Seychelles and friends ready to party in 2013 Carnival!


Minister St Ange  Mrs Grandcourt  

Moved from the streets of Victoria to the conference centre at the eleventh hour after threats of bad weather, the ceremony was nonetheless a colourful, vibrant one filled with various displays from a variety of cultures, truly turning the night into a ‘melting pot of cultures’.

Present at the ceremony was President James Michel, former President James Mancham, Vice-President Danny Faure, and many other high-ranking government officials.

Also there were the President of the Regional Council of Reunion Island Didier Robert, and many delegates representing various countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and many more, as well as the biggest-ever delegation of foreign media teams in Seychelles to cover the event.

Representatives of the countries co-hosting this year’s carnival – Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zimbabwe

Before the carnival was officially launched, the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, told the audience that the event is a unique chance to showcase to the watching world our respective cultures.

Amid foot-tapping, attention-grabbing song and dance performances from local artists, there were also captivating performances from overseas performers like Goa, Indonesia, Brazil, and Reunion, who kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, if not on their feet during the ceremony. From samba-dancing Brazil, to sega-singing Reunion to acrobatics-performing Seychelles, the kick-off to the carnival was one worth seeing.

When addressing the guests, the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange said to get to where we are today the Seychellois people needed to take ownership of the carnival, and year after year, the organisers have appreciated the willingness of the people to take part and the faithful contributions from the business community.
“This event is so needed by the country for our tourism industry to consolidate itself, and because of the visibility that it brings to Seychelles,” he said.

“The carnival is a platform where countries, regardless of their political and religious beliefs and race, can gather together and celebrate together with the most reputed carnival in the world, this being the Carnaval International de Victoria.”

Minister St Ange then announced that the Seychelles tourism industry had come together and collected over R1 million for those affected by the recent spell of bad weather, which caused severe damage to various infrastructure, such as homes, roads and buildings.

Minister St Ange gave the cheque to the chairperson of the National Disaster Relief Fund Lekha Nair, who expressed on behalf of the government, the appreciation for the unity and solidarity of the tourism sector with the people. He then said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had also just pledged a donation of building materials to help in the re-construction of infrastructure, and that details would be given in due course.

A partial view of guests at the opening ceremony

A number of local artists who had taken part in a recent song competition for the carnival performed their winning songs, including top-prize winner Ion Kid.

The ceremony ended with all the performers coming on stage to take part in a last song, Joe Samy’s Vini, vini au Carnaval.
The main carnival float parade, which promises to be a colourful and vibrant affair, will take place this afternoon across several streets of Victoria.