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Whopping $120m for Carnival 2011

By: Yvonne Baboolal

A projected $120 million has been allocated for Carnival 2011 and Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters said it promises to be one of the biggest and best ever hosted in the world.“ There will be many improvements to the Carnivals before...There will be a greater emphasis on high-quality events that would see profits at the micro and macro economic levels,” Peters said at a press conference to launch Carnival 2011 at Femmes Du Chalet (Breakfast Shed) on the Waterfront at Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

He promised that Carnival 2011 would attract “millions” to T&T shores and provide jobs for thousands of people.A pulsating combination of tassa from the St James Tassa Drummers and the Woodbrook Playboys opened the conference.Peters danced with old time mas characters to the music and then took over a drum from one of the tassa players and played with the band.

From the press table placed on the waterfront with the Gulf of Paria in the background, he addressed the gathering after. Peters said he was committed to the development of T&T’s economy. “T&T Carnival is important as an industry that exists beyond our shores,” he said. “It’s happening in the Caribbean and around the world...There is a global market for products that are home-grown.”

He said Carnival had maximum financial viability and assured that T&T’s economy will benefit.The theme of Carnival 2011, Back in “D” Savannah, is significant as the annual festival returns to the Queen’s Park Savannah after some three years, he said.“The Savannah has been home to the Big Stage for most of the 20th century and is historically relevant to the event,” Peters said.

“The reinstatement of viewing stands at the Savannah is important, for they provide a viewing channel for the world to see our Carnival.” The minister said Carnival is about people and must never lose its integrity.“The People’s Band will be in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Mayaro and Tobago,” he said.“The concept (of the band) is particularly dear to me...I feel Carnival must involve all citizens.

“We must not only seek to become entrepreneurs. There must be a balance between commercial growth and maintaining the true essence of what made the festival it is today.” He said he was interested in restoring old time mas and wanted to see traditional characters, like minstrels, midnight robbers and dame lorraines back on the streets for Carnival 2011.“This must never be lost,” Peters said.Carnival 2011 will be officially launched at the Savannah on Sunday.

SOURCE: Trinidad Guardian

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