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Govt ups Carnival prize $$$
Government has approved a $27.8 million increase in funding for Carnival 2013, Dr Lincoln Douglas, Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, said during yesterday’s weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
He said the increase would assist the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to take Carnival to the next level. “We are looking to take our Carnival and the festivities to a different level. The redesign and enhancements of some of the major events surrounding the Carnival calendar have challenged us in a way that requires additional funding,” Douglas added.
He did not commit to sustain the increases in prize money for the various competitions past this year’s festival.
The initial budget for Carnival 2013 was $126 million. This year’s Carnival funding, totalling almost $154 million, surpasses that of last year, when then Arts Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters approved a budget of $96.5 million but later increased it to $125 million.
Yesterday, Douglas said: “My goal is to work toward the development of the Carnival product in such a way that it will continue to demonstrate that Trinidad is a destination place.”
Douglas said his goal also was to increase the funding so people who made and created art would be able to make a living and export the art and culture that was made in T&T.
He denied the increased prize money was a measure to buy the silence of the mas fraternity which had threatened to boycott the King and Queen competitions if several concerns they raised were not addressed.
He said: “It is unfortunate that bacchanal rhymes with Carnival and people tend to feel that this has to be a reality but I have no bacchanal in my repertoire.
“I am about how we can improve Carnival so people who make mas and make Carnival can make a contribution to the economy of T&T.”
He said he was seeking to improve the quality of the Carnival product. The total figure for yesterday’s approved increase is $27,826,892.
How $27.8m will be split
• $1,000 stipends to pan players which had been reduced to $800 in 2011.
• $2.7 million in assistance to steelbands as the number of unsponsored bands has increased since last year.
• An increase in prize money for Kings and Queens of Carnival competition of $1.6 million.
• Funding for Big Friday King and Queen of Carnival final.
• Funding for Calypso Monarch final and an increase in prize money to calypsonians.
• Funding of $2.5 million for Dimanche Gras show.
• Funding for Trinbago Unified Calypsonians calypso tents.
• Funding for regional Carnivals in Arouca, Siparia, Central and South.
• Funding for a redesigned and redeveloped Carnival Village to be launched two weeks before Carnival.
• Funding for the Band of the Year Competition at $2.2 million
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