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Brooklyn group to officially launch Vincy Mas

Brooklyn Century Steel Orchestra performs at Vincy Mas launch in New York.
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The Cultural Association of Vincentians in the USA (CAVUSA), the cultural arm of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Diaspora Committee of NY, Inc., will host a simultaneous launch of Vincy Mas in New York on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.

The SVG Diaspora Committee said on Thursday that Saturday’s launch coincides with the official launch of carnival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sponsored by the local Carnival Development Corporation (CDC).

Vincy Mas, the premier cultural festival in SVG, which is dubbed the “hottest carnival in the Caribbean,” runs from June 29 to July 10.

“The New York launch will take the form of a day-long festival that is being dubbed ‘A Taste of Vincy Mas’, with live performances by a pan side and individual pannists, calypsonians, soca artistes, and costume displays by masquerade­rs,” said SVG Diaspora Committee in a statement.

“There will be tabling by promoters of activities for this year’s Vincy Mas,” it added. “Patrons will also have an opportunity to view the various mas band offerings for the carnival.”

The Committee said local Vincentian foods and drinks will be available, along with displays from the SVG Tourism Office and Caribbean Airlines, the official carrier to Vincy Mas 2018.

There will also be activities for kids, including costume mask-making, the Committee said.

“Anyone attending the launch in New York can expect a great event that will encourage them to book their flights to SVG immediately for Vincy Mas,” said Atiba Williams, chair of CAVUSA’s planning committee, adding that the event is free event, with food and drinks on sale.

The committee said the New York Launch of Vincy Mas is endorsed by the Carnival Development Corporation and the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Patrons at the event will have the opportunity to win carnival show packages and other prizes, the committee said.

It said the event begins at 10 am and runs until 6 pm, with various performances taking place throughout the day. Portions of the event will be broadcast live via Facebook.

The Committee said this new partnership with CDC emerged after Ainsley Primus, a Brooklyn-based Vincentian cultural organizer, who had previously spearheaded the annual launch, “gave up the project due to personal reasons.

“CAVUSA stepped in and committed to building on Primus’ efforts,” the statement said. “CAVUSA secured the endorsement of the Ministry of Tourism and CDC, and has worked in close collaboration with chair of the CDC, Ricky Adams, and other members of the committee to ensure the success of the event.

“The goal of the partnership is to strengthen the Diaspora’s contribution to Vincy Mas,” Williams said. “This is the beginning of a process to attract more visitors to SVG for carnival and in general.”

The support for Vincy Mas is “a strategic developmental focus of the Diaspora Committee and CAVUSA who have proposed the hosting of a ‘Carnival as Economic Development’ forum for key stakeholders in the aftermath of the carnival,” the statement said.

It said one of the early benefits identified by Williams has been “the coming together of promoters to work in unison to support Vincy Mas.”

“The ultimate goal is to increase the promotion and packaging of Vincy Mas to Vincentians and non-Vincentians alike, and to increase the visitors to the shores of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the statement said.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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