Gov’t takes over steelband body

The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government has apparently taken over the running of the Grenada Steelband Association (GSA) following months of bickering between two warring factions.

THE NEW TODAY has obtained correspondence in which the Ministry of Culture headed by Senator Norland Cox is making move to put in place an Interim Committee to take charge of the body in which Jason Skeete was the last elected President of the association.

Desiree Stephen – newly installed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture

Sources told this newspaper that the move could be questionable as the association is a totally independent body outside the ambit of government.

However, government is known to give an annual subvention to the steelbands to facilitate their participation in the annual Spicemas festival in August.

In recent months, there has been a stand-off between Skeete and a number of the so-called steelbands and some of the persons involved in what is regarded as the big bands on the island like Commancheros and Republic Bank Angel Harps.

The bigger bands had brought a motion of No-confidence against Skeete which was deemed to be illegal based on the GSA constitution.

Last week Minister Cox brokered a meeting between the two warring factions in which Skeete walked out following a personal attack launched on him by a member of the so-called Big Bands.
Correspondence has now surfaced showing the move being made by the Ministry of Culture to temporary take charge of the affairs of GSA.

Following is the correspondence that was obtained by THE NEW TODAY:

Hello Band Leaders

As a follow up to the meeting held on Friday 12th April, 2019, please be reminded of the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday 16th April, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the West Conference Room, Main Stand (Ground Floor) of the Kirani James Athletics Stadium.

As agreed to at Friday’s meeting each band is asked to nominate at least 1 person for consideration to serve on an Interim Committee to govern and manage the affairs of the Grenada Steelband Association until the end of the season as Elections are constitutionally due in September 2019.

At the meeting on Tuesday 16th April, Bands would then vote to select 7 persons (5 members plus 2 alternates).

Please be informed that in deciding on your nominees it was agreed by the bands at the meeting that:

– it should not be any person who currently serve on the present Executive of the Grenada Steel Band Association (GSBA)

– it should not be any person attached to the Grenada Steelband Association (GSA)

– it should not be anyone directly attached to any one of the nine (9) bands

You are also asked to develop some key duties and responsibilities that you would like the Interim Committee to carry out during their tenure.

If for any reason your band is unable to be represented at the meeting on Tuesday you can solicit the assistance of a band that would be present to make representation on your behalf following discussions with them on your position.

Bands are kindly asked to submit the name(s) of their nominee(s) and suggested duties and responsibilities of the Interim Committee via this medium to expedite the process on Tuesday.

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting. Please communicate your attendance to this meeting by responding to this email.


Desiree Stephen, MBA, BBA
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Youth Development, Sports , Culture and The Arts
3rd Floor
Ministerial Complex
Sir Eric Matthew Gairy’s Botanical Gardens
St. George’s

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