ENCORE: PM Christie and Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival

Update – Go Lean Commentary

Talk is cheap! Results, on the other hand, are hard-fought and expensive.

This is the post-analysis of the plans for Junkanoo Carnival in the Bahamas, after 3-years of planning and execution. The results have indeed been hard-fought, expensive and … “not so successful”.

Told you so…

This was the declaration from this previous blog-commentary from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The assessment was that the Carnival product appeared to be lucrative, but there was so much heavy-lifting involved with an implementation, that unless there was a whole soul commitment by the full community, it would be very hard to find success.

Now there are new developments…

Article Title: ‘Blindsided’ By Carnival Delay
By: Ava Turnquest, Tribune Chief Reporter

CU Blog - UPDATE - PM Christie and Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival - Photo 1LESS than a week after officials announced the event’s line-up, Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed yesterday that the 2017 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has been postponed until after the general election.

The news has “blindsided” key stakeholders and vendors, who decried the confusion, likely damage to brand and reputation and potential financial losses resulting from the date change.

The Tribune understands the event has been pushed back from May 4-6 to May 18-20 in Nassau. The new date was also circulated in a flyer by Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’s Instagram account last night.

It is unclear whether the Grand Bahama-leg of the festival, slated for April 28 and 29, has also been pushed back.

Mr Christie was asked about the postponement on the sidelines of a ceremony to rename thoroughfares at the University of the Bahamas, after a report published in The Nassau Guardian indicated that the government had decided to delay the event.

Mr Christie said: “I’m advised that the Carnival Commission has met and agreed that because of the impending possibilities, to suspend or extend the date of (Junkanoo) Carnival. I don’t know the dates they had chosen but it is my understanding that that has been done.”

Up to press time, the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) had not released a new date for the event, or an official statement on the postponement.

When The Tribune contacted BNFC Chairman Paul Major, he said: “What we know is that we’re not going to conflict with the final say of Cabinet – once an official election date is set, then our dates are subject to change.”

Last Thursday, the BNFC announced Trinidadian singing stars Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin as event headliners. It was also confirmed that the event will be streamlined compared to past years because of financial constraints.

The government will reduce its subsidy to the festival by as much as 50 per cent over last year, when taxpayers contributed about $8 million, officials said. The 2016 event brought in $578,342 in revenue, costing more than $9.8m overall.

In 2015, the government spent $11.3m on the inaugural festival, going over its initial budget of $9m, with the rest covered by sponsors. The first Junkanoo Carnival cost $12.9m overall.

Mr Major and BNFC CEO Roscoe Dames declined further questions, and advised that the commission would release further information today.

The Office of the Prime Minister, in a press statement on Sunday, announced that Parliament will be dissolved on April 11.

According to the Parliamentary Elections Act, an election must be held 21 to 30 days after election writs are issued, meaning the next vote will likely be held in early May.

The last election was held on May 7, 2012.

In 2015, the inaugural festival took place on May 7-9 in New Providence, and the 2016 Junkanoo Carnival kicked off on April 15-16 in Grand Bahama and on May 5-7 in New Providence.

In February, Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest called for the government to postpone or delay the festival until after the general election, warning that the event could only be perceived as “vote buying” if staged during the election cycle.

The Tribune reached out to Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association (BCBOA) President Dario Tirelli for comment on the matter; however, Mr Tirelli declined comment until an official government statement was released.

Mr Tirelli told The Tribune that the news had “blindsided” his association.

Stephan Rolle, owner of Bluemonkey Bahamas, told reporters that any date change would negatively impact his business, the Bahamas Carnival Cruise, which has booked more than 100 carnival-goers on an all-inclusive weekend cruise from Miami to Nassau.

He challenged Mr Christie to give the festival the same level of respect as the annual Junkanoo parades.

Source: The Tribune Daily Newspaper (Posted 04/04/2017; retrieved 04/05/2017) – http://www.tribune242.com/news/2017/apr/04/blindsided-carnival-delay/

The Prime Minister bet his administration on the prospect of Carnival and now, its election time. He declared that the Parliament will dissolve on April 11, 2017. Under the Westminster structure of Parliamentary government, elections of a new Parliament must take place within a month after that date. So now the expectation is that elections will be conducted “smack in the middle” of the 2017 Carnival activities.

The solution? The PM postpones Carnival!

From a strictly Carnival perspective, this is a Big Mistake! See here the reaction of the festival stakeholders:

VIDEO – Unhappy over Carnival situation – http://youtu.be/f5zoG6yiS9E

Uploaded on Apr 4, 2017 – One of many online videos featuring complaints about the postponement of Carnival.

In this previous Go Lean blog-commentary – being ENCORED below – the prospect of Junkanoo Carnival was analyzed … before-hand, then subsequent blogs also examined the results after the 1st-year and 2nd-year events, as follows:

The appeal was made in all of these commentaries for the strategies, tactics and implementations of the Go Lean roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This involved the heavy-lifting to marshal the entire community to ensure for Event Tourism, and profit from it. See the original blog-commentary here below.

Also, see a related story from April 4, 2017 detailing the challenges of a new schedule-date: Festival To Be May 18-20 As PM Confirms Move (The Tribune Daily Newspaper; retrieved 04/05/2017)


Blog Title: PM Christie responds to critics of Bahamian ‘Carnival’

Carnival 1Head –> Heart –> Hands.

