Carnival Stakeholders Collaborate For Carnival In Jamaica
Within the Ministry of Tourism, under the umbrella of the Sports and Entertainment Network (SEN), the Carnival Stakeholders Committee was formed to encourage and engender the growth of carnival. "Every promoter that puts on a carnival set would love to go on the road, and the confidence to do it depends on response from Corporate sponsors and evidence of growth," Kamal Bankay, chairman of SEN, told The Gleaner. The Committee, which consists of more than 30 persons, including band leaders, event promoters, and costume designers, has been convening from as early as November 2016 to coordinate Carnival in Jamaica as a unit.
"A bandleaders subcommittee has been hard at work since November last year. I think it helped to support the growth of all of the bands and more fÍtes. From what I know as fact, there may not have been four bands prior, but with the invitation of the committee to guide the process, people got more confident than just joining as a subsection," Bankay said. "We have facilitated most of the factors to ensure all of these happen smoothly and will be marketed significantly locally and internationally," he continued.
Councillor Andrew Bellamy, told The Gleaner that he is optimistic that the SEN would have a positive impact on the Jamaican entertainment landscape.
"As a board member for the Sports and Entertainment Network, I have been able to serve on a committee with some of Jamaica's most relevant and influential entertainment and sports decision makers. And from my position, the discussions, plans, and our overall ability to execute ideas has been translating into, and will continue to lead to, greater and more refined development of the tourism products," Bellamy said.
Bellamy also serves as a member of the Carnival Stakeholders Committee, on which he said, he has "witnessed this ministry initiative uniting large competing carnival brands, which would have normally been a more difficult feat. The vision of the minister, the Network chairman and board members are aligning. This committee serves as a platform for us all, to work together in reforming, improving, marketing and hosting the best carnival festival within the Caribbean and perhaps the world."
As a member of the Committee, Bellamy also observed that with the collection of all carnival stakeholders under one roof, the dialogue between the Jamaica Constabulary Force, government agencies that monitor the practices and procedures of the entertainment industry along with general suppliers, have translated into a more organised national road parade.
"I must commend the Government, Minister Edmund Bartlett, Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, the chairman of the network, and all stakeholders involved because it's only now that we have all finally embarked on working collectively together for the growth and development of Carnival in Jamaica. For 2018, I would only encourage that we begin planning as soon as our Carnival 2017 has ended. This is the only way for us to fully maximise our potential," Bellamy said.
"On April 24, we can announce the dates for next year since they are already basically set within the Easter calendar. And now that intellectual properties are registered, we can move into marketing," Bankay told The Gleaner. "Once the parades are wrapped, we're gonna look at all the marketing plans, collaborate with different entities, and contemplate how to promote to the international market, and piggyback on other existing platforms within the tourism market. Just from a marketing standpoint, now that we have intellectual property, branding, and dates, we can push into the international markets. We are thankful that people see the vision and agree with what we're trying to do," he continued.
"This committee will have huge impact on the local economy as it has been attracting and has the potential to bring endless tourists, carnival chasers, and lovers of the Jamaican culture with a twist, who will, in turn, collectively spend on flights, accommodation, transportation, entertainment, food, gifts, and our carnival products, leading to a much-needed boost within the economy during what's normally labelled a slow period for entertainment," Bellamy said.