Vincentians putting country on map
June 10, 2005
Vincentians putting country on map

by sheron Garraway

Minister of Tourism and Culture René Baptiste described this present period as a time when St.Vincent and the Grenadines would be known all over the world because of this country’s young people.

As she addressed a reception for Kiokya Cruickshank and Kamal Wood Monday evening, the minister noted that the last time a similar cocktail event was held at the Prime Minister’s residence, was when international recording artiste Kevin Lyttle “turned on” the world to his music.{{more}}

Baptiste noted that she too, did her texting which contributed to Kiokya winning the Digicel Rising Star competition. She announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was now a signatory to the soon-to-be-launched MTV show “Tempo,” which would feature the Caribbean.

The Tourism Minister described the new television network as a gateway to all things Caribbean and one which would be the ultimate source for, and representative of, all things Caribbean.

“It would be the ambassador of a dynamic people, a magnetic culture and an undeniably breathtaking destination.”

She said after MTV’s Tempo is aired, Soca and Calypso music may be up for Grammy Awards since it would have a culturally pan-Caribbean flavour.

Minister Baptiste stressed that the programme would feature art, history, industry and business of the Caribbean and there would also be music videos, news, and a segment showing the Caribbean’s rich contribution to the world of sport. The very excited Tourism Minister noted that athletes like Pamenos Ballantyne, who is the premier long distance runner for the Caribbean and Latin America, would be featured.

She also pointed to Juliana Nero as the No. 4 female cricketer in the world, Sancho Lyttle as the fifth draft pick for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Sophia Young as the Most Valuable Player for 2005. Baptiste noted that both Sancho and Sophia were invited to the pre-launch in New York but due to school and sporting commitments were unable to attend. Both ladies she said would be sporting icons to help promote sports tourism in SVG. She noted that the event was a type of fair where all Caribbean Tourism Ministers and artistes were in attendance.

Baptiste mentioned that, while the audience enjoyed the performances of the various artistes, it was, however, Kevin Lyttle who brought down the house with just his signature “Oh Yeah” scream and tune “Turn Me On.”

Baptiste revealed that on the following day, the regional tourism ministers heard an address from the General Manager of Tempo, and counsellor for MTV, Frederick Morton and in his video presentation to sell the package to those in attendance, Kevin Lyttle was featured highly.

She said that each country, including SVG would have to come up with what would be featured and the Carnival Development Corporation CDC has been designated the executing agency to manage and prepare the package for what would be viewed on television.

The minister noted that MTV was currently in negotiations with Caribbean Satellite Authorities to provide the broadest coverage of Tempo in every cable and satellite household. She noted that there are sponsorship opportunities for persons in St.Vincent to promote their services and products since there is a large Caribbean Diaspora in the United States and Canada, so local businesses would have the opportunity to penetrate other markets where Vincentians live.

Tempo will be officially be launched in October 2005 in the Caribbean and 2006 in the first quarter in the USA and will go global in 2007. Some of the segments to be featured include cuisine, destination, fashion, architecture and music.