Over 50 persons from various areas of the cultural and carnival community on St. Kitts attended the 3 hour event, which was held at the conference hall of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, at Buckley’s.
“I think that we were able to have a frank discussion as to where our strengths and weaknesses lie and what we need to do going forward, “said Minister Liburd.
Among the points that she said stuck with her after the forum, related to promotion, sensitization through the educational system and greater attention to the art-form of calypso, especially in the junior category.
Ms. Liburd explained that, “We thought that we really need to go into the schools if we need carnival (in the future), to become stronger. It was felt that the involvement of younger people which would include those in schools; would be critical for the survival of the carnival, through generations to come. We also felt that more help should be given to the junior and female calypsonians, paying more attention to them and providing guidance and support where needed.”
Though most people thought that last year’s carnival was a huge success, Ms. Liburd said her committee leaders have no intention of sitting on their laurels, but instead have had such a strong drive to get back into action to begin early in the planning of the 2011/2012 carnival.
“I think that the persons we have on the carnival committee are really passionate about the festival and so they are never satisfied with anything but the best and always are looking for ways to improve the celebrations,” said the Minister of Carnival.
What happened was that very early they came up with some ideas that just sent your imagination wild causing you to think that there are many ways in which we could improve even further on last year’s performance.”
She said that they want to create activities that can truly excite the public. Already, said Ms. Liburd, they have managed to attract the participation of certain large firms and organizations that this year will have floats on the Carnival Day parade. She said this is something that they have been working on for some time, recognizing that it once was a prominent feature in the past but disappeared from the carnival scene.
Some of those that have given their early indication are the National Bank, the Taiwanese Embassy, the National Olympic Committee and others.
The next step, said Ms. Liburd, following Tuesday’s forum is the convening of smaller focus groups or committees to give further exploration of the ideas in each respective area of the carnival.
Two other burning issues that emerged from the discussions centered on the copyrights and the suggestion that the date for carnival should be shifted from December/Janaury, to the summer months of the year.