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GIS NEWS: Plans for Saint Lucia Carnival 2017 underway

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Plans are in place to ensure the sustainability of Carnival 2017 as part of the new Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival.

Thomas Leonce, Chief Executive Officer of the Events Company of Saint Lucia Inc., revealed at a press conference on May 30, that a new structure for carnival is in place to make it more efficient and effective.

“The arrangement in place for carnival is that the conceptualization and design of the broad carnival product will continue to be done by the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF), and will be supported in its efforts by a carnival advisory committee with representation from the calypso tents, the Steel Bands Association, and the Carnival Bands Association. There is also a Calypso management committee that provides a strong supporting role to the calypso fraternity.”

Executive Director of the Cultural Development Foundation, Melchoir Henry, said extensive consultations took place with all stakeholders, aimed at improving and sustaining the Carnival product.

“The CDF will fulfil its development mandate. One of the components that the CDF is responsible for is the developmental aspect. Again, it is not about just spending money on the existing product. We want, within the next few years, to have evolved from this to a higher standard, and as a result we have identified a number of areas for training, for example in costume design and building, calypso and soca lyric writing, and a steelpan music program.

The Minister for Local Government and Culture, Hon. Fortuna Belrose, said she wants to ensure that there is accountability with the money invested in the festival.

“Because we are working with the public of Saint Lucia, we are working with taxpayers’ money, which is invested into carnival, so we really want to make sure that there is a great level of accountability and transparency in the work that is happening. We are quite satisfied that the agency, Events Company of Saint Lucia, is working alongside the CDF with respect to the event, and the Carnival Management Association is doing the best it can to deliver a good quality product, with good accountability and systems. This will ensure that the public is satisfied with the way in which the monies are spent.”

The minister added that all other plans for Saint Lucia Carnival 2017 are progressing satisfactorily.

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