Former Culture Minister Arley Gill to Chair SMC
“Spicemas is some nine months away and a carnival of some type may be possible. Of course, a lot will depend on our COVID situation before a final decision is made by government,’’
St George’s, November 24, 2021: Attorney at law and cultural expert, Arley Gill, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), is back serving the organization.
He has accepted an invitation to become the new chairman of the SMC.
“I accepted the offer to chair the SMC after deep consideration and profound discussions with the Minister of Culture, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford,’’ sad Gill.
The Minister, in welcoming Gill to the SMC, also thanked the corporation’s outgoing board and former chair Genevieve Gibbs for her outstanding service.
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Gill, now Grenada’s Ambassador to CARICOM, was a Senator and Minister of Culture when the SMC was set up in 2011.
In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellations of most local, regional and international mass gathering events, including Spicemas and other Caribbean carnivals.
However, St Kitts is holding its annual carnival next month, with limited numbers at in-person events and without a street parade.
Other Caribbean countries that have announced plans for carnival-type activities in 2022 include Trinidad, St Maarten and St Vincent & The Grenadines.
“Spicemas is some nine months away and a carnival of some type may be possible. Of course, a lot will depend on our COVID situation before a final decision is made by government,’’ said Gill, a cultural trailblazer.
“Nonetheless, I can assure you that once sanctioned by government, whatever format a 2022 Spicemas takes – virtual or otherwise – it would be a festival of a high standard; one incorporating all the elements of our carnival, with the objective of producing a world-class carnival arts product.’’
The chief executive officer of SMC is Kelvin Jacob and the Gill-led board includes an official representing soca and calypso; as well as Chris Edwards of the Mas Bands’ Association and Victor Ashby of the Grenada Steelbands’ Association.
Among others on the board of directors are the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, as well as representatives drawn from sectoral groups such as the Grenada Tourism Authority; National Lotteries Authority; business; and police and the legal fraternity.