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2011 Carnival winners collect their prizes

2011 Carnival winners collect their prizes

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More than a month after the curtains came down on the Vincy Mas 2011, persons were still in a celebratory mood on Saturday, August 6, at the Cruise Ship Terminal in Kingstown as the Carnival Development Corporation held their annual prize giving ceremony.{{more}}

Participants in this year’s festivities were awarded with prizes and trophies valued at over $535,000.

For the second year running, Guinness Y De Lima/Hitz FM 103.7 Blondie Bird and Friends had much to celebrate as they walked away with the 2011 Mardi Gras Band of the Year title, with their presentation of ‘At the Movies’.

They also walked away with several other trophies for Best Junior section, Junior King of Carnival, Individual of the year and King of the Bands.

Other awards and prizes went to Miss SVG 2011, Aviar Charles; 2011 best new song calypso winner, Aurella “Queen B” Beache. Shernelle “Skarpyon” Williams walked away with a number of awards, including: Ragga Soca Monarch, best new song and a bunch of other awards.

Prizes and awards were also given to other calypso and soca artistes, mas bands and pan players for their contribution during the festival.

Several sponsors were also awarded at the event.

Hailing this year’s Carnival as a success, Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation Dennis Ambrose said in a market where there is competition from other Caribbean countries, it is their duty to stay ahead of the pack.

Ambrose said, although the country’s financial resources are not as lavish as their competing partners, they are called upon to keep the edge as the “hottest Carnival in the Caribbean.”

Even though official figures have not yet been released, Ambrose said it is “blatantly” obvious that they have reflected higher numbers in terms of attendance at shows. “Since the launch of Carnival, the attendance to our shows never wavered from previous years,” Ambrose confirmed.

He noted that the hits to the CDC’s website have risen by 70 per cent and recorded a remarkable surge in activity of over 11 millions hits to the website. “This is evidence that the product of Vincy Mas is alive and well across the board,” he said.

Ambrose disclosed that there are always some people who say they have gained considerably from the many events and supporting activities of Carnival, while others become “critics on the balcony of hypocrisy”, by saying that they haven’t felt the carnival as yet.

“The CDC knows they have done their job and the facts and figures are there to prove it,” Ambrose said.

Speaking at his first ever Carnival awards ceremony, Minister of Culture, Frederick Stephenson said Vincy Mas 2011 provided world class entertainment and enjoyment to the thousands of nationals and non-nationals who came to these shores.

Stephenson said improvements continue in the central and rural communities where Carnival is concerned. He noted that the Vincy Mas product is very “unique” and has tremendous potential for growth and development.

The minister assured the gathering that his ministry along with the CDC will continue working hard to make Vincy Mas a bigger product.

President of the Mas Band Association Hugh Raguette said this year Vincy Mas celebrated several milestones, including the Diamond anniversary of the Carnival beauty shows; also the 40th year of the local road march competition. It was also the 30th anniversary of the reigning panorama champs, The National Lotteries Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra.

The year also signalled the 25th anniversary of Mirage Productions. He noted that next year’s Carnival will see 14 Masquerade bands participating, with the return of Lynx Mas band.

It was a teary-eyed moment for family members of the 2011 honourees: the late Raymond “Sevens” Knights and Edison “Sheggie” John, whose memories will live on forever in Vincy Mas.

Photo slides of the men and their work were shown by way of a projector, which brought tears to the eyes of Pamela Knights, wife of Sevens, and Martina Billingy, Sheggy’s common-law wife.

They were each presented with a plaque and a painting of the men at the ceremony.

President of the Youlou Pan Movement Warren Knights and president of the Calyspo Association Hassan Kennedy also delivered brief remarks.

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