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AZORES | More than 200 craft companies participated in “Azores Handicraft Fair”

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The “Azores Handicraft Fair” cycle, an initiative promoted by the Regional Secretariat for Youth, Vocational Training and Employment, through the Crafts and Design Centre of the Azores (CADA), mobilised 248 regional artisans and craft production units (UPAs) this year.

“The growing interest and participation in the renewed local craft fairs stems from three factors: the conditions provided for artisans to promote their craft productions; the possibility of marketing these products to locals and visitors; the existence of an appropriate Incentive System for the Development of Handicrafts (SIDART) that finances the participation of artisans in these fairs,” explained Maria João Carreiro.

According to the Regional Secretary for Youth, Vocational Training and Employment, who heads CADA, these events “now provide better material and logistical conditions not only for Azorean artisans but also for visitors, as a result of the regional public effort to promote the access to handicrafts and bring artisans closer to the public.”

The “Azores Handicraft Fair” is associated with the archipelago’s main summer festivities.

Sanjoaninas (Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira), from June 22 to July 2; Velas Cultural Week (São Jorge), from July 6 to 9; Praia Festivities (Praia da Vitória, Terceira), from August 4 to 13; Sea Week (Faial), from August 6 to 13; Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Graciosa), from August 10 to 15 and Whalers’ Week (Pico), from August 21 to 27 were this year’s editions.

The cycle of fairs, which is part of the annual calendar of activities promoted by CADA, begins in May with the “Azores Handicraft Fair – Santo Cristo” in Ponta Delgada and ends with the “Azores Handicraft – Christmas” to take place at the Sea Pavilion in Ponta Delgada from December 7 to 12.

Maria João Carreiro also noted that the “Azores Handicraft Fair” concept has been extended to different festivities on different islands. In this regard, she mentioned, as an example, the debut of the “Azores Handicraft Fair – Velas Cultural Week” in 2022, which was held again in 2023, and the debut of the “Azores Handicraft Fair – Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” in Graciosa, also this year, stressing the “good coordination and cooperation of the local authorities” in the organisation of local fairs.

From June 24 to July 2, the “Azores Handicrafts” initiative was once again present at the International Handicrafts Fair (FIA), the largest handicraft fair in the Iberian Peninsula and the second largest in Europe. The event was held at Parque das Nações in Lisbon and featured five Azorean Craft Production Units. 

In addition to Adolfo Mendonça, winner of the “Best Contemporary Handicraft Piece” Award, and David Posch, who received an Honourable Mention for the “Best Traditional Handicraft Piece” Award, Isabel Silva Melo, António Barreto and Sofia Afonso took part in the event, where innovative, sustainable and “Azorean Handicrafts” certified products were also highlighted.

The events and activities promoted by CADA are published and updated on the Azorean Handicrafts portal – www.artesanato.azores.gov.pt – and on CADA’s social media (Facebook).

Mauricio De Jesus
Maurício de Jesus é o Diretor de Programação da Rádio Ilhéu, sediada na Ilha de São Jorge. É também autor da rubrica 'Cronicas da Ilha e de Um Ilhéu' que é emitida em rádios locais, regionais e da diáspora desde 2015.