Festivals Commission gets more money

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A week after rejecting the request for additional funds to offset expenses for activities for the 60th anniversary of Carnival, the Cabinet has agreed to grant a little more than half of the $1.2 million requested by the Festivals Commission.
Last week the Commission asked for the sum to bridge the shortfall of its $7.2 million budget but the Cabinet said the request was not justified.
Culture Minister E.P. Chet Greene was not present when the application was put forward. However, he was present yesterday and he made a fresh argument himself.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas said following that discussion in Cabinet, Greene’s department will get $700,000 for some of the initiatives upon which the Commission wants to embark.
It was agreed the Commission would not need the additional $500,000 during the discussions in Cabinet.
“I believe in the detailed presentation that the Minister made yesterday, based on a number of initiatives they wanted to undertake there  was acceptance of some of the additional programmes and some rejection in a number of other instances,” Minister Nicholas said.
The list of initiatives included:

·        The return of Jam Pond with a newly constructed stage
·        The publication of a commemorative magazine
·        Increased buildup to the festival around St John’s beginning from the of 1st July
·        Improved lighting of St John’s
·        Increased participation of children in all areas of Children’s Carnival
·        A Jubilee Banquet honoring the forerunners of Carnival
·        Creation of an Emancipation (cultural) Village, and
·        Erection of a Carnival Wall of Fame among other activities for the expanded calendar for the celebration of the            nation’s 60th Anniversary of Carnival.

Nicholas said, “The expectation was to do all those programmes but based on what  the Cabinet felt was affordable and necessary at the time, there was some shrinking of the budget.”
The minister did not indicate which programmes were cut from the list.

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