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Fnm ‘Will Privatise Carnival And Invest In Junkanoo’

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday that his party will “privatise carnival” and invest the country’s money into Junkanoo and other cultural events if elected in the next general election.

In an interview with The Tribune, Dr Minnis said the FNM will not cancel the controversial event but rather “take it out of the hands of the government” and turn it over to the private sector. He said he will focus on “advancing our own identity” and letting someone else “throw a big party”.

Dr Minnis said the millions wasted on Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival could be utilised to increase the seed money and prizes offered for the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo parades.

Since its roll out in 2015, Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has faced backlash from critics about the amount spent on the festival compared to the financial return. Some have also accused the government of adopting other countries’ culture, instead of investing more funding into the Bahamas’ premier cultural event, Junkanoo.

In September, the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) revealed that the total cost for the 2016 Junkanoo Carnival was $9.8m with a government subsidy of $8.1m.

Last year, the government spent $11.3m on the inaugural festival, going over its initial budget of $9m, with the total cost of the first carnival $12.9m, with the rest covered by sponsors.

“We will have a Ministry of Culture so we can look at our culture and what Bahamians are capable of doing, including with our own music industry,” Dr Minnis said.

“We will ensure we have incentivised grants to make our own cultural experience one that will be envied not only in the Caribbean but all over the world. There will be a complete cultural explosion under the FNM. The FNM will not just look at Junkanoo in its isolation it will be a part of the explosion.

“We will ensure that new Bahamian entrepreneurs will be brought forth into this Bahamas and take part in this new cultural explosion. We will ensure that the knowledge that the young people have and the skill will be showcased. When the world sees Junkanoo, they will know it is the Bahamas. We will privatise carnival; it is not ours and the government does not need to be funding it. It will be someone else’s party to throw. Our money will be invested in something that is our own.”

The government has been highly criticised for hosting the event and not making a profit.

Earlier this year, BNFC Chairman Paul Major said the festival has never been and will never be about turning a profit on investment, contending that no variation of the event hosted around the world has generated a profit for the host nation.

He said the success of the festival must be measured by the thousands of persons that benefit from the event indirectly.

Comments

B_I_D___ 1 year, 6 months ago

Who in their right mind would take on Carnival without HEAVY govt subsidies...govt themselves have been quoted as saying it is not a venture designed to turn a profit...

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ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

the place being downgraded and he uses his soapbox to talk about carnival.

if they devalue the currency junkanooo will go back to its original state of cardboard and newspaper and carnival will be no more.

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JohnDoe 1 year, 6 months ago

Who is they that is going to devalue the currency?

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bandit 1 year, 6 months ago

I couldn't tell if Junkanoo isn't Carnival. The costumes that are being used today favor carnival costumes. Anyway, carnival by any other name or music being played is carnival. whether we want to think or believe that it unique, I see it as carnival with a different type of music other than soca. Brazil have carnival and they dance to Samba and it's still carnival.

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MonkeeDoo 1 year, 6 months ago

The IMF will be the THEY that forces the Government of the Day ( PLP, FNM, DNA, Who's Ya Granny ) to devalue the currency. When we are in need of HARD Currency ( USD ) to buy grits flour and rice we will have to ask them for a borry. And that is when they got us. Read about Jamaica. Jamaicans need 120 Jamaican Dollars to buy 1 US Dollar. Because successive Jamaican Governments did exactly what our Governments have done and continue to do.

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ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

at least jamaica produces some food.

branville mccartney says we will not feel it till we go to myama, but wait till the evaporated milk costs 2.50 per can..

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

You seem to be implying that as a black nation we cannot govern ourselves as a democracy under majority rule. If so, the history of our country since becoming independent on July 10th, 1973 has shamefully proven you to be correct. The writing is now clearly on the wall that we will soon be much worse off relatively speaking than we ever were under our period of slavery in the Bahamas. And for that we have only our very own to thank! I never ever thought I would be praying for the return of minority rule, but it certainly seems that we, as a black nation, would be much better off today had we remained a British colony under a majority white government. But as we all well know, Pindling and his cohorts could not resist becoming too uppity for the Brits so they were only too happy to see us leave their protective fold, even though they probably knew at the time we would sink rather than swim. Only those Bahamians fortunate enough to have a second passport and who have wisely moved most of their assets abroad will survive the train wreck and outright carnage that lies ahead for our Bahamaland!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 6 months ago

Well at the end of the day it is still Mr: Christie"s idea . private or not.

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BoopaDoop 1 year, 6 months ago

...and I don't see any benefit of Junkanoo Carnival. It only benefits those selling the costumes and some food vendors. It is just an excuse to get drunk in the streets and teach incorrect values to boys and girls watching the vulgarity.

