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Big changes for 2013 Carnival
Prize money for Carnival competitions next year may increase but Government is looking at getting more out of its investment. That was announced by Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Lincoln Douglas during yesterday’s launch of Carnival 2013 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain.
“We might increase the prize monies but it will come with the responsibility of being an ambassador for T&T and representing the country throughout the year,” Douglas said. Carnival, which will be held on February 11 and 12, is 59 days away. Douglas’ announcement was not the only change proposed for next year’s event.
The Dimanche Gras show, usually held on Carnival Sunday, has been dismantled, with the finals of the Calypso Monarch taking place on Carnival Thursday and the King and Queen Carnival Show taking place on the Friday before Carnival, dubbed “Big Friday”. Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Allison Demas could not say of what the new version of the Dimanche Gras show would consist.
She said a tender request had gone out for people interested in producing the show. She added: “You will see a completely refashioned Dimanche Gras which will not include any competitive aspect. It promises to be a truly spectacular event.”
The Dimanche Gras show has been a part of Carnival since 1948. Other Carnival changes include:
• The semi-final of the Panorama steelband competition will be held over two days and Pan Trinbago will use the finals of the event to celebrate 50 years of the Panorama competition.
• The Calypso Monarch finals will take place on Carnival Thursday.
• Pan Trinbago will hold a steelband competition, called “Groovy Soca-Monday Nite”, on Carnival Monday in four regions:
North — Ariapita Avenue;
South/Centra l— Coffee Street, San Fernando;
East — Arima; and
Tobago — Scarborough.
Demas also announcedthere would be changes to the parade route for next year’s Carnival but could not say what these changes would be. “We are still in discussion with the bands, the mayor of Port-of-Spain and the police,” Demas said. She said the changes would be in terms of an expanded route, time allotted to bands on stage and reducing the number of vehicles that accompany bands.
She added: “Carnival 2013 heralds the beginning of the transformation of the NCC and Carnival in T&T. “Immediately following Carnival 2013, the NCC will switch gears to planning for Carnival 2014 and beyond.”
What Carnival stakeholders say
President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians organisation Lutalo Masimba (Bro Resistance) said the changes were welcome and long overdue. “I expect to see that we get an opportunity to increase our revenue as an organisation as well as an opportunity to develop what I feel is the greatest competition in our Carnival, Calypso Monarch,” Masimba said.
National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) chairman David Lopez said his organisation was happy with the changes but would comment on the expanded route at a later date. Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz also welcomed the changes to Carnival 2013.