CEO of Caribana Discusses Carnival with Genada’s Culture Minister

St. George’s, Grenada – Grenada plans on marketing its 2011 carnival in North America and the Caribbean, starting in Trinidad later this month.

Junior Culture Minister, Senator Arley Gill, made the disclosure at a meeting with Chris Alexander, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Festival Management Committee of Toronto’s Scotiabank-sponsored Caribana.

Sen. Gill said the regional campaign will capitalize on the popularity in Trinidad of Grenadian artiste, Tallpree, and on Iwer George’s hit, “Come to Meh.’’ In the song, George threatens to leave Trinidad for Grenada to be part of the island’s carnival Jab Jab celebrations.

“Trinidad has been one of our focal points for marketing for the past two years,’’ the Culture Minister said. “We are going to kick off our regional campaign in Trinidad because it’s an important market. We’re going to piggyback on the success not just of Iwer George, but of our own Tallpree as well, in the Trinidad market. By next week we should be able to engage the Trinidad market for Spicemas 2k11.’’

Sen. Gill said with regard to Toronto, he’s interested in partnership that would allow for the marketing of Grenada and its Spicemas carnival.

He described the talks with CAO Alexander as “just the beginning of a discussion to see how best we can, as much as is possible, bring benefits for both Caribana and Grenada carnival.’’

Sen. Gill presented Grenada-born Alexander, a former banker and now an independent businessman, with a copy of “Canboulay,’’ the 2010 souvenir magazine of Grenada’s carnival celebrations.

Mr. Alexander travelled to his homeland after visiting Trinidad for the country’s carnival that ended March 8.

“I had a series of meetings in Trinidad with different ministers and other officials to see exactly what they do, to see what we didn’t want to take away and what we wanted to take away,’’ Mr. Alexander said.

“There are a few things that I know we wouldn’t do, and some good things that we picked up from Trinidad’s carnival that we probably could take back to enhance what we’re doing in Toronto right now.’’

Toronto’s 2011 Caribana will be held on the weekend of July 29. Mr. Alexander said Grenada’s culture will be highlighted at the festival with the participation of members of the Toronto-based Spice Youth Organisation.

He’ll like to have artistes from Grenada visit and participate in Caribana, but admitted that cost may be a prohibitive factor.

“Grenada,’’ Mr. Alexander said, “has a lot of great artistes, so it would be nice to see if we can get them more involved. But you know the aspects of what happens when artistes come in. First thing, there is the cost aspect to bring them in.’’

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