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More funding needed for Carnival to develop—Munro
Adequate funding and investment are needed to transform Carnival 2014 into a lucrative venture and fuel additional exposure internationally. Chairman of Caribbean Prestige Foundation William Munro made this comment in light of the view held by some that he should be consulted in order to produce a successful Carnival. Munro came in for tremendous kudos for creating the highly successful Soca Monarch competition which took place on Fantastic Friday.
Munro said although he had not made the final tally for C2k13, Soca Monarch “cost more than the $23 million it cost last year.” Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas said C2k13 was produced at $90 million. On March 2, Legacy bandleader Big Mike suggested National Carnival Commission (NCC) seek Munro’s assistance to organise and manage Carnival.
He made the comment when NCC hosted its Carnival stakeholders consultation, Crystallising the Role of the NCC, at the UTT Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain. Among those present were chairman Allison Demas, NCC deputy chairman Don Sylvester, Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz and Douglas.
Asked what should be done to improve C2k14, Munro said, “It is impossible to speak about development of Carnival without proper funding and investment. Everything hinges around investment. If they want to get people involved in Carnival, they have to invest.” Munro added, “Look at the investment and get stakeholders with creative ideas to sit down and come up with the proper suggestions and solutions.
Even if it costs, the Government should invest properly.” Citing the analogy of a hotel, Munro said it must start by constructing a proper foundation. “It is a question of funding. Don’t say the economy cannot afford it. Carnival is an investment. If the return is more than the investment, you are on the right track. You spend the taxpayers’ monies in a proper way,” said Munro.
Soca Monarch $2 million prize a great move
Reverting to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s decision to pump $2 million into C2k11 Soca Monarch prizes, Munro hailed it as a “great move.” “We had so much interest and participation. Artistes, public and visitors from Caribbean islands all came on board. It was the best Soca Monarch ever,” said Munro.
To compound it, Munro said Soca Monarch created a lot of jobs. “The Soca Monarch created thousands of jobs. It benefited painters, hardware dealers, tailors, hairdressers, nail technicians, designers, taxi drivers, vendors, bandanna sellers, souvenirs shops and caterers. Think how many jobs would be created if Carnival was properly funded and marketed,” added Munro.
Get entire Cabinet involved
Asked about the NCC meeting, Munro said it was important to have all the Cabinet ministers in attendance. “If all of the ministers are present, they would gather information and take it back for discussion. It would not just stay on the shelves. They would act upon it.” Munro said he did not speak at the meeting.
“I don’t think one minute was enough for me to air my views. It wasn’t enough time. But I am willing to help NCC in whatever capacity,” said Munro. Meanwhile, he did not write off Demas’ plans. Demas came in for blows for the Dimanche Gras fiasco.
“I believe her heart is in the right place. I have confidence in Demas. If she gets the right assistance and guidance, she can pull it off. We have to unite for Carnival.” Economists Indera Sagewan-Alli and Hayden Blades had called on Government to properly define the Carnival product in order to successfully market it.
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