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Vincy Mas 2017 launches in fine style

Vincy Mas 2017 launches in fine style

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The 40th anniversary of our local carnival, Vincy Mas, is promising to be a special event, as the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) has assured that they are pulling out all the stops this year.

The ruby anniversary of the nation’s premier festival was launched in fine style last Saturday, May 6, at Carnival City, Victoria Park.

Addressing the huge crowd gathered at the launch, CDC chair Ricardo “Ricky” Adams stressed that it is CDC’s hope that they can grow from strength to strength and as a result, make Vincy Mas the main pillar of the cultural and tourism product in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

This is Adams’ first year as chair.

He said that this year marks the 40th anniversary since Carnival was moved from the pre-Lenten season to June/July and CDC is committed to making it a very special year.

Adams used the opportunity to congratulate Bertram “Molly” Arthur, “who had the vision to move Vincy Mas to a summer festival which some argue, was really the birth of Vincy Mas.

He said that this year, the CDC will embark on an aggressive marketing campaign that is expected to reach all audiences.

“We, at the CDC, realize that we must conduct a more dynamic approach to outreach marketing,” said Adams, to an audience that included not only persons at the park, but people watching on local television, the Internet globally on VC3 and listening on G98.7 FM, a Toronto-based radio station.

“We must reach out to you folks on the media that you use; that means apart from the traditional medium, we must focus on our soon-to-be-launched website, Facebook and Instagram. We must speak the language of the market.

“We must pay attention to the youth in Carnival,” said Adams who made mention of young mas man Julani Niles, panists Saeed Bowman and Rodney Small, Ragga Soca Monarch 2016 Chewalee Johnson, Calypso Monarch 2016 Zamfir “Man Zangie” Adams and Soca Monarch 2016 Shane “Hypa 4000” Husbands.

Adams said that this year, the CDC will work with the calypso tents to ensure early releases, better and mobile tent shows. He said that they will also work with the mas bands to develop the craft and help them become more business oriented.

“We will work with the steel bands to develop the school and community programmes. We will assist the rural carnival to develop an improved structure, so that they become a feeder system into the national festival and a breeding ground for new talent,” stressed Adams.

He added, “We intend to work collaboratively with all Vincy Mas stakeholders, be it the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and its subsidiaries, law enforcement, the clergy, the private sector, media, components of Vincy Mas and private promoters, to do what is best, not for the CDC or any entity, but for St Vincent and the Grenadines”.

This year, according to Adams, Vincy Mas has a number of innovations, with the CDC paying special attention to the venues, the quality of the acts and the quality of the service that is offered at shows.

“We must have compact quality events and finish in a reasonable time,” explained Adams, noting that a paid all-inclusive option will be included at all shows where practical.

Other innovations include a Soca Monarch semi-final, dubbed “Boarding Pas”, which will take place outside Victoria Park as a picnic-style cooler event, the Mardi Gras judging moving to the streets as a roving street party and Evolution 40 or Evo 4.0, the CDC’s 40th anniversary birthday party which will feature pan, mas, soca, and the best of what Vincy Mas over the last 40 years.

After the chair’s presentation, the launch event saw the appearance of traditional and modern mas, the beauty and elegance of the Miss SVG contestants, pan music, soca and calypso.

Energetic performances came from, among others, newcomer “Dynamite” with his song “Brave”, “Lord Have Mercy”, “Ozari”, “Flanka”, “Fya Empress”, Chewalee Johnson, Shaunelle McKenzie, “Madzart”, “Fireman”, “Luta”, “Hypa 4000” and “Skinny Fabulous”.

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