“As Minister responsible for Culture, I take full responsibility…”.
Those were the words uttered by Culture Minister Brenda Hood, who took “full responsibility” for the events that led to the cancellation this year of the annual Panorama Competition.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in St. George’s, the female government minister said “this incident that occurred is a wake-up call for everybody.”
The eight steelbands had showed up at the national sporting stadium last Saturday night only to meet an incomplete stage for the pannists to play on.
Accusing fingers were pointed at the Contractor, “Double D”, for not honouring the $9000.00 deal worked out with Spicemas Corporation to build the facility.
According to Sen. Hood, efforts were made to get platforms (sheets of plywood) from various construction companies on the island that were needed by the Contractor to complete the stage.
She said that the companies did not have on hand due to the construction boom now taking place in Grenada.
“They (the companies) said it’s because of what is going on in the construction industry now they don’t have the platform (plywood) to help.
“Panorama 2017 did not happen and we are all very unhappy because of this (and) as Minister responsible for Culture, I take full responsibility.”
“I want to assure you and everyone else, in particular, the pannists (and) all of the young people who play pan, that this incident that occurred on Saturday would never happen again.”
Sen. Hood announced that the Ministry of Culture has launched an investigation into what actually transpired that led to the cancellation of the 2017 Panorama competition.
She said the investigators were given approximately two weeks to complete the investigation.
“We have to get the details, we have asked persons to provide the information to the PS (Permanent Secretary) and we will go from there,” she remarked.
Amidst growing calls from many quarters in the country for the members of the SMC governing Board to resign their positions, Sen. Hood said “that this is not on the cards at this time.”
“If you have to do anything you have to have the facts …we are investigating and if we find that an individual was responsible for it then we will deal with it accordingly”, she added.
Although SMC announced that the 2017 Panorama was rescheduled for last week Saturday the national event did not take place.
President of the Grenada Steelbands Association (GSBA), David “Peck” Edwards that after meeting with the various pannists including the young players who were very disappointed, a decision was taken not to have the event this year.
He said: “The young people were very disappointed, they felt very embarrassed because they know panorama is not just a local show and we have visitors coming in (and) while we as leaders thought that we should have tried and do something in the form of a Panorama the following Saturday, when we spoke to the membership the same young pannists said no…it’s not a wise thing, given … the way we were treated not only this year but also last year when we were forced off the stage.
“So while we would like to play and we have sacrificed a lot of time and effort, we don’t think we were treated right. We think this is disrespect and as such we should not have Panorama”, he added.