Venue selected for Carnival City

The Car Park of the Public Workers Union (PWU) building on Port Highway is the new venue for Carnival City 2014.

This was disclosed by newly appointed Culture Minister, Senator Brenda Hood during this week’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing held two days after the official public launch of Spice Mas 2K14 last Saturday.

Minister Hood informed the media that Carnival City takes place every Thursday night at 8.00 p.m. as part of a joint collaboration between local promoter Wayne “Waggy T” Redhead and the Spice Mas Corporation (SMC).

Controversy had surrounded last year’s Carnival City along the Maurice Bishop Highway when it was disclosed that a questionable character, Osron Denis King known as “Mr. Matrix” had brokered the deal for the event to be staged at Fun City.

The Culture Minister expressed satisfaction with the turnout Saturday at the launch of Carnival at the Roy St John’s Playing Field at Tanteen for the official launch of this year’s Carnival.

The carnival celebrations will climax in August at the Tanteen venue due to reconstruction work on the National Athletic Stadium at Queen’s Park and the unavailability of the adjourning National Cricket Stadium due to preparation for the hosting of cricket matches next month as part of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Carnival 2014 will see the return of the national Queen show.

According to Minister Hood, 10 prospective contestants with secondary school education showed interest but only seven were chosen based on their level of character and articulation.

The female government minister announced that the contestants would be introduced to the public within a week.

Other events scheduled to be launched as part of the lead up to SpiceMas 2014 is the Commancheroes Mas Band, Calypso tents and Jab Jab Village at Morne Delice.

Artistes interested in participating in the Calypso, Groovy and Soca Competitions were reminded that registration must be completed before June 10.

In addition, the annual Judges Workshop spearheaded by experienced judges from Trinidad and Tobago will be held within a matter of weeks.

This year SMC is embarking on a “merchandising campaign” through the sale of keepsakes aimed at raising revenue for the functioning of the Corporation.

Without divulging in-depth information regarding the partnership arrangement and the identity of the “local entity”, the Culture Minister said that the new initiative would be undertaken throughout the Carnival season at all carnival related events.

The Minister told reporters that the various Carnival stakeholders are yet to receive their subventions from Government but gave assurances that the budgeted $700,000.00 should be presented to SMC within the next few weeks.

Sen. Hood urged stakeholders such as the Steelband, Calypso and Mas Band Associations to take the initiative to raise funds on their own as subventions from government might not always be available to them.

She also told reporters that her ministry is awaiting a presentation from  SMC on the cost and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the venue for the staging of Carnival events at Tanteen can be of an acceptable standard.

She said that she would not invite visitors to attend national events at a venue that is below par.

The Culture Minister indicated that it takes in excess of one million dollars to put on a successful carnival but the event generates in excess of 24 million dollars into the economy and brings direct benefits to all sectors of the society.

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