Interview of Jean-Philippe Richardson
Jean-Philippe Richardson, President of the FCDSM (the Saint-Martin Carnival Committee).
Jean-Philippe Richardson hello ! You are the President of the FCDSM (the Saint-Martin Carnival Committee) created in March 2011.
Can you tell us moore about this association?
The Saint-Martin Carnival Committee (FCDSM) was created in 2011. It is an association who concentrates on the development and the promotion of events around the carnival in Saint-Martin but also events around sports and others.
There are 18 members in the team who work as volunteers on the different aspects of the organization of the events and help and guide those who wish to create cultural events.
The Carnival is a cultural and historical event that brings people together. It is also the occasion to invite the world to come and discover our culture and have a good and fun time !
The FCDSM objective is to be a powerful and relevant link/actors of the cultural life in St. Martin.
What plans do you have to promote these events?
To achieve our objectives, the committee is preparing a schedule of actions to create awareness amongst the local associations, community centers, schools and the population to inform them that we are here to help them create, organize, promote but also support their events.
Many operations such as fundraising will be put in place with walks, traditional soup sales that will give us the opportunity to meet people and discuss our projects.
We will multiply:
- Our presence on the radio and / or on TV in cultural programs,
- Organize carnival parties,
- Organize creative workshop on Costumes Making, Banners manufacturing in collaboration with groups and association,
- and constantly stay in touch with our partners
The Committee FCDSM was mainly created to restore the carnival and the atmosphere around it!
This year, the carnival will take place in February. What is the program of festivities?
The team around has developed a program taking into consideration the concerns and the whishes of the spectators and the carnival groups. There will be parades and many shows in a village entirely organized by the committee.
In January there are the usual parades that take place before the Mardi Gras in the different neighborhoods. At the end of January, Miss Pitchounette (Little Miss Carnival) was elected and be the carnival queen of the children parade which is the kick-off of the February festivities.
This month and for nearly 12 days straight off, there will be the children parade (Feb 3th), the famous Jouve Jump Up on Saturday (parade at 4am), the Sunday parades (Feb 10th), Mardi Gras on Feb 12th and Ash Wednesday 13 Feb 13th, day when the Kong of carnival is burned!
During all that time, the carnival’s village will welcome local and international performers to the rhythms and sounds of SOCA, ZOUK, COMPAS and more for the happiness of the public!
What are the FCDSM projects to a medium to a long term?
FCDSM hopes that this edition will be a great success and will immediately start working on the program for next year making sure the 2014 Carnival will be bigger, more festive, more fun, more colorful!
We hope to increase the number of groups participating to the festivities in 2014 heartened by this year’s results.
There are more than 100 different nationalities living in St. Martin and we would like to see these cultures represented!
Repositioning our carnival and putting it back on the map in the major carnivals Caribbean is also our goal ! We want people to come from around the world to enjoy and be part of our carnival!
Ultimately, we want the population: residents or tourists, native or not, young or older to completely take part of this event for it to become a tool of social cohesion, a major cultural happening and an economic ressource for our destination.