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Thursday, 20 November 2014

BAHAMAS Telecommunications Company’s community support in youth, sports and culture is continuing with its $1m title sponsorship of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival as it becomes the first corporate partner to join the new tourism initiative.
CEO Leon Williams said last week BTC had been in discussions with the Carnival and a split between cash and in-kind services for a mutually beneficial $1m sponsorship had been agreed.
“$750,000 will be in cash and $250,000 will be in-kind services to consist of joint marketing and branding opportunities,” Mr Williams said.
“The Junkanoo Carnival will feature on the cover of the BTC’s 2015 telephone directories, which include white and yellow pages for Nassau, Grand Bahama and Abaco. The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival will also have articles within the directories. Furthermore, Carnival will feature on BTC pre-paid phone cards and buildings.”
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Chairman Paul Major emphasised that the event is strategic to the development of Bahamian cultural tourism.
“For BTC to step up to the plate to the extent that they have speaks volume about the company’s belief in our culture and in the Bahamas,” he said.
“The Prime Minister made it clear that he wanted this to be a primer for a more culture-driven economy.
“Most other tourist destinations are using culture to catapult them ahead in a very competitive environment.
“Sun, sand and sea has become old. We need something that sets us apart and I think we are well on the way to making that happen.”
Mr Major also said that the festival presents opportunities for local artisans.
“We hope to bring some economic relief to those who have laboured long and hard in Junkanoo and other forms of culture and yet have little to show for it materially.
“In Trinidad, there are multiple millionaires from Carnival. I do not know of millionaires from Junkanoo, but with this festival there will be thousands of people buying thousands of costumes and putting thousands of Bahamians to work.”
The Carnival will be a series of events starting on Easter Monday in Nassau and ending on May 7 with the “Road Fever” parade. Anchor events include “Junkamania,” a concert of Bahamian orchestras featuring Junkanoo musicians in collaboration with philharmonic musicians; and “Music Masters,” a major concert featuring a Grammy-award winning artist and ten finalists from 172 entries in a related song competition.
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival CEO Roscoe Dames said that in the proposed Carnival Cultural Village – an enclosed festival space at the Western Esplanade featuring food stalls and three entertainment stages – each Family Island will be allotted a pavilion to represent its local culture.
Many of the island regattas will become involved and Grand Bahama will have its own celebratory weekend in April, including a concert featuring the song competition semi-finalists, a Junkanoo Carnival beach party and a midnight rush.
Mr Williams said BTC is no stranger to supporting Bahamian culture, citing a long relationship with youth, sports and culture and high prioritisation of corporate citizenship.
“We have been primary sponsors for the CAC games, CARIFTA track and swimming – the events and the travelling teams – the Golden Knights, several individual track stars, championship winning swimmer Arianna Vanderpool Wallace, volleyball and basketball tournaments throughout the Bahamas, and the IAAF World Relays, which we will partner with again for 2015,” he said.
“We are large proponents of Bahamian cultural activities and continue with annual sponsorship of Junkanoo at Christmas and New Year to the tune of $850,000 through 2016.”

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Moving Carnival forward EXPRESS EDITORIAL

T marks an advance of some historic importance when the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce recognises in the field of Carnival an achievement worthy of its Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
At the Chamber’s inaugural “Champions of Business” presentation last month Dean Ackin, the emerging entrepreneur, has earned acclaim as bandleader of Tribe, but more so as innovator over such a range of management capacity and improved arrangements as to transform the “Carnival experience”.
More than just a mas maker and provider of costumes, sections, and music, Mr Ackin made it easier for masqueraders to register online, and more comfortable and enjoyable to play.
Introducing the all-inclusive facilities, he made possible the real-time supply of mas players’ wants and needs, right there, on the road, including cool-down air to beat the heat. 
The original Tribe itself has now begotten a second Carnival band, Bliss, and created support business in Ultimate Events.
Mr Ackin’s pathway, including gaining a BSc management degree, has not been exactly typical of bandleaders. But at least T&T’s primary business group has acknowledged his contribution, and that of other nominees, as the entrepreneurial way forward for Carnival, and other areas of culture, not traditionally considered as jump-off points for business development.
As the Chamber’s citation put it: “By expanding its horizons of experience and earnings, and deepening its linkages with the rest of the economy, Dean Ackin’s Ultimate Group is the industry’s first conglomerate.”
Congratulations are in order for the Ackin approach, even as other aspects of Carnival await similar vision, and relevant management and entrepreneurial inputs.
For the thousands of masqueraders who play with Tribe and Bliss continue to endorse the product produced by Mr Ackin and his support team, being repeat customers because they are getting good service and value for their money.
Ultimate Events also puts on pre-Carnival fetes that are well-organised, backed up by tight security that leaves partygoers in a good frame of mind.
So with the Tribe and Bliss supporters being mostly young, upwardly mobile citizens—joined in those bands by the many visitors from abroad who are also so inclined—there is hope the innovative attractions introduced by Mr Ackin and company will continue to make a mark on the national festival.
And this generation of masqueraders, and those to come, will insist on higher standards, so ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago Carnival can continue to boast of being the “Greatest Show On Earth”, at least in this part of the world.
We can only trust that the government of the day, through the National Carnival Commission, will nominate like-minded forward thinkers who—in conjunction with T&T’s youthful entrepreneurs—will attempt to make it better and better in the years ahead.

Story Created: Nov 8, 2014 at 3:01 AM EC



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