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SVG team hopeful for positive outcomes at Dubai 2020 Expo

SVG team hopeful for positive outcomes at Dubai 2020 Expo
Left to Right: RICARDO ADAMS & ANNETTE MARK

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The team in charge of preparations to go to Expo 2020 in Dubai has hinted that Vincy Mas 2022 may possibly have a launch on the world stage, depending on the situation concerning Covid-19.

Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC), Ricardo Adams, expressed at last week’s media launch for the Expo, that the CDC is pleased to have been one of the entities invited to take part in the Expo which will showcase pavilions from 190 countries over a six month period between October 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. The international event which should have been held previously was delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“…We believe that anywhere St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is represented, one of the hottest things to tell people about is Vincy Mas. So we’re really very excited to be on board,” he commented at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade conference room last Thursday, August 26 where the media launch took place.

Adams said that the CDC has already sent physical items to showcase in Dubai, and they will be running audio visuals at SVG’s pavilion .

“..We’re going to be there for an entire period, and of course we are going to be looking at the opportunity of launching Vincy Mas 2022 to the World, because while it’s being held in Dubai, there are people from all over the world from as close as St Lucia, to all the way on the other side of the world who we’re going to be telling the story of Vincy Mas,” he said.

Executive Director of InvestSVG Annette Mark, also made mention of this in her comments, revealing that, “We are looking to do a launch of Carnival in Dubai”, and added, “this depends on how the Covid situation goes but this is one of our aims there.”

While this plan is uncertain, the team is very much focused on tying up their production for ‘Vincy Day’ on October 21.

“…At the World Expo, every country is afforded a day to showcase themselves where the lights of the world are shining on that particular country…” the CDC Chairman explained.

Adams said they are prepared to showcase “a gamut of our culture during that Vincy Day.”

“…There will be a team of performers in the region of about 20 strong that includes the production people and the musicians and the performers etc, that would be travelling up, and on the 21st and on the 22nd we will be putting on eight performances.”

One of the productions presented will be a revival of the Vincentian folklore, which aims “to showcase the traditional creative and patriotic forms of the Vincentian culture.”

There will be poems, choral speech, and a show of the national dress.

“We’ll also be using the opportunity to showcase a little bit of what the Soufrière eruption was like, how it impacted the lives of Vincentians because, as you realise, what people on the outside would generally see is a mountain blowing smoke, but there’s a lot that has been happening since with people interacting in the shelters, people trying to be able to get their lives back together, etc. So we think that it’s an opportune time for us to also let the world know the impact that La Soufrière has had on St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Adams revealed.

Another production will be focusing on the evolution of the Vincy music culture. They will be using different segments to also highlight the Garifuna, Kalinago culture, and festivals such as Nine Mornings and Carnival.

There’s a segment titled “Turning the world on” that will be centred around some of the artistes “who have made it on the international stage” the Chairman explained. “…That segment will be themed around Kevin Lyttle’s ‘Turn me on’ and then for the finale, that will be fanfare and that will be a representation of the energy of our music and our culture.”

Beyond ‘Vincy Day’, InvestSVG, the agency with responsibility for promoting SVG to the world, has been working for two to three years on the country’s six months presence there.

“Any world Expo is an opportunity for countries participating to showcase what their destination has to offer, to tourists, to a potential investor or people who may wish to trade with our country. Those are essentially the three things that we are hoping to present to the rest of the world when we are at Expo Dubai 2020,” Chairman of the Board of InvestSVG, Anthony Regisford noted.

Executive Director of InvestSVG, Annette Mark informed that this country’s pavilion, a 2025 sq ft structure built with two floors, may see up to 25 million visitors over the duration of the Expo.

“Our aim there, to Dubai, is to promote St Vincent, not just as a destination for tourism but for investment opportunities. So the sectors that we will be promoting include Agriculture, Arts, our Cultural Sector, creative sector, festivals, export – those are what we will be promoting investment,” Mark explained.

The theme that they are working under is “ ’Thirty two islands and cays where diverse opportunities await’ and trust me, we have an amazing product to sell to showcase to the world, on a world stage and we have been putting to a lot of work over the two years, three years actually that we’ve been doing this,” the Executive Director said.

Commenting on the overall scale of the Expo, she stated: “Just imagine a place in the desert that was just literally sand, and this is where I saw it, as literally sand when I first went there, that is now a city; a city with universities, a city with schools, a city with hotels, a city with malls, housing, expo, a monorail – just imagine that, that is now there, on over 43,000 hectares of land. That has now been constructed for this Dubai. So this is the scale of what we are dealing with. This is a World Expo.”

Marks added “… It is amazing to see the scale and to see some of the pavilions that have actually been built by countries… we’re not daunted in any way, we still gonna make our mark.”

SVG received an assisted package from the organisers for their pavilion, and a number of local sources have provided sponsorship for the event. However, Mark indicated they are still accepting sponsorship.

For those businesses that cannot be in Dubai, the Executive Director assured, “we will arrange it that you can meet with persons in Dubai via Zoom or whatever channels that are available for you to meet and speak to persons in Dubai.”

She said Invest SVG is still open to receiving content to display at Dubai since the duration is half a year, and they would like to capitalise on the opportunity for exposure. Further, they are aware that some persons were unable to send in items having been derailed by the volcanic eruptions so fewer items than were hoped for were received.

When the team members travel to Dubai they will be able to take some items with them, but must first receive approval from the host.

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