Carnival restructuring policy released in ‘National Gazette’

Carnival restructuring policy  released in ‘National Gazette’

PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Justice, under the guidance of former Minister Anna Richardson, has published a new policy aimed at restructuring St. Maarten Carnival.

    As stated in the recent publication of the “National Gazette”, the decision followed in response to a number of challenges currently facing the annual event, including inconsistent management structures, financial instability, under-representation of local culture, safety concerns and the need for better integration of technological advancements. Additionally, there was growing concern about carnival’s ability to attract and retain international visitors in the face of increasing global competition among cultural festivals.

    The Restructuring Policy for St. Maarten Carnival is designed to secure the future sustainability, cultural integrity and economic influence of carnival, while also laying the groundwork for its continued expansion and success, according to the document.

    The policy document outlines a strategic approach to rejuvenating the St. Maarten Carnival by focusing on key areas such as event planning, stakeholder engagement, financial management, cultural representation, safety protocols and marketing strategies.

    The goal of the policy is to showcase the diverse cultural heritage of St. Maarten through the carnival, highlighting local art, traditions and history. It also aims to establish a transparent management system to ensure smooth organisation, financial accountability and collaboration with stakeholders. The policy also aims to boost the carnival’s impact on the local economy by attracting more tourists, supporting local businesses and creating employment opportunities.

    Safety and security measures will be implemented to protect participants, spectators and the community, while sustainable practices will be integrated to minimise environmental impact and promote social responsibility throughout the planning and execution of carnival events.

    The restructuring process is set to be carried out in three main phases. Phase one involves a comprehensive review of current carnival operations, engagement with key stakeholders for input and the establishment of a task force to oversee the restructuring process through activities like stakeholder workshops, public consultations and benchmarking studies.

    Phase two will include drafting legislation, setting up governance bodies and forming strategic partnerships. Building on insights gathered, detailed policy guidelines and legal frameworks will be developed to support the new carnival structure.

    For the final phase the new carnival management structure will be rolled out, training programmes for stakeholders will be initiated and new operational processes will be implemented. A monitoring and evaluation system will be put in place to track progress, gather feedback and make necessary adjustments.

    The policy also introduces a new entity, the St. Maarten Carnival Planning and Management Committee, with strong government involvement through various ministries to enhance transparency, accountability and cultural integration in carnival planning and execution. The proposed two-board structure aims to improve decision-making and operational efficiency by involving direct carnival stakeholders and professionals in the governance process.

    Drawing comparisons with Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival framework, the policy underlines the need for legislative changes to accommodate growing stakeholder groups and ensure efficient festival management. While the two countries share common goals of enhancing their carnivals for cultural integrity and economic impact, their strategies differ in governance structures and stakeholder engagement, the document stated.

    According to the policy, the proposed restructuring aims to establish a robust framework for governance, management and stakeholder engagement of the St. Maarten Carnival, ensuring its sustainability and growth for years to come.

    “By implementing these recommendations, the St. Maarten Carnival is poised to achieve greater cultural vibrancy, inclusivity and international appeal, ultimately contributing to the social and economic fabric of St. Maarten. This policy document serves as a roadmap for transforming the carnival into a world-class event that honours our rich heritage while embracing innovation and community participation,” according to the Restructuring Policy for St. Maarten Carnival.

The Daily Herald

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