PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has written to Prime Minister William Marlin and Minister Silveria Jacobs requesting the opportunity to manage the St. Maarten Festival Village indefinitely or via a 10-year lease.
President of the SCDF Alston Lourens explained to both Ministers that the Village (SFV) unfortunately remains a facility that is not used optimally as a premier venue to host events on St. Maarten. The SCDF is the largest user of the facility annually with the hosting of Carnival, the only time the facility is used to its max capacity on all levels.
In short, Lourens said, “there is an apparent lack of vision and creativity for the future of the SFV due largely in part to the fact that it is not managed by an entity with a background in event management and hosting.”
As such, the SCDF is requested the opportunity to:
- Be the organization in charge of the management of the activities in the SFV.
- Take responsibility for the maintenance and further structural development of the SFV
- Exploit the usage of the Festival Village to event organizers on St. Maarten, the region and internationally.
- Accommodate Government functions and events in the Festival Village.
With this in place SCDF can then:
- Serve as a facilitator to foreign events and promoters who wish to execute events in Sint Maarten.
- Can equip the SFV up to modern standards to be able to handle a variety of event types.
- Can open the SFV to accommodate many cultural initiatives related to the development of Carnival and Culture in general throughout the year.
- Can begin the development of the SFV to be able to accommodate conferences as well.
- Can seek to make Carnival and the SFV totally sustainable entities.
The aforementioned will be accomplished using various methods of SCDF’s expertise, including but not limited to:
- Drafting a comprehensive plan for attracting users of the SFV.
- Securing corporate sponsors by engaging companies to fulfill their social corporate responsibility (SCR) mandate. (Carnival will be separate).
- Kick off a vibrant Advertising Campaign for the SFV as a venue for every event of every size.
Establish a volunteer coordination plan to involve students and other volunteer workers in the execution of events in the SFV.
- Encourage community involvement in establishing “historical hot spots” in SFV that will feature pieces of St. Maarten History (perhaps even replicas) which can be visited by schools, cruise visitors and more.
“The SCDF has a proven track-record of not only hosting St. Maarten’s largest and most intricate event, Carnival, but our foundation is a professional, creative team of event management specialists with years of experience producing high-quality events of every type and scale. Our passion is managing the behind-the-scenes details to deliver a superior event experience,” Lourens said.
He continued: “St. Maarten's events and event oorganizers is in need a cooperative and innovative venue managed by outside-the-box-thinkers, to assist organizations through the minefield of challenges that currently threaten their funding and social impact. Because the standard methods of creating events are not easily trimmed to fit a venue for greater efficiency, solutions for meeting these challenges must be sought in the administrative areas of venue management. In other words, the SFV must become a viable alternative, via new management, to host local and international events.”
Lourens said Government has placed 48 years of trust in the SCDF to develop the country’s largest calendar event. “We now seek government’s permission in allowing us to finally manage the SFV to its full potential,” he concluded.