I REFER to the recent increases in prize money for the Carnival Band of the Year title and Panorama. I believe that Panorama players should get more for their hard work and long hours of practice.
While more money is also being allocated to calypso, the prize money for extempo winners has not been stipulated.
In my opinion, the extempo art form requires at least as much skill as the other indigenous art forms like calypso and soca, whose champions already receive a considerable amount of prize money. The authorities should aim at encouraging the youth to take part in it, as it is a dying art form.
Any talented young person looking to make a name for himself/herself and a chance to win substantial prize money will obviously choose to take part in soca or calypso rather than extempo because of the big difference in prize money.
Why must the winner of the extempo contest take home a pittance while bandleaders, who already make millions off of their masqueraders stand to gain more in prize money?
I'm not suggesting that they take the prize money offered to the Band of the Year and give it to extempo singers and pannists, but I am merely drawing the comparison to point out that it is not fair to them that their winnings were not considerably increased also.
There are also other areas of Carnival where prize money should be increased but to itemise them would be too lengthy and the people involved should fight their own case.
The bottom line is, if you are going to increase prize money, look at the whole picture and do it evenly and comparatively, across the board.