“I pledge that this year would be one of the greatest Carnivals ever in Grenada.”
Those were the words of Chairperson of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), Joslyn Sylvester-Gairy, during the official launch of Spice Mas 2016 at the Roy St. John Playing Field, Tanteen, St. George last week Saturday.
“We have things in place. We are working steadfastly to make sure that you not only enjoy but (that you also) participate in Carnival this year,” Sylvester-Gary told the scores of Carnival lovers gathered to witness the launch of the most anticipated premier cultural festival on the island.
“We want everyone to enjoy, join a band, have some fun, but just be involved in Carnival,” said the former head of the Grenada Cultural Foundation (GCF) as she encouraged full participation in Spicemas 2016 events.
According to Chief Executive Officer of the SMC, Kirk Seetahal, plans are in the making to announce a theme competition for Spicemas 2016, which was launched in what was described as the earliest opening of the premier event since the festival started 35 years ago.
Culture Minister Brenda Hood said, she, is “really happy to see that for the first time we are launching Carnival in the beginning of April.”
“We have to start at the primary level in ensuring that our children have a deep appreciation for our culture and that they understand the importance of preserving a rich legacy,” she said.
The senior government minister also expressed the view that “now is the perfect time for us to venture into the schools and motivate the teachers, especially those teaching art, to open up the doors and expand on the creative energy that is within the minds of our youngsters”.
“It is important that we understand the value and creative works of our pan men, masqueraders and artistes (as) our appreciation for their time and talents is needed to support the efforts during the season and beyond,” Minister Hood added.
“We were very happy with the turn out, there was a display of all things, Traditional Mas, Fancy Mas, Steel Pan the Moko Jumbie, we had the artistes on stage, some of them sharing some of their stuff (musical selections) for 2016 already, so all in all it was a good launch,” he said, noting that one of the things that was “essential” to executing the launch of Spicemas 2016, was starting on time.
“We were able to accomplish that and we hope that that will continue for all events,” he added.
During last Saturday’s launch, SMC officials echoed a call for persons to support the organisation.
Elaborating on the call in an interview with THE NEW TODAY, Seetahal noted that “the stakeholders of Carnival are wide…and we (SMC) want to get your (stakeholders) ideas, because it is with the criticisms we are going to be a better organisation.”
He spoke of several platforms in which persons can share their comments, ideas and concerns.
“You can utilise our facebook page, our website spicemas grenada.com…or you can step into our office at the GCNA building, Kirani James Boulevard, or call us on 440- 0621.
Meanwhile, officials are promising a series of activities leading up to the climax of Spicemas 2016 in August.
The first to take place was Pan Xpression on Sunday at the Tanteen Hard Court, while the highly anticipated launch of Carnival City is due sometime in June.
The Groovy and Soca Monarch competitions will be held on Friday, August 5 at the National Stadium, to be followed by Panorama on the following day, and the Dimanche Gras show on Sunday, August 7.
The J’ouvert, Bomb Tune, Pageant and Monday Night Mas is fixed for August 8;, Parade of the Bands including bands from all parishes on Tuesday, August 9 and the last lap event is to be held on Saturday, August 15.
Within the next couple of weeks cultural officials in collaboration with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) will travel to Trinidad and Tobago to launch Spice Mas 2016 in the twin island Republic.