our world famous authors, actors and film directors. We can build on this to make Ireland an international centre for culture. We do not have an abundance of natural resources but in our cultural tradition we have a resource which is unique to us and in which we canlead and excel.

What is the economic valueof the cultural sector?
It is worth noting that cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are worth 2.6 per cent of the EU’s GDP and generate a turnover of more than €654billion, much more than the €271 billion generated by the car manufacturing industry or the €541billion by ICT [source European Commission July 5, 2013]. In China the cultural sector records €50.32billion of value added and contributes to 2.45 per cent of Chinese GDP, registering growth of 6.4 per cent higher than growth of the general economy.

Is this relevant to inward investment into Ireland?
Yes. There is a move among multinationals to look at new ways to motivate people through culture and creativity and we have an opportunity to be at the centre of this and use it as a further attraction to drive inward investment. We can no longer assume that tax incentives will bring inward investment and we need to look at the other attractions that make Ireland a unique place in which to do business.

How do we use this initiative to increase tourism?
We need to harness our cultural tradition and develop new tourism initiatives around what is unique about our nation. We believe cultural tourism has capacity to drive a considerable number of new visitors as the needs of visitors and what they want from a holiday in Ireland is changing rapidly. This need was identified at the recent conference on tourism held at Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s presidency of the European Union at which our Chamber was represented and contributed. We continue to have a remarkable response to our contribution since! Our inaugural forum, ‘Harnessing the Cultural Sector as an Economic Driver – A Project of its Time’ will take place on January 17, 2014.

Contact audrey.mckenna@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

Article appeared in the Southside People on 20 November 2013