The Grenada Spicemas Corporation is taking a different approach in making Spicemas 2015 one with a difference as they held their Christmas launch last week for Spicemas 2015.
The launch took place at Club Galaxy on the Carenage last Wednesday where Spicemas officials rolled out some of the plans for next year’s carnival.
The local carnival body is hopeful that some of the problems that they encountered over the years, especially during 2014, will not be seen in 2015 as a result of some of the changes that will be made.
One of the things revealed at the launch was the theme that will encompass the essence of the festival in 2015.
The theme came out of a competition spearheaded by the Spicemas Corporation to get the public’s involvement.
The winner is Eddie Greenidge and his theme – “It’s majestic, it’s authentic, it’s splendor, it’s mas, Spicemas 2015”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Cultural Foundation, Shirma Wells reflected on some of the successes of Spicemas 2014.
“We had 27, 000 viewers on live stream channel in July, the time of our semi-finals events. Our pay per view online viewership increased in 2014 by 43%. There were over 2000 downloads on our Spicemas mobile application locally and otherwise. Interestingly there were over 100 downloads from Indonesia,” she said.
“A lot of the times people say that Spicemas Corporation is doing nothing to market Spicemas but I can assure you it has been a significant difference to that in 2014 and we do plan to increase in that areas moving forward for 2015.
Marketing, we know is extremely important to any product and Spicemas certainly is our premiere product to be marketed,” she added.
According to Wells, the Corporation is moving to engage in early planning of events and introduction of partnership packages for the 2015 season.
“We’ve decided that we do not necessarily want our business community to just be sponsors of Spicemas, we want them on board with us, we want them to have a buy in, we want them to be partners with us, we want them to assist us in ensuring that Spicemas is successful,” she told reporters at the launch.
Wells identified another new initiative for 2015 as the introduction of a Spicemas music shop.
“The major purpose is to expose our music, via that platform, via the Internet and to provide a means for our artistes to earn something from their work. Often we find the issue of Copyright comes to the fore and sometimes we find ourselves lost in finding the solution to deal with that problem”, she said.
“We feel that by creating a music shop online would allow for persons to engage in the purchasing of our artistes music and result in them gaining something for their hard work,” she remarked.
Newly appointed Chairperson of the SMC Board of Directors, Joslyn Sylvester-Gairy told the media gathering that the time has come to take Spicemas to the next level.
She said in this regard, there are many well-planned events set out to build that momentum into the season of Spicemas.
“We must see Spicemas as a lucrative and strong financial asset to our economy. Spicemas is known to generate millions of dollars into the economy each year, so many of our returning nationals and visitors return to our shores in July and August, they stay at hotels (and) they eat at restaurants.
“…Under my stewardship we have already started to prepare for several of these events – some of them will be taking place in parishes on a monthly basis. We will be engaging our stakeholders to host some shows and related activities providing an avenue for showcasing our talents and raising some much needed funds.
Sylvester-Gairy disclosed that her committee is working tirelessly to ensure that there are not too many major challenges to be faced during the 2015 season.
“The challenges of Spicemas are very transparent and we know the biggest of them all is the inability to generate funding to host the festival. We have seen over the years, several inherited matters that need addressing.
“I can assure you that my team is working assiduously in putting measures in place to mitigate and rectify these areas. Several initiatives are being developed to ensure proper marketing of the product and securing partnership in some of the stakeholders.
Also speaking at the launch was Minister for Culture, Senator Brenda Hood who announced that a concert is being planned involving the Calypso King of the Word, Grenadian-born Mighty Sparrow whose real name is Slinger Francisco.
She said a call came from the Calypsonian himself saying that he wanted to give back to Grenada in the form of a concert.
“We decided that (the) best time to do that would be during our Carnival season and we have agreed with him. We are planning to have a concert with the Mighty Sparrow on the 4th of August.
“I know that there is Committee that has been set up to plan this event and they will be looking at (involving) previous Kings who have come through Soca and Calypso over the years and others so that we can have a great event.
Sen. Hood said it is the hope of Spicemas Corporation to hold a similar concert every year.