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'Foreigner' Quim Masferrer discovers Formentera

Cartell El ForasterNext Friday, June 10 at 9.30pm, the crew of El Forester will record the second half of the TV3 comedy programme locally on Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució. After several weeks spent interviewing Formentera residents, Quim Masferrer, one of Catalunya's beloved stand-up comedians, will share his recorded material with the island. Aimed at viewers in Catalunya, the evening promises to be a light-hearted testimonial about the charms of Formentera.

TV3 will broadcast the full episode —the final instalment of the show's fourth season— in July. Formentera's tourism board offered support by providing accommodation and board valued at 5,000 euros. El Foraster, normally recorded in Catalunya and designed to showcase the towns of the region, will close out this season with four special episodes: in Madrid, Mercabarna, Vall d'Hebron and Formentera.

Quim Masferrer is “the Foreigner,” a travelling comedian known for seeking out the regular folk of the Catalan countryside, and now he's turned up on our shores. Each programme finds Masferrer in a new town talking to new people, and everywhere he goes, he's faced with the same challenge: a stand-up routine before an audience of locals. The act will be tailor-made for Formenterencs, a light-hearted salute the whole island is invited to come watch.

Music lovers get a new, reworked Formentera Jazz Festival

Foto presentacio Jazz Festival 2016Two arms of the Formentera Council —the Office of Local Holidays and the Office of Tourism— announced details today about the Formentera Jazz Festival of 2016. The music series, which turns two this year, will kick off its week-long run today at 4.00pm and push on through Sunday June 5. Councillor Susana Labrador, of the culture and holidays office, and Alejandra Ferrer, of tourism, sat for a press conference with the former Ojos de Brujo member Maxwell Wright, a Formentera native and chair of the Formentera Jazz Festival.

Festivalgoers this year get an extra day of music and activities for adults and kids alike, not to mention a full programme of films, part of a brand new initiative put together with the musical documentary fest In-Edit. But for the second year running, Formentera Jazz shines for its line-up of live jazz musicians, which includes Llessui, Jazzabell, Para Orbe, Mediando Collective, Tula Quartet, Román Filiu Quartet & The Beautiful Splendid Extra Quinteto and DJ Raver Jewish.

Activities
Things first get under way this afternoon at 4.00pm with a percussion workshop for adults in the Sant Francesc park Jardí de ses Eres. Then, at 7.00pm, the cinema will host a projection of the musical documentary Let's get lost Chet Baker. The real opening party, though, will get rolling back at the Jardí de ses Eres at 9.30pm with an evening of Jazz Lounge.

The activities pick up again Friday at 4.00pm, first with a adults workshop of contemporary dance in Jardí de ses Eres and then —at 7.00pm in the cinema— with a projection of a musical documentary entitled San Andreu Jazz Band. Starting at 9.30pm on the main stage at Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, there will be performances by Mediant Collective, followed by Jazzbell at 11.00pm and Llessui Trío at 00.30am.

Saturday at 4.00pm, a singing and percussion workshop is scheduled for kids in Jardí de ses Eres. Later, at 7.00pm, the cinema crew will host another screening, this time of the musical documentary The three sides dream Rahssan Roland Kirk. Once again, the evening's musical performances happen on the main stage, with Tula Cuarteto at 9.30pm, Roman Filiu Quartet at 11.00, Papa Orbe y The Beautiful Splendid Extra Quinteto at 00.30am and DJ Raver Jewish closing the set with a show at 2.00am.

Closing party
The final day of the Formentera Jazz Festival, Sunday, will include an evening jam session in Blue Bar. The Formentera Council provides logistical support, musician accommodation and 10,000 euros in funding for the festival, a destination for tourists and residents alike. Tickets to documentary screenings are five euros and the rest of the festival activities are free.

