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$90m spent on Carnival 2013

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Some $90 million was spent on Carnival this year, said Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Lincoln Douglas.

The minister was questioned on the cost expended on Carnival 2013 at yesterday's post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.

He was at first reluctant to respond and deferred the question to chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC), Allison Demas.

Told that he is the minister in charge with regard to Carnival and whether he has a ball park figure, Douglas responded: "Yes, I have an estimate figure of $90 million."

Douglas said Carnival 2013 was a success despite a few challenges.

He said there was an increase at regional venues and noted that there was attendance in the thousands at Carnival events in areas such as Penal and Chaguanas.

"What transpires in Port of Spain is not the be all and end all of Carnival and I assure you Carnival is alive and well, it is thriving in all of the communities and I consider this year to have many successes," said Douglas.

With respect to the negative feedback on the Dimanche Gras production, Douglas said that he met with the producer of the show and did an evaluation on what must be improved.

"As to whether we should do it the way we did it, that too will be evaluated."

Questioned on mas maker Brian MacFarlane's bowing out of Carnival and his view that the the event lacks creativity, Douglas said: "I understand and empathise with his concerns. Carnival is a lot of things, it is no one thing to any one person and it is very difficult for one person to decide that this is what Carnival should and what other people shouldn't be doing."

Douglas said it was sad that MacFarlane was bowing out and he would be happy if he (MacFarlane) could encourage others in the mas that he presents.

The minister added that he wished there was more money available to reward mas makers for their creativity.

On the issue of copyright, Douglas said it was a "very complex issue" that the NCC chairman will work to clarify.

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