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Ninth annual Gospel Fest to start on April 3

Ninth annual Gospel Fest to start on April 3

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A month of uplifting, inspiring gospel showcases awaits the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the SVG Gospel Fest Committee presents its ninth annual Gospel Fest.{{more}}

The festival was officially launched on March 15, 2011, at the Ministry of Culture conference room at the Cruise Ship Terminal. The festival, which was described by Michael Peters as one of the major festivals of SVG, will run from April 3 to May 1, 2001.

The festival will be held under the theme “Declaring the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory of God.”

Giving a few remarks at the ceremony, Fidel Taylor, Chairperson of the SVG Gospel Fest Committee, said that the theme was chosen as the committee wants the festival to take on a more evangelical approach. He added that the festival is important as it unites the people of the country and gives them hope. “It also gives hope to the nation and people in times like these; Hope in a God who can supply all our needs and save us through any situation, if we put our trust in Him.” He added that the festival is all about bringing people to Christ.

Taylor also explained that there will be no judging of showcases this year, but the best of the zonal showcases will be chosen for the finale on April 30 and May 1, where there will also be featured artistes Voices of Victory, Nicole Ballosingh from Trinidad and Reverend Ishmael Charles and Papa Das from the Virgin Islands.

The Zonal showcases will begin on April 8 and wrap up on April 24. The CW Prescod Primary will also take part in the event with their Schools’ Gospel Festival on April 29.

The festival will also be broadcast regionally and internationally, Taylor said, as LOVE 101 FM from Kingston, Jamaica, will be streaming the National showcases live on 13 radio stations around the Caribbean and world wide via live streaming on the Internet.

Explaining that the Committee faced challenges with sponsorship due to the ongoing economic crisis, Taylor thanked the sponsors who supported the Gospel Fest this year. The budget for the festival is $111,900.

Also making brief remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the SVG Tourism Authority Glen Beache stated that the SVGTA was pleased to partner with the SVG Gospel Fest Committee on the event, adding that the SVGTA is interested in any event or festival that gives the country an edge in terms of tourism. Beache added that the festival also plays an important role in national development, as it develops local artistes, organizers and producers.

Beache also stated that the religious niche market has been doing well in terms of tourism, adding that Florida recorded a $2.2 million from religious tourism. Beache also encouraged the committee to urge other businesses and persons to sponsor the event.

Sponsors for the event include the Department of Culture, Korean Divine Designs, Sugar George Rentals, and New Life Ambassadors, first time sponsor Courts SVG Ltd., Fran Paul’s Selections and Total Inspiration 100.5 Fm.

A CD with a compilation of the songs featured at the Gospel Fest from 2003 to 2010 is on sale. “The SVG Gospel Fest Collection” has 19 tracks ,including Fidel Taylor’s “Declare God’s Praises in the Islands,” Kioka Cruickshank’s “Praise the Lord”, and New Life Ambassadors “Praise God in the Highest”. Other artistes featured on the CD include Mauricia George, Christopher George, Donysia Domerge, Shakeithe Findlay, and Esron Williams.(OS)