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Kalicharan cops 7th consecutive win, but pleads ‘We need more money’

Friday, March 7, 2014
Bandleader Ivan Kalicharan, fourth from left, and his wife Wendy, centre, celebrate with friends and family at the band’s mas camp on Harris Street, San Fernando last night after being announced winner the 2014 San Fernando Carnival Band of the Year, large category. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL

Despite the jubilation of Kalicharan Carnival copping its 21st Band of the Year title, bandleader Ivan Kalicharan is calling for greater financial support from the Government for bands competing in San Fernando. As cheers and congratulations poured in for the band’s seventh consecutive victory, Kalicharan expressed his discontent over last year’s $100,000 prize money, which he only received last month. 


Up to yesterday, the convenor of Carnival, deputy mayor Junia Regrello, and members of the San Fernando Carnival Committee were still calculating the prizes, which are expected to be issued by month-end. Speaking at the San Fernando City Hall yesterday, Kalicharan said, “I feel as the Government is giving calypsonians and steelbands, they should assist bandleaders, because there are bandleaders in San Fernando who still block up with galvanise and cardboard in their mas camps.


“No $100,000 can pay for the hard work that goes into Carnival and after the $100,000, the Government takes 25 per cent of that as tax, so you end up with 75 per cent. When you share that among the workers, you have nothing to get, you end up losing your money.” However, his discontent was not enough to keep him out of competition, as he said San Fernando Carnival continues to be great. 


The band’s colourful presentation of Beats portrayed the various genres of music around the world. It also copped the King of the Band and Queen of the Bands, titled We Beat Pan Music and Sweet Soca and Chutney, played by the mother-and-son team of Gloria Dallsingh and Marlon Rampersad. Rampersad also won the prize for male Masquerader of the Year while the band was adjudged first in the Creative Topical category in the parade of the bands competition. Always confident, Kalicharan said he had expected to win this year’s competition.  


Fireworks comes in 2nd 
For the second year running, Fireworks Promotion finished as runners-up, but no one from the band was there for the results. Speaking by phone, bandleader Raju Nathu said no one informed his band that results were being announced yesterday. The band’s presentation of Mysteries Beneath also placed first in the Fantasy category of the parade of the bands competition. Nathu said, “We were hoping to come first but the final results is what counts.” After learning of Kalicharan Carnival’s victory, he said. “We expected that, it was happening all the time. 


“They gave us second last year, second again this year. It will not stop us from continuing. We have been struggling over the years and we will continue to play. It will be nice to get a place so that we can get some returns because Carnival bands in San Fernando don't make much money so we look forward to the prize money to offset some of our expenses,” Nathu said. Finishing third in the large band category were Lionel Jagessar and Associates with their portrayal of Smoke Signal. The Fancy Indian band was also adjudged Band of Carnival Monday ahead of both Kalicharan Carnival and Fireworks Promotions. Skiffle Steel Orchestra also retained their Steelband of the Year title.


Mayor: Post-mortem soon

Speaking at the meeting, San Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein said a post mortem will be done on this year’s celebration and a committee will be established within coming weeks to start planning for  2015 Carnival. Hosein said, “We immediately plan to establish a committee to look at next year’s Carnival with the view of encouraging more people to play mas in San Fernando. The mandate of that committee includes seeking ways and means to privatise, as much as possible, the Carnival activities. These includes children’s Carnival and the development of new competitions with the target being to match or increase prize money for all major competitions so that it is equivalent to all other national competitions in Trinidad.”


South Results

Band of the Year: Medium
1 Southern Mas Associates – A Native Shindig
2 D Jammerz International – Special Forces
3 Legall and Friends – Paradisedae (Birds of Paradise)

Band of the Year: Small
1 Pan Mas Tradition – Up, Up and Away
2 Jennings Mas Associates – East, West, North and South
3 Roger Mohammed Productions – Tribal Fantasy

Tuesday Night Steelband Competition
1 San City Steel Symphony
2 Skiffle Steel Orchestra
3 Old Tech Steel Orchestra

Monday Night Mas
1 D Garage People – Amazonia
2 Royalty & Friends– Midnight Cruise
3 2 Bad Promotions –Social Network

J’Ouvert Bands Traditional
1 Montano & Friends  – Breaking New
2 D Blue Boys – Anthicks in T&T
3 D Play Boyz – All is Not Green 


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