Carnival proponents and lovers can now revel in the fact that, following a two-year hiatus, the pre-pandemic feting will reclaim normalcy come 2023.
The six weeks of activities for the Real Mas will embrace the tag, “Mas an Lawi” (Mas in the street).
Dominica last held its traditional carnival in 2020, the celebrations being put on hold because of COVID-19 safety restrictions.
At the recent launch of Carnival 2023, Minister with the Responsibility for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, Denise Charles, says building on the momentum of the successful staging of the 22nd edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF), that they intend to live up to the expectation of all patrons.
“Your entertainment cravings drive us to ensure that we lay out all of the necessary tools to set the stage, cameras, and spotlight on dynamic initiatives which present opportunities for economic investment, development, and returns for all artists, producers, vendors, artisans, performers, musicians and other stakeholders including the revellers.”
Charles claims that her administration is aware of the underlying causes and advantages of Dominica’s events and entertainment sector, which is firmly established as one of the five pillars supporting the growth and development
of the tourism industry.
As such, the minister noted that carnival celebration is ideally solidified in the government’s package which mirrors action for a dynamic Dominica.
She posited that her minister’s $10 million investment in activities for Dominica’s Independence celebration has not been in vain.
In comparison to 2019, Charles reported a 6% rise in overall visitor arrivals for the WCMF, including over 1000 more patrons traveling by ferry and a 40% increase in travellers arriving by private aircraft.
“The total economic impact of this Festival was humongous as every micro, small, and medium business in Dominica experienced a significant boost in sales and accommodations from Portsmouth to La Plaine to Scotts Head were
completely booked”, the tourism minister said.
“So today we are ready to bring to Dominicans and the rest of the world a similar experience, the real experience of the Real Mas which embodies a fusion of distinctive features of our African and European Heritage.”
Charles urged all partners and Carnival stakeholders to join her in the Tourism Ministry’s combined efforts for an impressive and historic return to the Real Mas, “so that the world will once again descend on Dominica, the destination of choice for the Real Mas.”
Chekira Lockhart Hypolite, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime initiatives, who echoed similar sentiments as expressed by the minister, dubbed carnival as one of the major cornerstones of Dominica’s entertainment events.
She further voiced her satisfaction with the tourism sector rebuilding effort post-COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am pleased that the cultural industries can play their part in both allowing us to honor and celebrate our tradition while stimulating the economy and allowing those who do earn a living in the entertainment and cultural spheres
the opportunity to do so.”
Hypolite vowed that tourism officials will work diligently to present events of a well-established calibre, leading up to carnival, that will entice people from abroad–particularly our Dominican– communities to come with their friends to visit and experience our carnival traditions.
Meanwhile, Festivals and Event Manager at the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Samantha Letang says, following the two-year absence of traditional carnival in Dominica, during the six-week journey which is set to begin on January 14, 2023, to February 22, 2023, the onus is on every Dominican, here and abroad, to display the Dominican spirit by supporting the events.