President of the Grenada Steelbands Association (GSBA), David “Peck” Edwards has called for a review of all three major shows that form part of the Spicemas festival on the island.
According to Edwards, there has been a significant decline in patriotism for not only Panorama but also the entire Carnival product and things need to be done differently from next year.
“I would be the first to say that we shouldn’t continue Panorama as is”, he said.
He cited the need for the island “to re-examine all our national shows and to reinvigorate life with something new and more dynamic in that Carnival product”.
Edwards acknowledged that “the only show that really brings about mass participation in Spicemas is the Soca Monarch and to a lesser extent the Children’s Carnival Frolic (CCF).
“Our Carnival product is slowly declining…the Queen show used to be the biggest show around Carnival time (and) now is just a shadow of what it used to be”, he said.
“At one time the Dimanche Gras used to be the biggest show, it has now declined tremendously. At one time pan had the biggest following but it has declined tremendously. So there is need for us to re-energise and be creative regarding all other shows including panorama”, he added.
THE NEW TODAY understands that in an effort to address the status of the steel bands in Grenada, the pan association and the Ministry of Culture have agreed to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will be overseen by a 4-member committee.
The members are said to be Chief Cultural Officer in the Ministry of Culture, Thomas Mathew, SMC Board Member, Cedric Mitchell and two representatives of the steel band association.
According to Culture Minister, Senator Brenda Hood establishing the MOU “is a step in the right direction.”
Sen. Hood also told reporters that discussions have begun at the ministry’s level to acquire “our own stage” in an effort to avoid a re-occurrence of the national embarrassment over the cancellation this year of the Panorama competition.
“We feel that if we have our own stage we will be able to do what is necessary. So, this is a project that the ministry would undertake as soon as possible,” she said.
This is a clear reference to the failure of SMC to make sure that a stage was erected at the national stadium to host the panorama competition.
Sen. Hood also challenged the local panmen “to do more at the community level so “we can get more people involved.
“We feel that there is a lot we can do… I believe that the pan association, government and the ministry (of culture) must work together to make sure that pan remains the way it should because we recognise that pan is very important to our culture”, she said.
“… We need to work with pan (and) pan needs to work with us. It’s not a one man show it’s a team approach and this is what we hope to do,” she added.