Basseterre, 26th June, 2020 (MyVue News.com)– Trinidad has recently sounded a note that its 2021 carnival is likely to take place, and that has prompted the people in St. Kitts & Nevis to enquire about their own festival, which is usually hosted in December to January.
In a town hall meeting hosted on Wednesday, 24th June, 2020, at the Old Girl School in Basseterre, the new Minister of Culture, Jonel Powell, hinted that he is slowly turning attention to the matter of National Carnival, or Sugar Mas, as it is fondly called.
He indicated that some effort will be made to restructure or reorganize the general operations and management structure of the carnival, to strengthen the body and deliver a more successful product.
In addition, the plan will also seek to bring greater understanding of the composition of the actual Carnival Committee, which is to be a small core group that is supported by a larger pool of persons, heading and working on sub-committees.
“I have a passion to see our carnival grow. There certainly is a need for some restructuring. I am not talking about personalities and people, I am talking about the manner in which we deal with the carnival,” revealed the new minister who has responsibility for carnival.
Powell also conceded that there is need for a new secretariat.
One new initiative he cited, is the plan to appoint an Executive Director, whose task it would be, to manage the day to day affairs of the Secretariat on a monthly basis.
He was quick to clarify that this will be different to the post of Chairman.
Powell said, “I wasn’t planning to say it now, but I will let one cat out of the bag, in respect of carnival, having gone through the National Carnival Act, and having reviewed the budget that has been made available for carnival…”
“One of the things that I intend to do, is to utilize a provision in the Act that allows for a full time Director or Executive Director of Carnival. This is somebody who will have a full time position within the Ministry of Culture year-round. (somebody) who can facilitate, who can man a proper carnival secretariat…who can work along with the committee and actually be on the committee, (the Carnival Committee, to ensure that the necessary things are being done, ” he explained.
He said that carnival is now so big, that it is a year-round event.
“Carnival is a year-round phenomenon and I am looking forward to appointing a Director of Carnival in a full time capacity in the Ministry of Culture,” said the Minister.
He admitted that “There are lots of improvements that be can made within carnival, but at the same time, there are lots of good things that are happening with carnival and we can’t just throw everything out the window because of personalities.”
He continued, “And so all I would say is we are hopeful to meet with the COVID Task Force next week, to determine, 1, if we will even be able to have a carnival, and 2, what kind of carnival, what format that carnival would be in, and what we need to do. And thereafter I will come back and tell everybody what the plan for carnival is.”
But Powell was also careful to remind the public that “We can’t rush anything, we have to follow the protocols, we have to take our time and do things. This is the time when people start planning for carnival, so I understand there is a level of urgency, but when we do things in Central Basseterre, we do it properly.”
Main photo: Hon. Jonel Powell