One of the newest entrants on the carnival mas band scene, ORO Luxury Carnival, continues to raise the bar as it relates to its program of activities for Spicemas 2020. ORO hosted a Carnival Design Workshop at the Grenada National Stadium on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, at which 3 students from 7 government secondary schools attended a full-day workshop that focused on aspects of Grenada’s traditional mas’ and offered the students, who were also accompanied by a teacher from each school, an opportunity to learn first-hand some of the basic concepts of carnival costume design.
The event was endorsed by the Spicemas Corporation, and included a presentation by Spicemas CEO, Kelvin Jacob, who spoke at the opening ceremony and facilitated a presentation on Grenada’s traditional mas’ for the students. Also attending and speaking at the opening ceremony, was Shirma Wells, CEO, Grenada Cultural Foundation; and Dr Cheryl Bernabe-Bishop, Head of Curriculum in the Ministry of Education.
Head of Marketing for ORO Luxury Carnival, Sheldon Keens-Douglas, addressed the group of excited students and challenged them to think of carnival as a business enterprise that could sustain many entrepreneurial careers. He said, “When we started ORO Luxury Carnival, we wanted to look at carnival from the perspective of the masquerader, the sponsor and the entrepreneur. ORO, which is the Spanish word for ‘Gold’ was chosen to represent the band, as the group of local professionals behind the band set out to create a ‘gold standard’ in the local Carnival industry.
At our first event held in December 2019, where we introduced the concept of ORO to sponsors, media, and influencers, we also introduced the idea of looking at ways to build a sustainable resource base of young Carnival entrepreneurs. This workshop that is being held today is the realization of that early vision. We also want to thank Geo. F Huggins Grenada Ltd, Sandals Grenada, VINSHE Inc., and DutyFree Caribbean for recognizing the value of what we were doing and instantly lending their support as sponsors.” Students at the workshop were presented with a Certificate of Participation.
The design aspect of the workshop was facilitated by ORO’s Chief Designer, Sandra Hordatt, who is based in Trinidad and has over 20 years of experience in some of the twin-island republic’s best-known carnival mas’ bands. Sandra expressed her delight at the enthusiasm of the students and the way in which they applied their newly gained knowledge in the group exercise to design and create a carnival costume which formed part of the day’s activities. Also assisting with the practical design element was well-known local designer, Damani Brizan, who is half of the family design duo, Shireen & Damani Brizan.