December 08, 2018

Opening of Arts and Crafts Center and Winter Bazaar in Dilijan

Within the framework of the grant programme, small workshops located in the community schools were opened in the villages of Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut.

On December 8, the Arts and Crafts Center was opened in the presence of representatives from the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Dilijan municipality, international organizations, residents of Dilijan and adjacent communities. The opening ceremony was then followed by the official opening of Dilijan Winter Bazaar.

From now on, artisans and craftsmen from Dilijan and adjacent communities can take advantage of the opportunities the center grants to create interesting items and souvenirs. The center was established within the framework of Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative, which is implemented by the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation with co-funding from the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia.

The European Union (EU) believes without question that a strong rural development policy helps to ensure the vitality of the rural areas and serves the well-being of society as a whole. New forms of cooperation, as well as the opening of an arts and crafts center in the heart of Dilijan, can improve local resilience and local quality of life. Moreover, a new touristic destination has developed around Dilijan with facilities that include hiking trails with the support of this project.

The EU-funded Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP) Grant Scheme, this project is a part of, in Dilijan provides a strong testing opportunity of how local actions should be formulated and implemented to support local economic development. The EU-PRDP in Dilijan helps local people to become involved in rural tourism activities and profit from it. Local stakeholders are encouraged to acquire the skills to become the architects of the future of their own areas by: adding value to local products and facilitating their access to local markets; safeguarding the natural resources which are in danger of disappearing; promoting the image of Dilijan and Tavush region in general; and, recapturing the socio-cultural heritage of the local communities.

The opening of the Dilijan Winter Bazaar, the first large-scale event in Dilijan of its type, also marks the day and the European Union is happy to contribute to local economic development needs in broader policy perspective.

“The opening of the Arts and Crafts Center is one of the key components of our programme in Dilijan. Dilijan has always had great potential not only for tourism development, but also for arts and crafts development. Local people can learn and create arts and crafts works and generate additional income from the sales,” said Tatevik Sargsyan, Project Manager of Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative.

Within the framework of the grant programme, small workshops located in the community schools were opened in the villages of Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut. Thus, the school students can also take advantage of the small workshops and improve their creative talent.

The Arts and Crafts Center as well as the three community workshops are equipped with necessary furniture and equipment. Twelve people can work in the center at a time. Besides providing necessary work space for the artisans and craftsmen, the specialists working in the center can also present and sell their products at Dilijan Tourist Information Center, which was opened this summer within the framework of the same programme. The center coordinators stand ready to support the craftsmen-entrepreneurs by providing professional consulting, so that they create souvenirs that might appeal to Dilijan tourists. The Arts and Crafts Center will help Dilijan residents combine business with pleasure and generate additional income and develop their creativity.

The opening of the Dilijan Winter Bazaar, the first large-scale event in Dilijan of its type, also marked the day. The fair grants residents from Dilijan and adjacent communities the chance to sell their handmade goods two days in a row, and enables participants to take part in interesting events, musical performances by UWC Dilijan students, as well as make New Year purchases. The initiator of the fair is UWC Dilijan, along with Dilijan Community Center and IDeA Foundation.

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