Although claiming that he has had to overcome many challenges during his first year as Chief Cultural Officer (CEO) of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), Kirk Seetahal said he is prepared to continue in the position for another year.
Seetahal who was at the time presenting his report on his stewardship as SMC CEO at the prize-giving ceremony held last Saturday at Club Galaxy on the Carenage, St. George’s painted a painful picture of the experience he has had to undergo.
He said he had always heard the expression that Carnival comes with bacchanal, and bacchanal is part of Carnival.
The CEO stated that on numerous occasions he felt at times like giving up, other times of not being afraid of the task ahead or taking on the work load, but continued for self-preservation.
He said that for the first time in his life he had to privatise his Facebook page due to the number of negative postings that were affecting his relatives.
According to Seetahal, some of the postings were not only done by carnival stakeholders, but by people in general who vented their feelings on Spicemas.
The CEO said that upon taking up the job he met poor record keeping, reduced sponsorship of over half of a million dollars, and what he referred to as “lying to people”.
He said he has had to tell many lies on television by not giving the correct picture of the debt owed by SMC.
“I told the general public that we were $700,000 in debt.
Unfortunately, after taking the seat I discovered it was far worse than that,” he said.
Seetahal said he now has a deeper appreciation for prayers and understanding of God in his life.
He encouraged government to put legislation in place to protect the festival, and admonished everyone to put their shoulders to the wheel in having the cultural festival improved.
The SMC CEO announced that the 2017 Spicemas will launched on April 1st, 2017.
In her remarks, Culture Minister Senator Brenda Hood felt that the
time has come for Spicemas to be taken to the next level through a comprehensive plan.
Sen. Hood said the effort must commence at the primary school level where the young students can have a deeper appreciation for the culture.
“The time is perfect for us to venture into the school system and mold the teachers, especially those teaching art,” she told the ceremony.
The Culture Minister suggested that the teachers should be approached with trained and qualified personnel who can and will make a difference in terms of how Spicemas can be crafted.
Sen. Hood disclosed that in 2016, SMC will be spending over $2.5M or more on its execution, with over $1M alone in prize money.
However, she said Spicemas, which is the biggest festival in Grenada, is proving to be a very costly event to run.