The Events Company of Saint Lucia [ECSL] on May 30th, diverted attention from the broad Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival to unveil plans for the 2017 edition of annual carnival celebrations.
ECSL led by Chief Executive Officer Thomas Leonce, convened the official press briefing in conjunction with the Cultural Development Foundation [CDF] to announce the 2017 calendar of events for Saint Lucia carnival.
ECSL CEO Leonce explained the management and structure of Saint Lucia carnival will be different. The CDF will continue its traditional role to provide institutional support and also implement various capacity- building initiatives including:
- Costume building and design workshop
- Calypso and soca lyric writing workshop
- Steelpan music workshop
- Voice development and performance workshop
- Steelpan/calypso/soca judging workshop
“…We are not doing this for 2017 only and, you will see that every year will introduce various elements that going to strengthen the carnival and improve the carnival product.” – Melchoir Henry, Executive Director of CDF.
A new Carnival Advisory Committee [CAD] according to ECSL, will oversee the broad management of Saint Lucia carnival.
Previous agencies such as the Carnival Management Committee [CMC] will retain executive control over calypso tents up to the halfway point of carnival festivities. ECSL, Leonce explained, will take over production and management of select carnival activities including the semi-final and final stages of calypso and soca competitions, the Carnival Queen Show Pageant and, the National Parade of the Bands.
The prize structure has also been overhauled according to ECSL. Details on the new prize structure are expected in the coming weeks.
ECSL asserted that the renewed approach to the production and management of Saint Lucia carnival could develop a regionally competitive product.
“The carnival does not belong to CDF nor to the Events Company of Saint Lucia, it belongs to all of Saint Lucia…We need more and more to transform our carnival into an export product as some other Caribbean islands have successfully done and, develop activities that will encourage visitors from our source markets and the Caribbean diaspora to come down to Saint Lucia a little earlier and spend a little more time with us and also a little more money.”
ECSL unveiled 10 official carnival events at the press briefing:
- June 14th – Epic Wednesday
- July 1st – National Queen show Pageant
- July 9th – Kiddies Carnival
- July 11th– Inter Commercial House Calypso Competition
- July 13th – King and Queen of the Bands
- July 14th – Panorama
- July 15Th – Calypso Monarch
- July 16th – Soca and Groovy Monarch
- July 17th– National Parade of the Bands Day 1
- July 18th – National Parade of the Bands Day 2