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Monday, December 03, 2007

Please Support the Petition

Visit the link to leave your mark:

Forward to everyone you know; this petition will close on December 17th and all signatures collected will be forwarded to the Minister of Culture, N.C.C. and N.C.B.A on Monday December 18th.

No Savannah Stage for Masqueraders

Coming from the office of the NCC I was just informed that a stage and spectator stands will be constructed at the Savannah where all pre Carnival events such as Panorama and Dimanche Gras will be held. However when I asked why masqueraders will not be crossing the stage if it will be in existence I was told that the BANDLEADERS wanted mas to return to the streets for 2008 so "that is what we will get"!!

Subsequent to that conversation I then spoke to someone at the National Carnival Bands Association N.C.B.A. and was informed that mas will be on the streets "as always" and it was even intimated that the suggested facilities currently under construction may not be ready in time. Also, when pressed as to why the N.C.B.A. took a decision to not use the stage that will be constructed I was eventually given the answer that the location of this new stage is inaccessible as it is located off the parade route ina "remote" area of the Savannah. My question to this was if the location was more accessible would the N.C.B.A. consider using the stage? I was told that discussion never came up in Carnival talks. The only decisions made for use of these new facilities were for the King and Queen of Carnival competitions, Dimanche Gras and Panorama.The Savannah judging point for Mas on the Streets 2008 has moved to the area in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Finally, I also spoke to someone at the Ministry of Culture who said as of now the plan for 2008 is for mas to be on the streets, however all possibilities will be taken into consideration. I wonder how in touch the N.C.B.A. is with the wants of masqueraders who clearly, judging from the response of the news that we will have a stage for 2008, are estatic over the idea of parading on a stage. Who are the bandleaders involved in making those decisions is what I want to know! And, as a slap in the face to all of us parading AROUND the Savannah a stage will lie in waste on Carnival Monday and Tuesday! As far as I can tell it is being constructed in the SAME area as where the "old" stage used to be, yet the N.C.B.A. is saying that will be inaccessible to masqueraders.. that makes NO sense because how will the pan men get their pans in/out of the Savannah for panorama? If they can get unto that stage then surely masqueraders can. I truly believe that the powers that be think that Carnival is "we" thing and that "we", the masqueraders will accept anything they give us because of the love of the mas!

I implore all of you to email the N.C.B.A., let all your friends and family who are playing mas as well send out a petition to protest this turn of events, let your voice as a masquerader be heard; if they are building a stage for Carnival 2008 we want to cross it!

telephone 1-868-628-8650

Keston Nancoo or Darren Marcel
emails can be sent via the website.

Premature Reaction?

What?????????????????????? The information I wrote about concerning mas returning to the Savannah was broad casted on the TV6 News Report last night. In that report, which showed the Minister of Culture and NCC officials touring works at the Savannah, spectators stands were shown and it was clearly stated that ALL Carnival events will be held there, the only question was whether Panorama finals will remain in San Fernando. There was no mention that mas was to stay on the streets, or else I would have said so,yet here is an article in today's Express which says exctly that!

Carnival stays on the road for '08
Kristy Ramnarine

Monday, December 3rd 2007

The Parade of the Bands will remain on the road for Carnival 2008, National Carnival Commission (NCC) Chairman Keston Nancoo made clear yesterday.

He was speaking to reporters after taking newly appointed Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Marlene McDonald, Minister of State in the Ministry Donna Cox and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry Junia Regrello on a tour of the southeastern end of the Queen's Park Savannah which will be used for the Carnival.

"For 2008 it will again be 'Mas on the Road,' a format that came in for high praise from bandleader after testing it at this year's celebrations," Nancoo said.

He added that all major pre-Carnival shows normally staged in Port of Spain (including the King and Queen of Carnival competition) will, however, be presented at the facility currently being constructed on the south-eastern end of the Savannah.

"A decision will have to be made later on this week as it relates to the Panorama finals," he said.

Panmen have been complaining about the high cost of going to Skinner Park, San Fernando for the competition, which was staged there last year.

This morning took me from elation from the news of having a stage to confusion and vexation! If this is indeed true I am about to petiton Marlene Mc Donald, the new Minister of Culture, at the absurdity of building a stage ONLY for Dimanche Gras while mas will remain on the streets? That makes absolutely no sense. Stay tuned for more news as I get to the bottom of this!

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