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Ministry of Tourism launches ‘Da Bahamian Ting’ Song Competition
By Travis Cartwright Carroll
Dec 23, 2016 - 5:36:11 AM

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Deadline to submit is January 20

Standing photo: Rik Carey, Mitzi Chipman, Arlene Nash-Ferguson, Audley Dean. Photo: Jamie Bethel.

NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is inviting all Bahamian singers, songwriters and musicians to participate in an exciting song competition designed to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of The Bahamas.

“Da Bahamian Ting’ Song Competition was launched on Wednesday, December 21 by the ministry’s dynamic Culture and Heritage department.

Director of Culture and Heritage Tourism Arlene Nash-Ferguson said the competition is designed to help preserve and promote the rich musical heritage of The Bahamas.

“It is also designed to help stimulate the continuing evolution of Bahamian music by encouraging the development of new material and new artists,” said Nash-Ferguson during a press conference at the British Colonial Hilton. “Thirdly, we want to stimulate Bahamian music as a creative and cultural industry. Fourthly, to develop a vehicle which will bring prominence and prestige to Bahamian music and the associated artists.”

Nash-Ferguson said the ministry will “aggressively” promote the songs and support the music even after the competition.

Contestants have until Friday, January 20, 2017 to submit their songs to the Ministry of Tourism. Following that, 10 finalists will be selected and the winner will be named at the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in Georgetown, Exuma March 9-11. The overall winner will be selected by the public.

Songs must be in a Bahamian genre, Rake N Scrape, Goombay or Junkanoo, and around three minutes long.

The winner will receive $25,000 with second place taking $20,000, third place $15,000, fourth place $10,000 and fifth through 10th $1,000 each.

Rick Carey, of the Cultural Heritage Tourism Department, lauded the competition as a platform for local musicians.

“From my experiences working with local and international musicians there are many benefits to having competitions of this magnitude,” said Carey, who has earned a Grammy Award for his time in Baha Men. “It provides another musical platform for professional and aspiring Bahamian musicians, artists, producers and songwriters.”

Director General at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu said she is looking forward to a large number of submissions, and believes it will be challenging to select just one winner from the amazing talent pool.

“Culture is an important element of a destination’s uniqueness and appeal, and we know that many travelers from around the world visit destinations to experience their food, interact with the people and of course enjoy the music,” Jibrilu said.

“It is our hope that this competition will further showcase our tremendously talented artists and musicians, and all that makes us unique. We also hope it results in the creation of a more vibrant music economy, one that fuels job creation, economic growth, tourism development and artistic growth, and strengthens the country’s brand.”

Application forms and competition rules are available at the Ministry of Tourism, 4th floor, British Colonial Business Centre, #1, Bay Street and all Family Island Tourist Offices.

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