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Permanent Carnival venue still on the cards
CEO of the National Carnival Commission Clarence Moe says plans to construct a permanent venue for Carnival celebrations are still being considered by the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. Moe told the T&T Guardian that having a permanent structure with the necessary facilities and infrastructure to accommodate the various Carnival events would help to develop the festival and to present local shows at a higher standard.
He added that a permanent home for Carnival would also increase the revenue derived from Carnival celebrations. Late last year, Carnival 2013 preparations began with the erection of small vendor booths along the perimeter of the Queen’s Park Savannah. Construction also began on the Grand Stand and Carnival stage in the Savannah which houses events such as the Dimanche Gras, Panorama and the parade of the bands on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Moe said in addition to the erection of the stage, Grand Stand and vending booths at the Savannah, structures would be erected at the Piccadilly Greens, Adam Smith Square, Victoria Square and at designated areas in downtown Port-of-Spain. These ramps and bleachers will accommodate the parade of the bands and judging procedures at different locations.
Moe told the T&T Guardian that tenders for the construction of many of these structures are now being evaluated so he could not say exactly how much was being spent to erect these structures for Carnival 2013. He said, however, that the NCC intended to keep its spending within the budget of around $129 million.
He said plans for a permanent Carnival venue, like the National Carnival and Entertainment Centre, are still under consideration by the NCC’s parent ministry—the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. In 2006, at the launch of that year’s Carnival celebrations, Joan Yuille-Williams, the culture minister at the time, announced that the Grand Stand and the Savannah stage would be demolished to make way for the multi-million dollar National Carnival Entertainment Centre (NCEC).
The centre was set to include a retractable stage cover, studios for performers, a conference centre, food and beverage areas, administrative offices, a modern media centre and a Carnival museum. When the People’s Partnership came into power in 2010, its first Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Gypsy Peters said the Carnival main stage would return to the Savannah by February 10, of that year.