For Immediate Release

Source: BET Digital Networks

Contact: Bevan Springer + 1 201 861-2056

Photograph of Cybelle Brown available at:


CASTRIES, St. Lucia (January 18, 2007) – St. Lucia’s second annual Food and Rum festival will be even bigger and better in 2007, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership with BET J, the flagship channel of BET Digital Networks.

Cybelle Brown, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with BET Digital Networks, said her company had invested in the 2006 festival – which was presented by the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, MACO Caribbean Living and BET J – and upcoming television exposure will help organizers expand it significantly during its second staging from November 1 to 4, 2007.

“The event in October was a tremendous success and we are thrilled to have made a contribution to its sustainability,” said Brown, whose network worked with a local St. Lucian crew, including host Portia Mogal to produce a half hour special on the festival to be aired in the new year.

Brown said BET J looks forward to continuing working with her native St. Lucia and other Caribbean destinations in 2007 to explore similar partnerships which deliver measurable results in a highly competitive tourism environment.

Festival organizer Allen Chastanet, who was recently appointed St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, said the event will develop into a major “linkages” event in years to come, promoting the nexus between tourism, agriculture and art.

A highlight of this year’s event was the rum pavilion, where patrons sampled the region’s rums and where food demonstrations conducted by some of the world’s top chefs whetted the appetites of culinary enthusiasts, along with talks and samples from rum, food and chocolate experts.

The Jazz rhythms of Jamaican Monty Alexander, the Reggae vibrations of Third World and the Soca sounds of Montserrat’s Arrow all helped the rum and food go down smoothly.

St. Lucia was recently voted the top Caribbean destination in the 2006 annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards. The award recipients were chosen by Travel Weekly readers, a collection of agents, industry marketing executives and chief executive officers of the world’s largest travel companies throughout North America.


BET J is the flagship channel of BET Digital Networks, a subsidiary of BET Networks and Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B). Born from the historic BET Jazz Channel, BET J is a music, entertainment, lifestyle and multicultural hybrid that melds classic and contemporary jazz with vintage soul, classic R&B, festive Caribbean and today’s Neo-Soul. Wrapped around its musical play list is an adult-targeted menu of short films, celebrity interviews, reality, pop culture, nostalgic retrospectives and engaging conversation. BET J reaches 26 million subscribers in the United States and the Caribbean through DirecTV and select markets served by Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.


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