By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
BAHAMAS Junkanoo Carnival will be officially launched today in Grand Bahama at the Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya Marketplace, where residents and visitors will see the unveiling of the costume collection.
The Grand Bahama Cultural Carnival Company (GBCCC) has been established to produce and sell the costumes, accessories and products for the April 17-19 carnival festivities in Grand Bahama, which has been dubbed “The Grand Life”.
Yolander Hanna, project manager for GBCCC, said that cultural leaders, Junkanoo groups, local artists, artisans, designers and photographers have come together and formed the company, located in the Regent Centre.
“We are happy ... to able to present all of our costumes under The Grand Life. We want to make our presence felt on May 7-9 at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Nassau,” she said yesterday.
Ms Hanna said today they will also showcase two of their signature “limited edition” costume collections, designed by international renowned Bahamian designers Anthea Bullard and Dadon Pinder. The company has also put together a 100-member Junkanoo ensemble.
“The road to Carnival begins in Grand Bahama and we want Grand Bahamians to support the GBCCC and to support the event,” she said. Roscoe Dames, CEO of Bahamas National Festival Commission, charged with producing Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, said that today’s launch will be a demonstration of what can be expected in April.
He said that two of the four signature events for Bahamas Carnival will be held in Grand Bahama during the weekend of April 17-19.
Mr Dames said the Music Master Concert, featuring the 25 semi-finalists in the song competition, will take place at Taino Beach.
“We will draw down the semi-finalists to 10 finalists who will perform in Nassau at the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival on May 7-9 at the Music Master Concert. They will be performing on stage with a world famous Grammy award winning artist that will soon be announced,” he said.
Mr Dames said that 19 Bahamian producers have collaborated to create the CD compilation of the 25 semi-finalists.
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has a five-week season, which begins Easter Monday and runs to May 5.
“We encourage all the other islands to get involved in with Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Statistically, festivals of this nature generate significant revenue for countries,” Mr Dames said.
“We are able through Carnival companies to empower people ... to stimulate small and medium size businesses.
“If we are able to affect many lives, in terms of financial opportunity, then this festival creates its own continuity.”
Michala Moss, Ministry of Tourism manager of communications departments, said they are aggressively marketing the event in the US and Canada.
Ms Moss said they have just been to Houston, Texas, promoting the event and have partnered with United Airlines to begin direct service to Nassau.
“The Ministry of Tourism is going to travel agents and airlines. We have eight flights from Canada, including Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary out in west Canada. In the US, we have 10 cities along the eastern seaboard that fly directly into Grand Bahama,” she said.