By Judy Pham
Direct charter flights from Toronto and New York to St. Vincent will be available in time for Vincey mas’ this summer.
Glen Beache, CEO of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, made this announcement on Sunday in Toronto at a Town Hall meeting – to much applause from the large numbers of Vincentians present.
(Vincentians travelling from Toronto on scheduled flights usually have to board connecting flights in Barbados or Trinidad to get to St. Vincent.)
Beache, along with Tourism Minister Cecil McKie and other Vincentian officials, was on a Canadian tour to promote the 40th anniversary celebrations of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines carnival – or Vincey mas’, as it is called.
It will be held June 30- July 11..
Beache explained that while there will be a charter flights from Toronto for the carnival,
the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority is still in talks with the airlines “for year-round direct scheduled flights from the diaspora countries.”
“If they( the airlines) are not making money, they are not coming into St. Vincent. It’s as simple as that” he said.
Ricardo Adams, Chairman of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Carnival Development, Corporation, spoke of special plans to celebrate Vincey mas’ this year as a “birthday party.”
“A party with a live stage, a live artistes, pan, soca, calypso, the best that Vincy mas’ has been able to produce over the last 40 years.”
For this year’s carnival. there will be “all-inclusive packages” for various events, he told the gathering of Vincentians.
He also said that efforts are being made ” to bring Vincy mas’ to the diaspora this year,” with the introduction of paid live streaming.
“It’s imperative for us to get the culture out there. So if you can’t come to us, we will get the culture out to you,” said Adams.
He urged Vincy mas’ enthusiasts to visit the Facebook page of the Carnival Development Corporation’s website to keep updated.
CDC has also created the hashtag #EVO4.0 for attendees with social media coverage to use when sharing their experience at Vincy Mas’ ” for a more inclusive experience worldwide through the internet.”