Council launches directory of tourism professionals

Foto RP borsa de treballThe Formentera Council's Office of Tourism and Trade has announced the launch of a database of experienced job-seekers available for hire at Formentera businesses. Tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer made the announcement this morning in a press conference with Carlos Bernús, head of the local tourism advisory board (Patronat de Turisme) and Pep Mayans, president of Formentera's association of SMEs (PIMEEF).

Tradesmen with businesses in tourism will now have access to a register of qualified professionals currently seeking employment. After setting up a username and password, employers can access the listing directly at www.turijobs.com/home/logon and at the CiF and Office of Tourism websites. According to Councillor Ferrer, a total of 9,114 individuals wanted to be considered for 130 jobs. Of the initial applicant pool, 280 were interviewed in person as part of the Formentera Talent Tour initiative in Madrid, Bilbao, Sevilla and Barcelona. Another 600 were interviewed via Skype.

Job-seekers profiles were uploaded to the turijobs register, which business owners can now consult in order to make their selection. The ultimate decision on who to hire will fall to employers themselves, though the Formentera Council will provide technical assistance —such as advice concerning video conference calls— as necessary. More information is available by contacting the Office of Tourism directly.

Ferrer pointed out that “the project came about in response to calls from the business community for trained, seasoned job-seekers. This is a way for us to make sure that improvements aren't limited to infrastructure; that they extend to service quality too.” It is worth noting that the database includes special mention of those candidates that live on the island and already have housing. The initiative has benefitted from the support of the chamber of commerce of Eivissa and Formentera and the PIMEEF and has received €35,000 from the Formentera Council.

Eight Formentera craft workers get accreditation

Foto diplomes artesansThe Formentera Council's Office of Trade has issued eight new cards certifying the training received by local craftsmen and women. The accreditation enables individuals to participate in the artisan markets of la Mola and Sant Ferran and serves as a way to promote local Formentera products. At a morning press conference department head Alejandra Ferrer congratulated recipients on their hard work on the accrediting exams. Since its launch in 2008, the programme has delivered 59 craft worker cards, nine cards for master artisans and four honorary cards. In Ferrer's words, “the idea is to improve the quality of our markets while simultaneously boosting the creations of our local artisans.”

'Discover Formentera in May' highlights island's off-season charms

Foto Illetes Formentera arxiu Consell de FormenteraThe Formentera Council, by way of the Office of Tourism, has today unveiled the 2016 version of Descobreix Formenera al Maig (Discover Formentera in May). Department head Alejandra Ferrer touted the initiative as a way to snag big discounts on ferry travel, vehicle rentals and accomodation and pointed to “a healthy list of culture, sport and fine dining-related activities that make Descobreix Formentera al Maig a plan you won't want to miss.”

Among the activities on the programme is Formentera Fotogràgica, which starts today (April 28) and continues through May 1. Ferrer described the event as “a convergence of photo pros” with “something for everyone who's passionate about images and photography”. Also on the agenda is Formentera 2.0, a series of day-long activities dedicated to online communication and digital culture that will take place from May 5-8. Finally, the councillor promised that by month-end, the beloved Festes de Sant Ferran (Sant Ferran days) will give everyone a reason to celebrate.

Sports-related programming

The Discover campaign certainly won't disappoint sports lovers either. First up on the fitness tip is the island's half marathon, la Mitja Marató, scheduled for May 14. Then, from May 29 through June 5, is the eighth annual NB Formentera to Run 8km. Rounding out the month-long agenda are two cross-island walks: la Volta a Peu a Formentera (the May edition) and la Volta a l'illa caminant, a group trail-walking event broken down into various stages.

New this year is a beach volleyball tournament, Beach Volei, scheduled May 6-8 at the Cala Saona beach. Councillor Ferrer reminded all those interested that, to reap the benefits of the Discover Formentera initiative —which include reduced prices for ferry tickets, car rentals and active tourism services— individuals must stay in participating accomodation and be sure to obtain the necessary voucher when booking. More information is available on the CiF Office of Tourism website.

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