Categorized | Business, National News

PM Vows to Transform Junkanoo into Economic Enterprise

The government is looking to develop the culture of junkanoo into an economic enterprise for the country; Prime Minister Perry Christie said that it is time for Bahamians to be paid for the hard work they put into the annual cultural art of costume design and music.

“Hand bag designers will emerge from this, designers of bathing suits will emerge from this, trust me, we are going to elevate this thing into an economic enterprise, hundreds of people will be hired to make costumes because we’re going to try not to let them take the short cut to bring them to China, we’re going to really test in this initial period, the geniuses of our people,” he said.

“I am very excited about it, this is going to be a major significant economic impact experience and it’s going to get stronger and stronger.”

Mr. Christie said as much during the 1st annual Junkanoo Corporation New Providence Limited (JCNP) leadership conclave.

Leaders from all junkanoo groups gathered for the one day event at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel on Saturday.

The conclave informed participants about effective leadership and managing group finances among other topics.

Mr. Christie vowed that his administration will dedicate the next two years towards developing Bahamian culture and marketing junkanoo to the world.

“My intention is to bring commerce, the economy into culture in a meaningful way to impact every aspect of culture, the biggest stage that junkanoo have been on will be built and junkanoo will be presented to the world because we are positioning this with cruise ships, we’re positioning it with tour agents and we’re using tourism marketing dollars to the world,” he said.

As the Christie Administration adds the final touches to the gaming legislation, the prime minister said that web shops will be required to pay major contributions to social purposes and for the reason the government is looking to see if jJunkanoo could benefit from this new tax regime from the gaming industry.

In the meantime, Mr. Christie encouraged junkanoo leaders to develop ideas as to how the cultural art can become profitable and present their findings to the government.

During the conclave JCNP’s Chairman Silbert Ferguson shared with the Bahama Journal one of the ideas that would be submitted in the report of recommendations.

“Our plan is to retain Festival Place which is the home of the JCNP, we’re going to reconstitute our junkanoo museum on the dock, if we have three to four million people passing on the cruise ships, if we have a capture ratio of 30 per cent and we have one dollar per person, we’re looking at a million dollars for junkanoo every year,” he said.

“We would be able to also sustain staff level out there and then Junkanoo will be propelled from the first port of entry.”

Junkanoo leaders have two weeks to draft up a report on their ideas to present to the prime minster.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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