Change is coming for Looshan Mas 2015
The Carnival Planning Management Agency (CPMA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, on the evening of Monday April 27th unveiled plans for this year’s carnival. All was revealed at a press conference attended by the media, various carnival stakeholders and sponsors. It was held at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa.
“I can’t remember when last we’ve had this great level of excitement prior to the Jazz festival for carnival… and this will hopefully augur well for the carnival 2015 season,” stated Lyndel Arnold, chairman of the CPMA in his remarks on Monday. He went on to speak of the number of releases so far for the season as well as the number of carnival bands that have already launched.
“So these are exciting times for us. But we would not be here today without the support of our sponsors,” he indicated as he highlighted consistent players like Piton Beer and Digicel.
“We also have to acknowledge the Government of Saint Lucia for their continued investment in Carnival. There is always going to be that debate as to how much will be enough and there is always going to be the critics who question the value of the sponsorship put in by government given all of the other challenges that the administration faces in terms of social programme’s,” Arnold said. “So we do appreciate Governments support and that is why we must show slate to show what we can do with putting on a festival that is of a high quality,” he added.
In outlining the plans for Carnival 2015, the CPMA revealed on Monday that the opening of carnival will be on Sunday May 24th, one day before the Whit Monday line jam. The opening, dubbed “Odyssey” will be held at Samaans Park. Junior carnival will be launched separately as greater emphasis is placed on the future generation of revellers. On that note the CPMA is working with the CDF and the Carnival Bands Association to host junior panorama this year as part of the national carnival calendar.
Given the dwindling interest in the King and Queen of the bands competition, the CPMA has proposed to the Carnival Bands Association opening up the event to non-affiliated costume builders to allow for greater participation.
The carnival route for 2015 remains the same. End time on carnival Monday and Tuesday is 7pm.
Addressing the gathering on Monday, Minister of Tourism Lorne Theophilus greeted with the news that Cabinet had agreed to a provisional end time of activities during carnival from 2 am to 3: 30 am. “Also this year when the budget for carnival is announced you will be very satisfied. In addition to that budget for carnival, the government has also made a separate commitment towards the community carnivals,” Theophilus stated. He went on to advise that, as of 2016, a new entity - the National Festivals Commission - will be mandated to oversee carnival and all other national festivals.
Monday’s press launch also featured a performance by the 2014 Groovy Soca Monarch, Arthur and presentations by some of the carnival bands accompanied by the Piton models.
The much anticipated launch of Carnival on Sunday May 24th will be followed by a series of events both privately run as well as events staged by the CPMA and START, the organization responsible for Calypso events. The annual parade of the bands, which brings the curtain down on carnival, will be held on July 20 and 21, 2015.
Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus and Chairman of the CPMA Lynden Arnold with costumed models at carnival press