St.Vincent has been abuzz since the launch of the calendar of activities for Vincy Mas 2017. Most of the talk has been about the absence of the Miss Carival pageant but I took the opportunity to think about ways in which the festival could grow.
I am not much of a reveler so that aspect of Carnival does not interest me too much but I am all for promoting Vincentian culture and economic development and I think we could marry the two. What I would like to see is for us to tap into the diaspora to achieve as much economic benefit from Carnival as possible.
From social media we know that Vincentians overseas are as interested in what’s going on locally as those of us living at home I am quite certain sure that they’d be willing to pull out their credit cards to do so.
Almost every year since I can remember, Vincentians have been calling for Carnival shows to be streamed. I know that efforts have been made to do so but with varying levels of success. It is time for the CDC to look into getting a professional streaming solution going. I wouldn’t be surprised if the stream viewers match or even surpass the number of patrons physically attending the show. And this is just thinking about Vincentians abroad. When you consider the rest of the Caribbean and people interested in Caribbean culture in general, there is tremendous potential there.
After Carnival is over content from the shows could be packaged and sold online. Music from local artists could be made available online on platforms like iTunes etc. This would represent another avenue from which artists could profit from their creativity and hard work, in addition to providing more exposure which could open up more opportunities.
Sometimes, I listen to classic Calypso and Soca songs on NBC Radio and I wonder if there is somewhere those songs could be purchased. If this material is made available I am sure Vincentians would consume it in droves.
These are just some of the ways I think we can squeeze a bit more juice out of this national festival. I am sure that there are other ideas and I would love to hear about them if anyone wants to share.
In general, what I would like is for whatever we endeavor to do as Vincentians, we don’t just think about the physical islands of St.Vincent and the Grenadines but of all people of Vincentian nationality and/or heritage. With this kind of thinking encourage us to consider how to serve our people abroad and when we can serve our own people it would not be much of a stretch to expand to serving the wider Caribbean and the world. And with this level of reach, the scope for economic advancement increases exponentially.