Panorama is back!! Late night breakthrough between Pan Association and govt

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(Panache Steel Orchestra Facebook screenshot)
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A late-night breakthrough in talks between the Minister of Creative Industries and the Antigua and Barbuda Pan Association has seen one of Antigua’s most cherished Carnival events back of the schedule for this year.

The deal sees EC $1 million subvention over three years set in place with the pan association agreeing to the government’s $330,000 payment package for this year.

That $330,000 will be disbursed in three parts: 50 percent within 7 days of the signing of the agreement, 25 percent will be distributed one week before Carnival, and the last 25 percent before the end of August.

Additionally, the association will also receive a number of revenue tickets to sell where they will keep the revenue.

The agreement comes amidst reports that the captains of the various steel pan orchestras meeting yesterday afternoon and ends fears by family and friends of the pan players that they would not be able to showcase their talents on the Carnival stage.

Over the weekend, the Panache Steel Orchestra invited parents, family and friends of their pan players to host what they described as an “impromptu mini panorama” due to the earlier panorama impasse.

On its Facebook page yesterday, the group said that players had the opportunity to create their own teams, become judges and be part of the audience.

The results were listed as: Birds and Bees, led by Nicholas Daniel who was named the winner with 70 points. Benna received 68.5 points, led by their captain Nalorie Brazier, and 2nd runner-up was Platinum Stars with 57 points, led by Kalicia Osbourne.

“The Panache Steel Orchestra remains dedicated to developing the art form in Antigua and Barbuda in any way possible,” the group said on its Facebook page yesterday.

Despite interventions by the Prime Minister to give the association more time to sign their Carnival contract, on Saturday the Festivals Commission said that negotiations with the Antigua and Barbuda Pan Association (ABPA) ended unsuccessfully.

ABPA wanted EC$400,000 to stage the event, but the Commission was only willing to agree to just over $300,000 along with 3,500 tickets given to the association to sell.

The Festivals Commission, prior to the deal, was planning to start negotiations with individual bands to explore the possibility of having them participate in another Carnival event.

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