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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.”

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