CARNIVAL PLANS: Chairman of the National Carnival Commission Allison Demas, centre, greets Pan Trinbago vice president Byron Serrette, right, at a press conference at the National Carnival Commission's VIP Lounge, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday. Looking on is Pan Trinbago's President Keith Diaz. —Photo JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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'You'll be replaced'

NCC warns masmen not to boycott finals or else...

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Allison Demas is warning masmen against attempting to boycott the finals of the Kings and Queens show on Carnival Friday night, because they can and will be replaced.

Speaking with the media at the VIP lounge of the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday Demas who said the NCC has heard the concerns of the masmen, made an appeal to the Kings and Queens and to the individuals of mas to come on board for Carnival 2013.

"Yes we hear your concerns, we ask that you come on board for Carnival 2013. I am instructed that if there is a boycott of certain Kings and Queens there are a lot of new people waiting in the wings to be given an opportunity and a chance," she said.

Demas told the media it is unfortunate that the moving of the Kings and Queens competition from the Dimanche Gras night to Carnival Friday has to be surrounded by bacchanal.

"As you know the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) is on the board of the NCC, the decision with respect to Big Friday was made since the end of November 2011 and it was made by the NCBA.

"And they informed the NCC that there had been consultation with their members. The NCC endorsed the decision of the NCBA and what this new board is doing is simply implementing that decision," she said.

Demas said with regards to proposals made for the competition to be moved to the Wednesday, the NCC also represents Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation  (TUCO) which has an event at the Savannah on that same date.

"As you know we have a very short season this year so unfortunately it is not possible to accommodate the Kings and Queens finals on any other day but Big Friday."

"I also think that while a lot of us want to go to both events this is nothing new for Trinidad and Tobago. If you note on Carnival Friday apart from Soca Monarch there is also the very popular fete Girl Power and a lot of people go to both or some people chose and therefore we don't necessarily see it being a conflict and that is why also we are going along with the decision to have it earlier."

This she said is to accommodate people like her who will be attending both events.

Demas also pointed out that the semifinals of the Kings and Queens have always been held on the Carnival Friday.

"So it is nothing new with having a Kings and Queens event on Carnival Friday the only difference this year, is that it is going to be the finals, she said.

The NCC she said agrees that the prize money is too little for the Kings and Queens competitions.

"That is why we have put forward to the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism and there is in fact a note going to Cabinet where we are seeking an increase in prize money for both the junior and senior Kings, Queens and Individuals for 2013."

However, with the increase the Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas wants a policy, one which the NCC is working on, that says in return for the prize money the Kings and Queens will be under contractual obligation to represent the Government of Trinidad and Tobago at Carnivals across the world, she said.

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