Culture and National Festivals Minister Paul Chet Greene is encouraging persons with ideas to improve carnival to submit them in writing to the National Festivals Commission.
Greene, speaking to state TV during J’ouvert, said submissions can then be considered at the planned carnival symposium ahead of the 60 th anniversary in 2017.
“Somewhere in the last week of August we will be hosting a national symposium on carnival as we really endeavour to get everything right for carnival 2017. I’m going to use this medium to invite and encourage people to not only talk these things but to send them to us in writing… because sometimes by time carnival ends, there are so many soundbites in your head that you are likely to forget some. I really would want to have all these ideas that are being promoted and coming through right now on the menu of the discussion, because we want it to be a meaningful symposium. One which addresses not only the shortcomings and pitfalls but also the strength of Carnival,” said Greene.
The minister says the commission will be spending big on marketing the 2017 festival in a bid to double visitor arrivals.
“I am seeking for us to have next year a doubling of the numbers we have this year. It is not idle talk, it is something that can be done, it is “do-able” as long as the resources, the right mentality the right mix is put forward in promoting Antigua’s carnival,” said Greene.
Greene meanwhile says he is planning to form a Caribbean carnival association.
“By Wednesday morning, I hope to pen members of all caribbean destinations where carnivals exist also the North American, European destinations inviting persons to be a part of Carnival 2017. We are also very much in the advance stages of hosting a regional meet in Antigua, seeking to create a Caribbean Carnival association. Through which we can guarantee attendance and participation of every island jurisdiction in our carnival and likewise it will be a replicated situation where our owners of carnival will go to these countries, from Jamaica to Trinidad you name it,” said Greene.
The minister hinted among changes being considered is introducing eliminations for Teen Splash and introducing a tribute to legends of carnival.