The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) are partnering for a union that will encourage multi-organizational efforts between the two organizations that would benefit the Caribbean region, as well as its people in New York.
For the first time since WIADCA was established more than 49 years ago, French Guiana is expected to participate in the organization’s events. The French-speaking South American country that borders Brazil, will participate in the West Indian American Day Carnival held on Eastern Parkway on Monday, Sept. 5. The success of adding another country to the association was via connections with CTO, says William Howard, president of WIADCA.
“We’re trying to be inclusive of all islands,” said Howard. “This partnership will save money.”
The partnering also added new musical acts from Barbados, including the introduction of artists from French Guiana, that will have floats in the parade this year. Both organizations will benefit from the partnership because of similar, yet different missions for the Caribbean. WIADCA wants to open doors for CTO, which they hope gains them more artists that have relationships with CTO, according to Howard.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, founded in 1989, primarily focuses on making tourism to the Caribbean the top destination, as well as promoting tourism education via scholarships for students. The organization also builds a relationship in countries that have large Caribbean diaspora’s, such as the United States and United Kingdom.
While WIADCA’s mission is “to promote, develop and celebrate Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions through year-round programs which culminate with a week-long display of festivities and a grand finale Carnival parade expanding our cultural reach throughout the world” its focus is more varied, to include education, tourism, fundraising, and healthcare.
Howard also sees more growth for WIADCA by appealing to the younger generation through the use of technology and social media, hoping to model the organisation’s outreach after other popular events.
“We’re looking at South by Southwest,” said Howard. “They’re getting $5 million for one week.”
The CTO will also participate in the West Indian Day Carnival in September.