INCREASED PARTICIPATION: Minister Lincoln Douglas

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Minister: One of the most successful Carnivals ever

‘Issues will be ironed out before 2015’

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Minister of The Arts and Multiculturalism, Lincoln Douglas, has hailed Carnival 2014 as  “one of the most successful Carnivals we have had, if not the most successful Carnival we have had”.

Douglas was speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.

Questioned on the complaints from spectators, masqueraders and vendors about Carnival in the capital city, Douglas said Carnival was not confined to Port of Spain alone.

“Carnival itself seems to breed a lot of people who complain and so we have usually a lot of criticism which I think are all in good taste,” he said.

He said there were Carnival celebrations in 52 regions nationwide and there was a significant increase in participation.

“From my perspective where I sit and stand and where I travelled around the country I see an increased  participation in Carnival,” he said.

He said from this as well as a security and financial standpoint, Carnival was a success.

He said there was proper management  of the funds and there was no debt incurred.

He praised all stakeholders involved in making Carnival a success, adding that all events and shows were successfully produced.

Douglas said there were issues to look at in terms of copyright and the parade route and these will be ironed out  before Carnival 2015.

The contentious Socadrome, he said, did provide some “issues” to look at and new approaches for Carnival will be examined.

He said the National Carnival Commission (NCC) has engaged the services of traffic and transport engineers to study the route problem and find solutions.

Douglas also disclosed that a review in the incentives for prizes will be looked at.

Questioned if this meant an increase for Trinidad and Tobago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO), Douglas reiterated that the entity receives an annual subvention and was free to allocate its prize monies.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar interjected at the media conference that TUCO receives an annual subvention of $9 million and there would be a consultative process in collaboration with various stakeholders with respect to how monies are allocated.

Commenting on TUCO’s request for increased funds, Persad-Bissessar said, “It cannot be with the greatest of respect that on the eve of the event that the request is made”.

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