Saturday, February 24, 2018

Panmen happy for $1,000 stipend

PAN players will receive their $1,000 stipend for next year's Carnival, Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas has said.

Douglas made the statement yesterday as he presented the instruments of appointment for the commissioners of the board of the National Carnival Commission (NCC).

The issue of the stipend for pan players was an area of contention between Pan Trinbago and former arts and multiculturalism minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters.

In 2010, the Cabinet of the People's Partnership government approved an $800 stipend for pan players.

Since 2008, pan players had been paid $1,000 for taking part in the preliminary stage of the Panorama competition.

"We are saying that we are hoping this year to put back the pan men stipend to $1000," Douglas said.

"Hopefully that would be a source of encouragement. Pan is a tremendous asset to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, it is a signature product of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and any incentive to keep that going in the best way possible," he said.

Keith Diaz, the president of Pan Trinbago, is the organisation's nominee to the NCC board.

Asked to comment on the stipend being returned to $1,000, Diaz said:

"It caught me by surprise, the statement, but we appreciate that."

"It (the stipend) should be a little more, but we understand what is happening at this time. We hope we get a little more prizes because the $1,000 to the panmen when they working in the panyard night after night and especially since practice has begun already," he said.

Diaz said, "PanTrinbago welcomes this move very much, we thank the minister for that."