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ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

not to worry birdie is paid to fete the prime minister's shortcomings

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MonkeeDoo 1 year, 6 months ago

Almost exclusively, everything that is bad or antisocial can be laid at the doorstep of the Progressive Liberal Party. This is just one such. Gambling is another such. Vat. Unpunished thievery from government departments. And finally Perry Christie and the PLP's legacy to the Bahamas. JUNK STATUS in the worlds credit markets. A real Banana Republic.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

Hahahahahahaha. . .death by "taken ma hans off dat". . .he "killin it" by "I duckin it". . .somebody can get "stinkin rich". . . but the gubment "een getting lee holdin the bag" after errybody done get danced and get drunk and the bill come in!

He threw the whole dead chicken in the mids of them greedy peoples them. . .then he "vibe" about "geein back" the small junkanoo man the plenty money them PLP cronies them was wasting on the lil party there in May! Call LBT the undertaker. . .not the Opp. Leader in the HOA . . .that baby done dead. . .cos nobody ger put their own money into that venture. . .THEY WILL NOT LOSE 13 MILLION AND DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO SHOWW FOR IT! Ping!

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Economist 1 year, 6 months ago

This is typical of PLP Dr. Minnis. The country is tanking and he talks of Carnival and Junkanoo

Like the PLP, that he is exactly like, he has no idea of how to fix the Country's economy.

PLP=FNM=PLP Christie=Minnis=Christie

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TalRussell 1 year, 6 months ago

Comrade Economists, you couldn't make Minnis and Loretta up no matter your creativity.
While Minnis was focusing on “advancing the nation's Junkanoo identity, Loretta was busy getting state funds to “throw a big party” for green party senators up at the official residence of Her Excellency Dame Marguerite. This is not comedy, it's for real...cause The Queen gave we Governor General permission to certify this nonsense under Her Majesty's royal instruments.

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Economist 1 year, 6 months ago

Tal, you got that right!

After all these years and this is all we have to show for it. Disappointing, very disappointing.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

But at the end of the day, it is Crooked Christie and the likes of Sir Snake, Craigg Flowers, Sebas Bastian, etc. who have fooked all of us!

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

So Junkanoo seems to draw 10 times the crowd they carnival does. Why can't that be turned into a moneymaker. O that's right all the money goes to renting the bleachers

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Alex_Charles 1 year, 6 months ago

Junkanoo hasn't turned a profit in how long again? Also, how many of the long standing Junkanoo groups own property and are accountable business with good record keeping practices? I support investing in Junkanoo but I do not support it becoming another handout. Force the industry to evolve into an economic machine because if it hasn't turned a profit in decades then the formula needs to be adapted so that it can.

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TalRussell 1 year, 6 months ago

April 16, 2015

"Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival organisers yesterday forecast that the event will be generating a profit by its third year, with the economic impact increasing by 20.5 per cent over the inaugural 2015 version.

Paul Major, the Bahamas National Festival Commission’s chairman, unveiled projections showing that a $5.323 million ‘loss’ on the Government’s initial $9.323 million investment in this year’s Carnival will be transformed into a $1 million ‘profit’ by 2017".

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

THAT WILL NEVER TURN A PROFIT FOR THE PEOPLE. . .I DON'T BLEAM MINNIS. . ."GEE IT" TO THEM. . .USE YA OWN MONEY. . .LETS SEE WHO WILL "GEE" MAJOY THEY MONEY TO PUT ON CARNIVAL!! Lol!

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 6 months ago

I will support NO form of Carnival in The Bahamas ........... Junkanoo needs to be placed in a Jumbey Village style environment (clear down four ghetto blocks) where Bahamian entrepreneurs can work by the thousands on a full-time basis for real tourism opportunities to take place ...... each major A and B category group should have a compound where they can market themselves and sell their goods and market themselves as independent units ....... and let a national Junkanoo Commission keep 10% of the income from the Village to fund the International Junkanoo Festival (Boxing Day to New Years Day)

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

I believe there may be a deliberate effort to blur differences in costuming, then just like Matthew being "responsible" for the downgrade, we'll have the "see, no difference between Junkanoo and carnival" chorus. Self fulfilling prophecy.

The biggest difference between the two parades is behaviour and "contact". There is no order in carnival. In Junkanoo, every section is organized and they proceed in a series of organized structured actions. We practice for Junkanoo because it's a stage show, carnival is a party. I don't know too many "shows" where people randomly imitate sex acts. Junkanoo in general does not promote watlessness, carnival does. Wild abandon has a place, I guess(?), just not in Junkanoo.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

"Privatizing" carnival is a straw man argument. They've already indicated that when they speak of "privatizing" they're talking about the road fever. They've asked the government to assist with the concert. The concert and marketing is where the real money is spent. So they could "privatize" it and still spend 13 million. Who will be responsible for marketing the privatized carnival, who will pay all the salaries? Dr Minnis picked up this cause but really said nothing.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

I "loss" there bub. . .wha salary you talkin bout. . .whatever you talkin bout fer that matter. . .yoon makin sense here nah! Lol!

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