April 20, 2015
I join the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie and colleague ministers in expressing our profound thanks to the Bahamian people for their leap of faith and unshakable belief in themselves and their ability to execute a world class show and perform on a world stage before a global audience.
Bahamians and residents of Grand Bahama and elsewhere came out in great numbers over the weekend in support of the country’s inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. The government is especially pleased and thankful that Bahamians enjoyed themselves, proudly displaying their national pride and sense of unity as Bahamians from all walks of life celebrated our unique culture together and this massive event took place without incident.
Special thanks go out to the Bahamas Junkanoo Festival Committee, Carnival’s premier sponsor BTC, all other sponsors, the Grand Bahama-based organizers, especially Ginger Moxey and Jimmy Smith for their leadership; the Royal Bahamas police Force and the many cultural artisans, musicians, songwriters and dancers who contributed to the success of what was arguably the single largest event to take place on the island of Grand Bahama.
The Cultural Community has been lobbying for public private sector partnership and collaboration to take our Bahamian culture to a new level – linking this cultural phenomenon to our economy and diversifying our tourism product by embellishing the visitor experience. The pervasive and far reaching economic impact of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival cannot be understated as companies in industries as diverse as tourism, communications, transportation and events promotions to costume design, printers, artisans and even food vendors are all being positively impacted. This festival has the capacity to catapult the culture industry into a year-round industry and is only limited by the imagination and entrepreneurial spirit of Bahamians and for those who dare to dream, dream big and think “outside of the box” for the sky is the limit. Bahamas Junkanoo carnival is everybody’s business and it beckons us to heed the call of the late Tyrone “Dr. Off” Fitzgerald to “GET INVOLVED”
The government and the private sector came together; we listened and with all hands on deck, the Bahamas can now boast of its own carnival festival. We are confident that this cultural institution is not only an economic stimulus, but will grow from strength to strength in years to come as it evolves into an important platform to give birth to the next Paul Mears, Tony Seymour, The Beginning of The End, Smokey OO7, T-Connection and Bahamen.
And so our message as the government is a very simple one: Bahamians believed and did it; come together, let’s continue to make it happen, jump in line and let us all get involved.