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$2.7M for 170 steelbands with no sponsors

By SEAN DOUGLAS Friday, February 14 2014

SOME 170 steelbands that lack private sponsors will altogether receive State help of $2.7 million, said Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Dr Lincoln Douglas, at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), St Clair.

He said TT has 100 conventional steelbands that are not sponsored (up from 96 bands last year) and each will be given $20,000, for a sum of $2 million. Douglas said TT has 70 single pan steelbands (compared to 73 bands last year) which will each get $10,000, for a total of $700,000. Douglas said Government is committed to the culture of TT and Carnival’s transition from a festival to an industry. “We consider that these commitments are very important,” he assured.

Asked if the financial records of Carnival groups were up to date, Douglas replied, “All the organisations have submitted audited reports and their financials to us. However that does not mean that it doesn’t require further monitoring or evaluation. So we will continue, through our National Carnival Commission, to audit and to ask for the audited statements and the financials, so we could best ascertain how the finances are being used.” Asked if a planned “pool party” at this Sunday’s Panorama will detract from the appreciation of steelband music, Douglas said Pan Trinbago in its wisdom has decided that the pool will facilitate young people to participate in the steelpan.

He vowed to pass in to see how the pool party was faring, as did a half-joking Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan.

Khan earlier invited members of the public to bring their families to a Carnival Monday night fitness chipping from 6 pm to midnight being hosted by the Ministries of Health and Arts and Multiculturalism, as he urged people to firstly increase their fitness levels, and secondly to practice either abstinence or safe sex.

“I encourage everybody to be there: Tragarete Road and Ariapita Avenue,” said Khan. “We will have the Carnival Monday night chipping for about 45 steelbands and people moving up and down the avenue.”

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