By Shaliza Hassanali
Approximately $6 million is up for grabs for bandleaders in the upcoming 2011 Carnival. Though the money sounds attractive, president of the National Carnival Bandleaders’ Association (NCBA) David Lopez said this figure represents less than one third of what the association had sought from the Government for next year’s Greatest Show on Earth.
The NCBA had a figure closer to $20 million. However, they would be afforded only $7.5 million to cover their Carnival activities and to pay bandleaders who make it to winners’ row. The first prize for the King and Queen titles will remain at $120,000 each, Lopez said.
Admitting that they were not satisfied with the figure given, Lopez said the association would have to find ways to generate its own money rather than dip into Government’s coffers. Every year, Lopez said, Carnival generates millions for the country. At a news conference in Newtown yesterday, Lopez rolled out plans and proposals for the upcoming season. He spoke about a number of problems, ranging from congestion “On the Drag” at the Queen’s Park Savannah during the Parade of the Bands, vending and a change of route for J’Ouvert masqueraders.
These issues will be addressed by the Port-of-Spain Regional Corporation, T&T Police Service and other stakeholders.Lopez also disclosed that ten new bands will be joining the Parade of the Bands to make Carnival bigger, better and brighter. Of the ten bands, four will be large. With Carnival going back to the Savannah, Lopez appealed to bandleaders not to exceed the time alloted for occupying the stage.
Source: Trinidad Guardian
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