Caribana must remain true to core values

Dear Editor:

TRUST: Trust between the CCC (Caribbean Cultural Committee) and its stakeholders has always been an issue. Some board members, a minority, demonstrated arrogance and some of the stakeholders did the same regardless of which board member they might have been talking with. It’s a grudge they hold on for life. Sometimes you have let things go.

LOCAL CALYPSONIANS: I recall the current Chair, Mr. Gomez protested publicly about this issue. The bottom line is revenue, and if they cannot sell tickets to an event the event had to be stacked with “headliners” (with) a few of the locals placed in these shows. The Feds money was for Canadian talent, that’s why the Island would have a lot of local talent of all types of artistes, not just calypsonians.

The calypsonians were given the resources to make CDs to sell to help with some income. Not sure how much they sold; the person behind that idea was criticized hugely even by some calypsonians.

THE FUNDS BEING LATE: Primarily because the Audit was late. A late audit comprised of many things – invoices for services not in, a huge one, including from the Mas Bandleaders. At some point when the CCC used to get about $800,000, the Bandleaders received $510,000, the Steelbands, $80,000, the Calypsonians $30,000-$35,000. The CCC would remain with the balance of $180,000-$185,000 to put on the entire event. Although the Stakeholders were given the funds, the CCC had to be accountable for the funds to the City. Obtaining receipts for expenditures was like pulling teeth.

These are some of the issues where tempers flared – the NO RESPECT SYNDROME. I am almost certain today when (the FMC) asks for receipts for expenditures, they would definitely have them and have them “on time”.

FMC VERY WELL PAID: I am certain they are very well paid. From what I understand (I stand to be corrected) the CEO, Joe Halsted …got $72,000 and the CFO, Eddison Doyle got $110,000. That was what the CCC got to run the entire festival.

BANDLEADERS SNUBBED BECAUSE OF RACE: Possibly. Don’t know, but people from Trinidad & Tobago understand there are ALL races involved in Carnival, not just Blacks, although Carnival came from Emancipation. (Has anyone) checked lately to see what the racial ratio is in Trinidad? Has anyone taken the time to look at the races that play Mas here?

ONE MORE THING MR. EDITOR: I know this will prompt some heated discussion, but Carnival here was started based on the Trinidad-style Carnival. Yes, the make up of the original people at the CCC were a mix of all islands. They were a group where all knew each other because there were (few) Caribbean people here at the time, but lately it seems that Trinidadians cannot say that Caribana is Trinidad Carnival. Ninety-eight per cent of the people playing mas on Caribana day are Trinidadian.

It is the same way (Joe) Halstead is saying Caribana is “multicultural”. Caribana has to remain true to its core values, it comes from the bowels of emancipation, it has evolved over the years, and it must be clearly understood, being multicultural and celebrating multiculturalism are two different things.

ALL ARE INVITED, ANY RACE, COLOUR, CREED OR RELIGION to come celebrate with us “our” culture. JOIN A BAND, PUT ON A COSTUME AND DANCE TO SOCA & PAN; not bring your dance and music.

Can you see someone going into the Santa Claus parade with Pan and Soca music down the Parade route? Now that I think about it, that might not be a bad idea. LOL.

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