A full cast of soca and calypso artists entertained an exuberant crowd Sunday evening, as officials from the Carnival Development Committee and the Ministry of Sports and Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines launched the 40th Anniversary of Vincy Mas in Brooklyn.
The event served as the simultaneous launching pad for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Mapping Project, organized by the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, in partnership with the United Nation’s International Organization of Migration.
Briggo, Bomani, Scorcher, Dennis Bowman, Drakie, Hibiscus, Madzart and Winston Soso were among artistes who performed at the anniversary launch.
Among officials were Tourism, Sports and Culture Minister Cecil “Ces” McKie; Tourism Authority chief executive officer Glen Beache; chairman Ricky Adams; 40th anniversary chairman Dennis Ambrose; New York Consul General Howie Prince; and president of the Brooklyn-based umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S.A, Inc., Laverne McDowald-Thompson.
“Our mission, at this time, is to extend an early invitation to everyone to join us in promoting the special celebration of 40 years of June to July Carnival — Vincy Mas 2017,” said Ambrose, the committee’s immediate past president, stating that he was pleased to be invited to speak to “this wide cross-section of persons, who have been identified as a great audience for assisting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Team to link with other sources in the Diaspora.”
Ambrose said the Diaspora “has worked well” with the committee in the past in promoting carnival as a tourism product for SVG.
“We anticipate your participation at multiple levels in this landmark festival,” he told the ebullient crowd, which included officials and artistes from, among others, the Brooklyn-based Dynamite Calypso Tent, Mas Productions Unlimited and Club St. Vincent, Inc., one of the leading Vincentian cultural groups in the U.S.
Ambrose said the 40th Anniversary of Vincy Mas Committee hopes to introduce some new shows in the Vincy Mas program, which starts as early as January 2017.
“Our presence here is, of course, to give you an early little teaser of our special program for Vincy Mas 40th Anniversary celebration,” he said, adding that the Committee is staging events in different parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, “which would showcase talents of the components leading to the hype of the official launch of the festival.”
Ambrose said that date is set for May 6; carnival dates are from June 20 to July 11, 2017.