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Friday, January 30, 2009

Seen at Westmall today....

Mas Bands are coming up with quite innovative way to sell costumes:




What a difference a month makes!!!

On December 31st I wrote about the Minister of Culture's, Marlene Mc Donald, claim that she "been advised that the sales of Carnival costumes are going quite well". My response then was "I think Minister Mc Donald needs to take a tour of the mas camps where NO sections are sold out at this time and have a little chat with the band leaders and see who really shares her confidence!"

Well it seems as if Minister Mc Donald has either read my advice or we both had the same thought as for the past week she has been on a mas camp tour and has finally come to this conclusion as reported by the Trinidad Express:

The sale of Carnival costumes for the 2009 Carnival season has been slow, according to Culture Minister Marlene Mc Donald. She was speaking during yesterday's post-Cabinet news briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.

"I have been to 20 mas camps and I could report directly," she said.

"I could tell you that with respect to the large bands some sections have been sold out. Others, they are very optimistic because there are still two more salaries," you have January and February salaries to go.

"But I get a sense that where they are now with respect to sales, most of them were in this situation last year, in terms of the quantum of sales. The medium bands have been doing relatively alright and so to, the small bands.

"Generally I can tell you that they have all said it's a bit slow but they are optimistic that it will catch up." There has been a slowdown in consumer spending in all spheres as citizens react to the global economic crisis.

For the rest of the article please click HERE to be taken to the Trinidad Express.

The Government has also been pleading with Corporate sponsors to get involved with financing Carnival as many of them are cutting back on assistance via sponsorship for 2009, and the Ministry of Culture cannot financially support all the stakeholders in Carnival. The fact is that many of the larger bands and popular soca artistes are still being given sponsorship but the smaller bands and the entertainers who do not hold top billing are getting nothing!

Meg Cheekes of Pulse 8 intimated on a news report last night that she has taken a preemptive measure to cut back the size of the band to a target of 1000 masqueraders from the initial target of 1500. Other bands are also rumoured to be considering strategies to minimize losses, as sales are not going very well at all. One band in particular has put forward a proposition to piggy back off a competitor, however if this comes to fruition only time will tell! Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Good luck to all, only THREE more weeks until the big show, Carnival 2009!
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