This is the physiological process to forge change, described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean (Page 20). As experienced on a daily basis by people attempting to “quit smoking”, change is near impossible without engaging those three body parts. The book, serving as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) describes the linked application of those three symbolic body parts, as follows:

  • Head – Plans, Models and Strategies
  • Heart – Community Ethos
  • Hands – Actions, Implementations, Advocacies

According to the below news article, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas wants to forge change in his homeland. He wants to incorporate a new festival, based on the model of Carnival and Madri Gras, so as to glean some of the massive economic harvests around those events in the Caribbean and other Western Hemisphere destinations.

Since initiating this plan in Spring 2013, cyber-space and public commentary have been awash with feedback: some in favor; most opposed.

Albeit he is inspired by good motives, the publishers declare that something is missing in the Prime Minister’s plans: Best practices.

Excerpts from original source article: PM Christie responds to critics of Bahamian ‘Carnival’
Date: April 25, 2014
By: Erica Wells, Managing Editor

Prime Minister Perry Christie has assured critics of the Government’s plan to create a Bahamian Carnival or Mardi Gras that the festival will be “essentially” Bahamian and that a special committee will be appointed to prepare the country and the world for the initiative.

The government, Christie says, sees the festival as both a major economic intervention and a cultural expansion.

“It will be essentially Bahamian but also include thousands of visitors who will be attracted by what will be an absolutely fabulous affair,” said Christie.

Anthropologist and author Dr. Nicolette Bethel, who is also a former director of culture, has been one of the biggest critics of the proposed festival.

Prime Minister Christie said for the groups to be licensed, they would have to form themselves into a company and operate as a business.

“This is a massive undertaking which will receive very careful consideration of the government,” he said.

“This is very necessary as the corporate groups will be advertising abroad and inviting persons to purchase costumes online as well as from store fronts in a cultural village or elsewhere.”

The prime minister said carnival is part of a worldwide masquerade industry.

He said the industry has been successful in attracting costume makers, wire benders, painters, designers and performers at some of the largest festivals in the world.

“It has an export dimension. We know of major festivals in Trinidad, Brazil, Toronto, Barbados, New York, Miami and London. Carnival in the diaspora generates hundreds of millions of dollars and creates many jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

“It is big business and it requires business planning, management, marketing of products and organizational structure,” said Christie.

Prime Minister Christie said costumes from carnival inspired designers show up in New York, Toronto, Notting Hill, London, Miami and many other centers in the U.S.

Source: The Nassau Guardian Online. Posted 06/22/2013; retrieved 04/24/2014 from: http://www.thenassauguardian.com/index.phpoption=com_content&view=article&id=40021&Itemid=59

The Go Lean roadmap is different! It employs best practices for assessing, strategizing and implementing change. The book commences with the practice to assess current landscapes; this is what strategists call “Understand the market / Plan the business”. Page 44 presents these questions:

• Who are our customers and what exactly do they want?

• Who are our competitors; how do we stack up against them?

The book then proceeds to answer these and other strategy queries, accordingly.

carnival 2Events/festivals are paramount in the Go Lean roadmap: the optimization of existing events and the introduction of new events. This advocacy is detailed on Page 191 as being supplemental to the goal of enhancing tourism (Page 190).

What are the prospects for this new Bahamas Carnival/Lenten festival?

On the surface, it seems far-fetched, as the Bahamas does not have a Lenten ethos. All the competitive destinations (Rio De Janeiro, New Orleans and Trinidad) have elevated lent habits (Ash Wednesday to Good Friday), so that Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday actually has significance in preparation of this hallowed Lenten season. Without this ethos, it is hard, though not impossible, to forge a new tradition, festival or business model. But the mediocre financial investment, announced in the foregoing article – $1 million as opposed to $3 million, makes the success of initiating and promoting a new event an insurmountable obstacle.

The publishers of the Go Lean roadmap wish the Prime Minister good fortune with his plans, but this execution does not appear to be lean, within “best practices”. More is needed; much more! There should be more focus on “Head, Heart & Hands” principles. As a contrast, notice the detailed strategies, tactics, actions and advocacies for new events in the Go Lean roadmap:

Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Non Government Org’s. Page 25
Impact the Future Page 26
Foster Genius – Performance Excellence Page 27
Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Customers – Business Community Page 47
Strategy – Customers – Visitors / Tourists Page 47
Strategy – Competitors – Event Patrons Page 55
Separation of Powers – Emergency Mgmt. Page 76
Separation of Powers – Tourism Promotion Page 78
Separation of Powers – Sports & Culture Page 81
Separation of Powers – Fairgrounds Admin. Page 83
Separation of Powers – Turnpike Operations Page 84
Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Ways to Improve Intelligence Gathering Page 182
Ways to Improve [Service] Animal Husbandry Page 185
Ways to Enhance Tourism Page 190
Ways to Impact Events Page 191
Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196
Ways to Impact Hollywood [& Media Industry] Page 203
Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Ways to Promote Music Page 231

In summary, festivals/events are important, so they require lean administration and executions. They empower economics and fortify cultural pride. In all, they make the Bahamas, by extension the entire Caribbean, a better place to live, work, and play.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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