Junkanoo Season Set For Expansion

Michael Pintard

Michael Pintard

By Morgan Adderley

Tribune Staff Reporter


THE 2018-2019 Junkanoo season will be expanded from the “traditional two parades” to more than a week of activities, Youth, Sports, and Culture Minister Michael Pintard said Friday.

Mr Pintard and Silbert Ferguson, Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP) chairman, also discussed the potential development of a National Junkanoo Commission.

This organisation would function as an “overall governing body” for Junkanoo.

Mr Pintard and Mr Ferguson spoke to The Tribune outside the National Junkanoo Conclave, a three-day long forum that allowed stakeholders to give their perspectives on the cultural event.

Of his vision for the 2018-2019 Junkanoo parades, Mr Pintard said: “We are going to move beyond the traditional two parades to having a full festival.”

“[Firstly] You will see certainly more than a week of continuous activities that provides opportunities for revenue generation for communities as well as the groups.”

“It’s conceivable you will see activities, whether it is Roots, Genesis, One Family, Saxons, Valley or Colours, that persons will be able…to go and engage in cultural activities with various groups and in various communities.“

“And so a (Family Islands or overseas) tourist does not have to narrow their travel to the two days that people have been accustomed to. They can come at any point and experience our cultural festival.”

Mr Pintard continued: “Secondly, we have agreed already in (Thursday’s) session, that we should have a Junkanoo song competition that will be properly incentivized.”

“The prizes will be substantial so that we will be able to produce a range of songs you will hear in the parades at the end of the year, in the summer, etc.”

Mr Pintard also said that recommendations have been made to make the festival more participatory. He said that matter would be discussed later that afternoon and decisions made.

In terms of more female leadership and participation in Junkanoo, Mr Pintard said: “The commitment of this Administration is that the country is governed better when the majority of its citizens are playing a role.

“In terms of the gender divide, I believe women are…51% of the population. To the extent that their point of views are not reflected in the final decision-making is the extent to which we are diminished in what we’re doing.”

“And so it’s important to increase the role that women play at the highest level of decision making, in culture in general (and) Junkanoo in particular.

Mr Pintard also called for more youth involvement and leadership in the festival. He said: “There is a difference in generational view of these kinds of parades, and young people tend to be quite innovative in their thinking.”

“They are able to integrate other things they are involved in like new technology, new media, into Junkanoo, to take it to a whole other level.”

“And they can design things, both in terms of approach to parades and festivals as well as costumes, that would attract their peers— (who) happen to be the majority population of the country.”

When asked about the National Junkanoo Commission, both Mr Pintard and Mr Ferguson provided context for this development.

Mr Pintard said: “The Junkanoo community as well as other stakeholders in Junkanoo believe that there is a need for us to continue to develop Junkanoo (firstly) so that it can become a revenue and employment-generating mechanism.”

“(Secondly) that it continues to be an important tool in terms of national development (and]) outreach initiatives in the community.”

“(Thirdly) we believe that we also need to get the public to appreciate the role it plays in solidifying our identity as a people.”

Mr Pintard continued: “In order for Junkanoo to play the role we desire it to play, it’s important to have a number of full-time persons who are concentrating on making sure that the potential of Junkanoo (is reached) in the domestic market as well as its influence in the international market.”

While Mr Pintard commended the efforts of the current groups: The JCNP, National Junkanoo Committee, and his own ministry, he acknowledged: “More is needed”.

He continued: “The view today…is that a Junkanoo Commission or Junkanoo Authority that has the overall responsibility…would give this community an opportunity to realize its potential more effectively.”

“So a decision (has been made to create)…a committee that would have the ability to put together draft legislation, a draft structure, and terms of reference, for such a commission or such an authority.”

Mr Pintard added the size of the Commission will be decided at a later date.

Mr Ferguson underscored the importance of the Junkanoo groups in these decisions. He said: “None of this can happen unless the Junkanoo groups agree. (They) are not here.”

“The last voice on this will be whether they agree in total. We agree in principle here.”

Of Friday’s conclave sessions, Mr Pintard said participation has been “incredible”, highlighting the involvement of the Family Island representatives and younger groups.

He added: “Right now we’re talking about manufacturing. We are presently manufacturing drums, cowbells, and some horns. It is possible to get into whistle manufacturing as well as a number of things that make up our costumes.”

