The Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, Honourable Denise Charles, on December 2, 2020 announced that the Government of Dominica had cancelled Dominica’s 2021 Carnival celebrations. It was felt that the staging of Dominica’s Carnival in 2021 would be a health risk that the Government was not willing to take given that the Coronavirus pandemic had not subsided and the risk of further spread was high with mass gathering events.
At a Carnival Stakeholders consultation on January 13, 2021, Festival and Events Manager of the Dominica Festivals Committee, Marva Williams, further clarified what this means for event organisers seeking to hold events during the Carnival season. She said, “Carnival 2021 is a calendar of events, it is a brand. It is a product which is owned by the Government of Dominica, which means that the assets of the Carnival, the name, Dominica’s Carnival, Mas Domnik, the Real Mas, belongs to the Government of Dominica. So, if the Government says that Dominica’s Carnival is cancelled then no event organizer should use the phrases “Dominica’s Carnival”, “The Real Mas”, or “Mas Domnik” in the promotion of any initiative that they are having during the season in which the Carnival would have taken place.
Importantly, event organisers are reminded that all events must be approved by the Chief of Police and the relevant health authorities prior to promoting and hosting any event, and that all the health and safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 must be adhered to once approval has been granted for their event to take place.