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Contestants in the Miss Carival 2016 pageant.  (iWN photo)
Contestants in the Miss Carival 2016 pageant. (iWN photo)

There will be no Miss Carival pageant as part of Vincy Mas 2017.

Amidst declining revenue, the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) says it will shelve the show this year as it tries to decide the way forward.

The show was first held in 1985 and this year will be the second time since then that there has not been a pageant, the other being in 1996. The reigning Miss Carival is Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Djennicia Francis.

Chair of the CDC, Ricardo Adams, made the announcement Tuesday night at the media launch of Vincy Mas 2017 — the 40th anniversary of the event as summer, rather than pre-Lenten festival.

“… we have decided that we are going to give Miss Carival a rest and allow us to look at how we can do some rejuvenation to the event, look at how we refocus and market and attract people support the event,” he later told iWitness News.

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Adams, who is into his first year as chair of the CDC, told iWitness News, “One of the things is that when you are operating in an environment where funds are not unlimited, you sometimes have to take a look at where your revenues and expenses are for each one of the shows.

“And we did that for each one of the shows and we recognised that there’s quite a significant differential between the expenses and the revenue of Miss Carival.”

The CDC markets Miss Carival as the premier regional beauty pageant in the Caribbean.

Ricardo Adams
Chair of the Carnival Development Corporation, Ricardo Adams. (iWN photo)

The show brings as many as nine contestants, in addition to the Vincentian delegate, to St. Vincent, where they compete against each other for cash prizes and other gifts.

The contestants are housed at Young Island Resort and their activities in SVG often includes motorcades, visits to business houses, and, sometimes, the Grenadines.

Adams told iWitness News that the CDC has put the show on hold this year because it needed to figure out how it reduces the losses if it is going to going to continue with the pageant.

“And, perhaps, we have to look at different options. Is it the best time of year? Is it a shows that we need to franchise locally? Is it a show that we need to franchise regionally? All of the options are there, but, in order for us to be able to study it carefully, and come out with the best win-win for everyone, we thought it best that we use the opportunity this year, put in our birthday party, and give us that year to be able to refocus on what is the best way going forward.”

By birthday party, he was referring to “EVO4.0”, the event that will be held in the Miss Carival slot this year — an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Vincy Mas as a summer event.

Adams told iWitness News that the CDC is starting this year to be able to assess and analyse what is best for each of the show, going forward.

“How can we grow the revenue associated with the show? How can we manage the expenses associated with the show? How can we make the show more attractive to the patrons? How can we bring more people into the Victoria Park?

“… let’s be realistic. Even if I got sponsorship to cover an entire show but I took it to the Victoria Park but only 10 people are there, it perhaps doesn’t make sense doing the show.”

It is not only about the money, Adams said, adding, “But it’s also about a question of how we can provide a quality product for patrons and bring them to whatever venue we choose — which may or may not be Victoria Park — but bring them to whatever venues we choose so that we can expose people to the culture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and, particularly, in our case, the carnival and the carnival component.”

But with the Miss Carival show cancelled this year, the Miss SVG pageant will still be held in May –outside the main Carnival period.

The winner of Miss SVG represents the country in the Miss Carival pageant.

Adams told iWitness News that the CDC looked at a number of factors and one of the issues is that they don’t want to be “too drastic in terms of what we do with Miss SVG this year”.

He said that should they decide that Miss Carival is best placed within the Carnival season, they don’t want a situation where they would have moved the Miss SVG pageant in and out of the carnival season within such a short period of time, “… which creates confusion in terms of the timing and the preparation period and whatever.

“So, this year, we thought that we would leave it where it is because we’ve got another show that is going to fit into the carnival period. Maybe, in the future, it is something we can look at.”
Adams said the CDC will use the opportunity of not having Miss Carival this year to have its big 40th-anniversary party, which is called “Evolution 40”, marketed as “EVO4.0”

The show will be held on July 7.

“Basically, that show is going to be our birthday party that celebrates the best of Vincy Mas over the past 40 years,” Adams told iWitness News.

He said the show is going to be “a combination of different aspects of our culture”.