PRESS RELEASE – Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, has praised the Carnival Planning and Management Agency (CPMA) and the Saint Lucian public for what has been hailed as a successful Carnival season.
Over 100 official events were held island-wide for the 2015 edition of Saint Lucia Carnival, the nation’s premier cultural extravaganza. Several events, including the Soca Monarch, appear to have been staged before record audiences.
On the road for Carnival Monday and Tuesday, there was massive participation, with the biggest bands increasing their numbers.
Prime Minister Anthony has pointed out the importance of Carnival to the island’s economy and its cultural development.
Said the Prime Minister,
“I must thank the costume designers, the artisans, the musicians, the artistes, and of course the revellers, for all of their hard work to produce this showcase of Saint Lucian talent. It is important that we continue promote what is ours. Our brand must continue to be different, reflecting a truly unique Saint Lucia identity.
Saint Lucia Carnival has great potential to play a major role in helping market the island as a tourism destination. The festival can also help stimulate the local economy. But for us to fulfil that potential, we must further develop the craft associated with the festival.
I must also thank our people, and the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, for what was a reportedly peaceful and largely incident-free Carnival season. The bands cooperated well with the police, and there were no major disturbances, which augurs well for the visibility of the festival on the regional and international scene.”
However, the Prime Minister expressed concerns about the future of calypso. He said that the art form seems to be attracting fewer and fewer persons to the shows. According to him,
“It is clear that special attention needs to be paid to calypso to keep it alive and enjoyable. In my view, if calypso is to return to its glory, we need to re-think how we organize the events. Carnival without calypso is unthinkable. Calypso may have to be re-thought and re-packaged.”
Prizes were awarded by the CPMA in calypso, soca, the Carnival Queen Pageant, Parade of Bands, King and Queen of the Bands and Junior Carnival. The agency is preparing its formal financial audit and report of the 2015 festival, so as to begin planning for 2016.