Handicrafts is an important part of the Sri Lankan culture and is equipped with a broad spectrum of indigenous crafts that have been inspired by local sultures. The National Crafts Council has strived to promote and foster traditional handicrafts of the Island trying to preserve these age old crafts while sustaining the livelihoods of the artisans. To perform this task the Council holds a National Crafts Festival each year.
However, Shilpa, this year’s festival has another focus in which The Council hopes to foster ties with the flourishing tourism industry. As the tourism industry is showing much development in Sri Lanka, much interest has emerged in traditional crafts. “In 2016 we are anticipating 2.6 million tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka and we are in preparation for the demand in the crafts sector,” said Buddhi Keerthisena, Chairman – National Crafts Council.
The annual crafts festival will be held this August at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Hall and will promote artisans and their products, which are focused on the tourism industry.
The Shilpa Festival is to be a place where the best local artisans of arts and crafts come to showcase their products for potential buyers, fellow artisans and school children.
One of the key events of the Festival is the National Exhibition, where select artisans from the nine provinces of the Island turn out with their best products as evaluated by a panel of judges.