Montserrat

Leprechaun’s Revenge is back for Montserrat’s St. Patrick Festival

LEPRECHAUN VALLEY, Montserrat – Combining leprechauns, gold coins, traditional cuisine and world music can only mean that it is time for Leprechaun’s Revenge, an all-night fete happening during the St. Patrick’s Festival on Montserrat.

2014 Leprechaun's Revenge in Leprechaun Valley, Bunkum Bay, Montserrat.
2014 Leprechaun’s Revenge in Leprechaun Valley, Bunkum Bay, Montserrat.

Scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2015, the event is perfect for revelers who love to party under the stars says promoter Roydenn Silcott of Hypnotik Montserrat.
Leprechaun’s Revenge will be held at Leprechaun Valley, Bunkum Bay and features specialty cocktails with Irish-inspired names, cashless bars and food stations.
Silcott said the fete, which is a prelude to the upcoming 10th Anniversary of the Hypnotik family, is targeted at a wide audience. “We start at 8pm for those patrons who want a nice evening out but aren’t into all night partying. Then the hard core revelers can join us later on as we get musically charged by selections from DJs Tyrone, Moto and E-1, while enjoying food even after the sun comes up.”
Hypnotik Montserrat is a one stop media network which boasts the ability to cover events from conception to execution. According to Silcott, “Hypnotik personifies our passion for music, photography, graphic design and event planning.” The chemistry among his brother, Ian Gerald and childhood friends Kemuel Cabey, Michael Skerritt, and Theodore Philip, has resulted in a repertoire of unique, innovative and high energy events.

Be sure to get the limited Cheeky Revenge Apparel of T-shirts, tank tops and mugs. Call 664-493-5295 or 5304 to reserve T-Shirts and Vests.
St. Patrick’s Week Festival is held annually on Montserrat and is a tribute to both the island’s Irish and African heritage.

Three OECS Tech Companies make Top 25 Startups to Watch in 2015

BRADES, Montserrat – Two Montserratian startups and one Dominican-based company have been included in SiliconCaribe.com’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass, a non-profit organisation which teaches tech entrepreneurship.
Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass and siliconcaribe.com

This is the first year that SiliconCaribe, a blog focused on Caribbean technology education is publishing the list. Curator and Tech Evangelist Ingrid Riley said “the list of startups was chosen through a process of submissions by on-the-ground Caribbean tech community leaders, innovation hub managers and startup experts. We also looked at the winners of key Caribbean wide competitions and of course there were a number of wild cards that we discovered.”

“The list represents what Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs are thinking and some of the problems they are seeking to solve. Additionally, based on current and developing trends in the growth of the Caribbean’s Startup Ecosystem, we expect to see, more Caribbean startups overall over the next 3-5years, with a number of global contenders among them. As a result, this list is a snapshot of where things are now and a glimpse of the region’s bright future,” added Riley.

Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.
Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

On the list is ComeSeeTV from Dominica. ComeSeeTV is the Caribbean’s largest portal for streaming original content. Over 11 million people annually access content created by churches, carnivals, governments and entrepreneurs. Clients can create free content, On Demand or Live Stream Pay Per View events.

“We’re very pleased to have been included in this list,” said Lindsay George CEO of ComeSeeTV. “The demand for services continues to increase and we want to be the platform delivering the best service rivalling YouTube, LiveStream and others. The secret is really the people around the region who are creating the content that friends and family globally want to see.”

eVisa (MOVA), an electronic visa application system which provides approval on requests within 24 hours. It also allows the government to collect revenue directly via credit card payments and eliminates the current practices of using consulates in various parts of the world which can take weeks and also does not provide local income. This product is from Lavabits a software development firm based in Montserrat.

Talypso is a voting software which cuts the wait time for results at cultural competitions such as calypso, soca and pageants. It gives real time information on a leader board as the show progresses and results can be announced within 20 minutes of the competitions ending. The team have also developed a Government document system which allows various departments to work on the same project and share documents while maintaining security. Talypso is a product of a Software startup Rovika, run by Manish Valeccha and Dennison Daley.

The Caribbean Tech Startups span the sectors of Internet of Things, eLearning, Online Media, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Surveys, eAgriculture, eHealth, Social Shopping and more.

See the full list at www.siliconcaribe.com.

Calypso Hard to Judge

We do it constantly. Raise our friends and foes to their highest level of incompetence. Empowering them to continue a malaise that has chased us through the centuries. Always willing to pull down and silence those who show aptitude and gifts in areas we are limited or have none.
Saturday night’s judging of the Regional Female Calypso was such an event. But it is not a one-off. It is a recurring theme across a nation which continues to see itself in isolation to the rest of the world. It continues to live as a stranger’s paradise where once you get off the plane or the ferry, the rules of the outside world do not apply and you are at the mercy of the smiles or the knives of the inhabitants.
This is the part where I’m supposed to write don’t get me wrong I love Montserrat. But if loving Montserrat means I continue to perpetuate a lie then I guess I don’t.
The show was brilliant. Those seven women delivered. Some of them delivered better than others. The final decision to award local singer Silvina Kandi Malone the first runner up slot was a let down on a spectacular evening of music and it was something everyone felt palpably.
Judges decisions are final but when the audience in the park, those listening on radio can tell that a singer was out of her league and not on the level of her competitors and she gets a top slot then there is a problem. Kandi’s lyrical dexterity was limited by the song choices, which were simply repetitive and have been for some time. They did not take us on a journey, bringing us to a place that the other six women did every time they stood on the stage….hope. Rather she took us around and around back to a chorus which made you just want the song to end.
It didn’t matter that they were singing about domestic abuse, gun violence, political systems that fail us. I kept longing to hear more from these Caribbean women. Every song ended with the idea that there was hope and we were it.
When the judges choose to award a performer a EC$7000 prize they did not deserve, they not only disempower the singer who believes they won fairly but the audience, who now wonders if the hope we feel is worthwhile acting on.
Maybe the violence and weak politicians the Caribbean suffers from are a result of other judgments that have gone against what was right, what was blatantly a decision not to elevate those who have worked and delivered their rightful rewards.
The Montserrat Festival is struggling. It needs to position itself among a region of festivals which have more money and larger media footprints and this competition is one way it can be done. However, when we do not allow the competition to function with integrity, we miss the chance to elevate a “local” show to the real potential it has…which is an international standard calypso competition which gives women a platform that is unmatched.
We’ve got to stop pretending we have arrived and are the only stars worth shining. Clearly Saturday night’s performance showed we have a ways to go in our writing and in our stage performance. If we don’t allow our people to see how they truly match up against other nations we will continue to allow them to leave the insolation of Montserrat’s shores and enter regional and international competitions believing they have a real chance when they aren’t even up to the basic standards. (This would be a perfect opportunity to discuss our queen pageant history but I shall resist the temptation.)
Stop it.
Give our people a real chance to grow by judging them fairly. When we can see how we rank against other singers, dancers, athletes, we can know how much harder we need to work to get better. Giving our people false ideas of greatness only permits them to be happy with mediocrity and that will not do.
The world is waiting to gobble up our children. We owe it to them to prepare them fully and with the best the world has to offer, not just Montserrat.

BTW Congratulations to Crystal Cummings-Beckles for retaining her crown. She was in a word, brilliant. Her writing prowess was also seen through the performances by Shaunelle McKenzie of St. Vincent (I wanted her to either win or be runner-up. She was that good.) Menell from St. Lucia…the woman delivered. Kandi could benefit from doing what these women have done which is to try different writers; perform regularly throughout the year; and compete in different forums outside their comfort zones so they can grow.