I see, Mr. Editor, that the whole thing about who or what makes our Carnival has resurfaced early in the year.
It is clear, as far as I see it, that if there was no carnival, there would be no soca fetes. Then again, if there was no carnival, the private promoters who put on these massive soca fetes would have found another way and other times to do their business.
It is clear that the official carnival shows, i.e. CDC shows, cannot compete with these fetes for gate receipts. The only show that seems to cover expenses and make a profit is the Soca Monarch Competition which we never got an account of as far as the returns are concerned. (I recall a certain CDC being brave enough to publish gates receipts the day after a show was held.)
As it stands, it is only fair that those private promoters give back something to the CDC and if it means having to pay a licence, then so be it. And by the way, I see where the fetes also seem to attract sponsorship away from the official shows.
However, Mr. Editor, there is another point I would like to raise and that is the issue of government support, to be precise CDC support for our Carnival components.
I have no problem in giving direct support to the activities that involve the children, like Junior Panorama, Junior Calypso and Junior Mas. We have to ensure the future.
But the other things? It is high time calypso tents move to the level of operating like businesses. I get sick seeing, year in year out, calypso tents going cap in hand seeking more and more money from the CDC which is really government, if you know what I mean. Calypso tents, after all these years, and I have been away for some time now, have not made any effort to become self-sufficient.
And carnival bands have to stop giving the impression that they don’t make money. So, who paying for all them costumes, yet the mas bands want more and more start-up money and prize money.
They tell me that ours is a free market economy. In an open market, culture has got to learn to thrive on its own. We need to make an effort in that direction.
A Spade is a Spade