Douglas: Carnival cost $90 million
By SEAN DOUGLAS Friday, February 15 2013
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Fancy masquerade: Masqueraders in fancy portrayals of European colonial rulers perform at the King and Queen of Carnival finals at Queen's Park Savann...
SOME $90 million was spent on Carnival by Government, Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, Dr Lincoln Douglas, disclosed at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), St Clair.
He described Carnival 2013 as very successful, with increased participation in mas, calypso and steelband, and in attendance at the events staged at different regions around the country. An increase in prize money also led to an increase in the quantity and quality of participation, he said. Some $10 million was given out to some 53 bodies for Carnival in their regions.
He recalled visiting a Nigerian team saying they had never seen such “a quantity and quality of happiness”.
Douglas said, “Carnival was a tremendous success. It allowed people to be creative and to make some money.”
Given various clashes over the ownership of Carnival copyrights, he merely said it was “a very complex issue” that he would seek to get clarified. He said the National Carnival Commission (NCC) would have more details as to whether or not the TT Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCCO) is a recognised body.
Douglas was unfazed by mas winner, Brian Mac Farlane’s criticisms of the domination of Carnival by “beads and bikini” mas, simply saying that Carnival means a lot of different things to different people.
Asked about a low-turnout (and therefore low revenues earned) at some Carnival events, he said Carnival should be assessed in terms of its social meaning for the citizenry.
Pressed about the cost-to-earnings ratio of Carnival, Douglas said success should not be defined in terms of finances. Douglas denied receiving any complaints about the noisy fetes that have sprung up in long-established communities on Carnival Sunday to the annoyance of residents such as at Diamond Vale, Diego Martin. “So many things are happening, that it is an ongoing work to analyse,” he said. “I’m prepared to hear from various communities.” Douglas was unfazed over reports of a fall in attendance of Dimanche Gras which this year was a show rather than a calypso and costume competition. “We had an increased attendance in the regional carnivals which might have reduced the attendance in Port-of-Spain.”
Presumably referring to Carnival Monday and/or Tuesday, he spoke of 15,000 participants in his constituency of Lopinot/Bon Air West, and 5,000 persons in Penal, with Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner chiming in to say Chaguanas had 25,000 revellers. Douglas concluded that Port-of-Spain is not the be all and end all, but that, “Carnival is alive and well and is thriving in all communities”.