When asked his perspective on the Commission, Mr Ferguson said: “I have an open mind.”

“Whatever propels Junkanoo to its best effort, whatever vehicle that is we are using to go forward, I am all for it.”

Of his hopes for the 2018-2019 parades, Mr Ferguson said: “We go for gold every time… [but] nothing makes this Junkanoo happen unless there is funding for it.”

“If the Commission is going to bring the funding, then we move. But like I said earlier, it’s only the opportunity.”

“Don’t bring me the analogy of Carnival and the Festival commission when you give them $10 million to start. Give Junkanoo $10 million and see what we could do.”


killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This guy is not arts or sports manager qualified. He'll never get it.

I'm not sure what of junkanoo they plan to add to the curriculum but I say don't wear it out. Also festival is not the way to begin. The only thing these governments know is to add more of something..

Have a grant program for those who want to do Junkanoo business or incorporate it to what they service just like Kwasi did to make a bee industry. Why should everyone just give their ideas to a minister at a meeting to get credit and own it. Allow interested persons to submit to a ideation group on a board, http://www.ideaboardz.com/">http://www.ideaboardz.com/, have the committee agree to which elements they want to start with.


I'm not seeing it. But then again maybe it takes some VISUALS.


ThisIsOurs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ian Poitier, the man DAguilar raggy is more than qualified. Like yourself,my fear is they will just create more days of the same shabby presentations. They'll throw up some tents on Arawak Cay, sell some food, have a stage have some bands performing. They may have a cowbell ringing competition...YAWN..more of the same. The focus needs to be on a quality production


killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Junkanoo songs

“The prizes will be substantial so that we will be able to produce a range of songs you will hear in the parades at the end of the year, in the summer, etc.”

Let the brass bands stick to what they do and international songs visitors know.

There's already two competitions for Bahamian songs. I don't see how this fits. The bands shouldn't be the ones playing the artists original songs. Those artists can be on stand by to perform during a gap and the opening instead.

If there will be summer junkanoo ( which I doubt bc now there's carnival) maybe they could perform on floats. But whoever chooses these artists haven't had a trained ear. They can't perform well. Sound bad. The sound system has to be good a well.


killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The main winter parade shouldn't be participatory for the public to join in. A summer parade could have that.


killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago


These museums are not going to cut it. There should be a proper large multi story exhibit museum by now for each groups theme in a section from each yr. It's incredibly sad that I can't still go see Valley Boys Toyland pieces, Saxons candy pieces, properly displayed like all other museums in the world. Recreating those scenes from all of those sections would be like walking into a wonderland. Especially how they are positioned and with lighting. If you can enter from many entrances or disperse to any area after the entrance, it won't get crowded and visitors won't have a line.

Gov has buildings that people can't work in because of the conditions.

That's money every day.


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Philllipine's http://pjaranador.blogspot.com/2015/0...">http://pjaranador.blogspot.com/2015/0...


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killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Where's a list of al junknaoo jobs and potential jobs you would like to afford and make paid?

  • Shipment orders
  • Sponsorship account manager
  • Makeup artist
  • Ticket sales
  • Clean up and box break down recycle
  • Videographer Photographers
  • Security
  • Budgeter

killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Have a raffle entering parade goers for the free tickets next year or to carnival.


Mr_Right 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The Junkanoo song competition is a great idea. Bahamian music right now is largely associated with Soca. The songs however are not Soca songs and don't sound like Soca songs, well some do and they should be considered Soca, but Sketch Carey's 'Wine like a Champion' is definitely Junkanoo Pop, sounds absolutely nothing like Soca instead for the common lyrics, even the melody is different from Soca. Bahamians don't have our own standout brand of musical genre that can go worldwide, songs like Wine like a Champion, and I have heard another one by Thin Ice called Island Culture. These aren't Soca Songs. If the government pushes money behind it and market it like they did with Goombay back in the day. Bahamas can finally push its brand of music on the world stage. The Koreans have K-pop, you have Afro pop. If done right, this can be great for Bahamian music.


Mr_Right 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Also let the Bahamian public vote for the winners of the competition. Because there is a lot of favouritism among the Judges. The general public will be the consumers of the music, let the general public decide the winners. Most of us won't know these people personally and will focus more on the songs we like.


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