Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC), Ricardo Adams has given Vincy Mas 2023 a passing grade and also made a call for an “analysis” to be conducted to determine the contribution of the festival to the national economy.
The CDC chair, in a post Vincy Mas review on SVGTV’s Viewpoint programme on Sunday, July 23, admitted that there were some areas which needed attention and improvement, such as strategies to increase support for cultural shows staged by the CDC.
“We know that we have a lot of work to do still. We know that the CDC is not without fault. We have some areas that we still need to clean up …We would love to see increased numbers back into Victoria Park, but it is always going to be a challenge because what remains very strong culturally is not as sexy for a lot of people. A lot of people who come in are not flying into St. Vincent out of a commitment to support cultural events.”
The CDC was hit with criticism this year over the attendance at the Soca Monarch, a show which traditionally packed Victoria Park. However turnout was low- which some attributed to the boycott staged by some artistes over the CDC’s failure to increase prize money.
On the flip side, Adams said carnival scored high points in the attraction of international and regional patrons which was evident in accommodation being sold out across the mainland, as well as the increase in the number of revellers on the road on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Adams said initial estimates from the Ministry of Finance point to revenue generation from private events to be in the vicinity of $4 million.
He said if a thorough analysis of money generated from all aspects of Vincy Mas is conducted, it can give a clear indication of the economic impact of the festival and support a larger financial investment by stakeholders.
“We’ve been advised that a lot of it was money that was coming from outside of St Vincent into our economy. So I’ve heard people say, oh, it’s a zero-sum game. You just moving money around inside St Vincent. This time, for the first time we’re actually starting to see the admission of the fact that there’s money that’s coming from outside into our economy,” Adams noted.
“I’ve been pushing for a number of years for us to do an economic analysis on the impact of Vincy Mas on the national economy. Barbados did one some years ago, Crop Over 2005 to 2007, and they estimated tens of millions of dollars, I think over the three year period, I think I saw $240 million. We are not 1/10 of Barbados, we are much better than 1/10. So, if we’re doing if we’re doing multi-billions of dollars during the Carnival period, it really is incumbent upon us to invest more in growing the festival so that we can continue to grow the national economy…”.
Adams also said the marketing team for the CDC has been working to inject Vincy Mas into other regional carnivals including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St Lucia.