Minister of Culture Eleston ‘Namba’ Adams has shrugged off suggestions that the five-month vacuum faced by the Carnival Development Committee (CDC), has left planning for the summer festival lagging behind schedule.
Cabinet is expected to decide who will head the CDC this week, after Adams submitted his recommendations. The board has been left in limbo since the conclusion of the Vaughn Walter-led board’s term in September 2010.
But the minister of culture insists that the board’s appointment is not late, pointing out that it has often been delayed further in previous years.
“That’s not late. People have been doing the same thing over and over again and in quick time, they come together and it’s done,” Adams said.
“The greatest challenge to the festival is money and getting sponsorship for the shows. Other than that, people are getting ready and so once the advertisements are on the radio, it’s smooth sailing,” he added.
The government has been struggling to pay off creditors since the festival came to a close last August, and Adams said his main concern is ensuring financial worries do not dampen this year’s festival.
“The greater challenge is the non-payment because even if you announce a CDC, the fact is some individuals are not prepared to hold discussions because we owe them money,” Adams said.
The Carnival Development Committee has been given a budget of EC $2.5 million for 2011, the same amount that was allocated in 2010, but significantly lower than previous years.
Carnival will take place between July 23 and August 2 this year.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)