Friday, January 19, 2018

Pan Trinbago needs $25m for 2015 steelband conference


‘Cap in hand’ every time: Keith Diaz, right, president of Pan Trinbago, and secretary Richard Forteau address a news conference to highlight issues facing the organisation at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photo: GARY CARDINEZ

Mark Fraser

Port of Spain

Pan Trinbago needs $25 million to bring off the planned International Conference and Panorama (ICP) scheduled for August 2015.

The organisation’s president, Keith Diaz, made the announcement yesterday at a news conference at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

Diaz said his line ministry (Arts and Multiculturalism) told him he should get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Tourism involved in the project.

The purpose of the conference is to establish an International Organisation for Pan with its headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ground work for the conference is ongoing and Pan Trinbago has been talking with interested countries. The delegates at the conference will choose an executive for this International Organisation.

“People are excited about the ICP, even as far off as Australia and New Zealand, UK, USA, Poland, Greece and the Caribbean,’’ said Diaz.

“Plans are afoot in making it a reality and already The University of the West Indies has joined with us in making Trinidad and Tobago and Pan Trinbago the authority of pan activities worldwide.”

Diaz also spoke about several other issues affecting his organisation as well as the things they are doing to move the pan industry forward.

He said his organisation has had to go “cap in hand” to the Government every time Pan Trinbago wanted to do something. In this regard, the organisation formed and registered The Heritage Lottery Company to enable them to have their own finances.

Pan Trinbago is still in discussions with the Minister of Finance regarding the granting of the lottery licence.

Quoting from Act of Parliament 5 of 1986, Diaz said the organisation has the power to deal with all things pan, development, promotion and education and will carry out the mandate.

Diaz also touched on the payment of prize money for the Pan is Beautiful 12 Music Festival, which concluded last year. He said the Government gave assurances they would pay the prize money, but eight months had passed since the festival and no finance has been forthcoming.

“In recent times we had to deal with six permanent secretaries in the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism, and every time a new one come the process has to start over,” said Diaz.