Legislation is being proposed to make the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) a one-stop shop for the issuing of Crop Over-related licences during the annual festival.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this announcement on Saturday at the 2014 Crop Over Awards Ceremony, held at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, St. Michael.

Insisting the time had come for Government to introduce special legislation to facilitate further growth of the festival, he said this move was also critical for providing more extensive economic opportunities within Crop Over.

???The Ministry [of Culture] is therefore working on a proposal for the introduction of special legislation to govern the management of the Festival and to facilitate a smoother execution of its events.

???Included in this legislation will be provisions for the NCF to become a one-stop shop for the issuance of related licences and an allocation for the creation of economic zones vested in the NCF for the full duration of the Festival and which will be governed by special rules,??? he explained.

He noted that each year, Crop Over transformed the Spring Garden Highway and the entire Grand Kadooment route into a ???dynamic economic zone??? which gave large and small vendors the opportunity to earn revenue.

Mr. Lashley described festivals as ???an integral part of the cultural industries??? which provide unique opportunities for economic activity, encourage social cohesion, and strengthen communities.

According to the Minister, benefits would also accrue through the staging of the Oistins Fish Festival, the Holetown Festival, Holders Season, the St. Philip Carnival, the recently launched Christ Church Carnival and the St. Peter Festival.

???There is no reason why every parish should not have its own celebration,??? the Culture Minister reasoned, adding that Barbados would be hosting the regional festival, CARIFESTA, in 2017.


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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