Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley (FP)
Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, has taken issue with two recent comments made by Senator Santia Bradshaw in the Upper Chamber regarding the night-time staging of the Party Monarch Competition and the Follow Me to Crop Over initiative.
Mr. Lashley pointed out that during the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) stakeholders meeting for calypsonians on February 1 this year, Senator Bradshaw endorsed the competition being shifted to the night. "This matter was tabled a day earlier at the promoters and event planners meeting by the Chief Operations Officer of Pyramid Entertainment, Ruall Ward, and it was supported by other stakeholders during subsequent sessions," he stressed.??????
The Minister said that at the stakeholders’ meeting Senator Bradshaw was quoted as saying: "Things like, what Ruall mentioned yesterday, things like the timing of the event, at night for instance, are a significant part of moving our competition forward because it allows the artistes to utilise a lot of the special effects and stuff that are available to us.
"We spend a lot of money every year investing in confetti and … all of those things and the result is that you never get to see them properly when you look back at a performance, whereas in Trinidad there is a lot more you can do in terms of the actual production."
In his presentation, Mr. Ward had stated: "I mean there is so much more to be done in terms of the production for Party Monarch. I think we have exhausted every possible thing when it comes to daytime production in terms of attendance. I think having it at night and being able to more properly produce and have greater presentations [is desirable]. Again it may bring more people to the event."
The Minister said Mr. Ward’s argument was that there was only so much that could be done during the day, and this was true for the Party Monarch competition in other countries, where the event was held at night, since the daytime had its limitations.
In relation to the Follow Me to Crop Over initiative, the Culture Minister indicated that the promotion was carefully considered by the NCF Board and based on the cost vis-??-vis the benefits, particularly in these economic times, it was decided not to incur that level of expenditure at this time.
"What has replaced that promotion is a well conceptualised and coordinated Crop Over promotion by the Barbados Tourism Authority, which has been targeted at all of Barbados’ major tourism markets, including the Caribbean. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the NCF and the BTA to ensure effective and efficient promotion of Crop Over overseas," he disclosed.
Mr. Lashley added that he is pleased with the promotion campaign to date.