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No Word On Budget For Carnival With Three Months To Go Until Event

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

WITH this year’s Junkanoo Carnival three months away, Bahamas National Festival Commission officials yesterday could not say how much money has been budgeted for the upcoming event.

At a press conference yesterday, Noelle Nicholls, Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) marketing consultant, said that information will be provided at a later date by “regular press briefings” to address all aspects of the event, including cost savings, budgeting, and the BNFC’s international marketing campaign.

She also said the BNFC is working “very closely” with the Ministry of Tourism to create a sound international marketing campaign for the upcoming event.

The government budgeted $9m for the inaugural Junkanoo Carnival, but due to cost overruns and other failures on the part of the commission, that spending ballooned to $11.3m. Last year, the government reaped $8.3m in combined direct and tax revenues, with the latter providing $6.7m of that sum.

The commission subsequently faced strong criticism for going over-budget, lack of proper planning, not enough international marketing and not announcing a headliner for the festival’s concert sooner.

In January, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said that this year’s festival would be more structured, better budgeted and constructed in such a way as to guarantee a solid return on investment. BNFC officials have also said this year’s event will cost less than what was spent in 2015.

However, some persons, like Free National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest, have suggested that the BNFC hasn’t learned anything from last year’s festival and are “back to making the same mistakes” with regards to budgeting and marketing.

When asked yesterday for an update on the budget of this year’s festival, Ms Nicholls said: “We’re going to have regular press briefings to address all aspects of the festival. And so in the same way we’re going to be speaking specifically to the international marketing campaign, we’ll also be speaking to some of the things that we’re going to be doing differently, whether it’s from a budgeting point of view and some of the cost savings and all of that.

“So we’re definitely going to be providing the media with a list of all of those scheduled briefings so that we can speak to those issues.”

When questioned on what the BNFC is doing to enhance its marketing campaign, Ms Nicholls said: “We’re actually going to be having a dedicated press conference. The commission is working with the Ministry of Tourism very closely, things are active. We’re going to have regular press briefings, including a dedicated press conference where we will have persons from the sales team at the Ministry of Tourism, persons who handle their international digital advertising, so that we can inform you of all of our plans as it relates to the international marketing.”

The BNFC announced yesterday that Bahamian artist Julien “Believe” Thompson is to be the music producer for this year’s Music Master’s song competition, a contest where Bahamian musicians submit their songs in hopes of being crowned Music Master’s champion of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

Mr Thompson will be tasked with ensuring that every song prepared and submitted by local artists can compete with “any other song you hear internationally,” officials said.

“It is indeed a privilege as a young Bahamian musician and artist and songwriter to have such a prestigious post,” Mr Thompson said. “I feel it’s important to start the process, at a young age, of handing the baton over and being able to share my gift with my other Bahamian brothers and sisters. And so far it’s been an amazing experience.”

The second Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival will take place on May 5-7 in New Providence, with a kick-off event from April 15-16 in Grand Bahama, officials have said.

According to the BNFC, “intense planning is underway” for the 2016 event, which the group has said will be “even better” than the inaugural festival.

The BNFC held its first planning meeting for carnival in mid-January.

At the time, Mr Wilchcombe said the BNFC had been mandated by Prime Minister Perry Christie to create opportunities for entrepreneurship and cultural expression.

Comments

TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

Please slap everyone in the Gov't for this. It should have never happened again after the inaugural FAILURE. This time round, thing look like it dun fail in the planning stage.

They had a whole year to develop a strategy and a plan. From long time they should have been setting up the stage acts, vendors, ADs FOR TOURIST (the whole argument of why this thing even exists).

Instead it's a next half azzed bunch a non-sense. Three months and no budget, not act schedule, and internationally, EIN NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS THING IN THE BAHAMAS!!!!

MORE Tourist know about Junkanoo and Regatta than this fool!!!! and the lack of planning (translating into the lack of advertising) will keep Tourist ignorant of this supposed cultural event.

The PRIORITIES SEEM CLEAR TO ME. Set up ya nice kick back, "mis-allocate" a bunch of the UNKNOWN FUNDS allocated to this event into personal pockets, and laugh all the way to the bank as y'all tell we y'all need more Loans for hurricane relief, road works, developments etc etc etc etc.

Seriously, this is so criminal. Any a y'all go jump up at dis thing just know you are celebrating Bahamian oppression!!!! HAVE FUN!

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

How can you plan an event without a budget? The answer is that you can't unless you plan to waste and pour money down the drain.

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

it ein goin in the drain i swear it's goin in back pockets

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DillyTree 3 years, 7 months ago

With less than 2 months to go, the Carnival committee has not put in place even an iota of organization or publicity. They complain that there were very few foreign visitors at last year's Carnival, yet haven't put out advertising or marketing to bring those visitors in. When will they do this -- a week or two beforehand?

Why would tourists want to come for Carnival is we can't even get our growing crime rate under control?

Once again, more wastage of money, more kickbacks and vanishing money. And for what -- a naked hustlers parade and a few ill-attended concerts. And let's not forget the fiasco of having to pay back vendors for their losses!

So much more could be done with the money -- hurricane relief, reducing crime, establishing more social and work programs, reducing the ever-growing national debt -- all so much more worthy than a feel-good Carnival in such dire and dangerous times.

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

On the real, REAL Carnival wrappin up in Trinidad... so anyone who wanted to go to Carnival, ALREADY GONE!!!!!!!!

sooo stupid

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asiseeit 3 years, 7 months ago

Who are the complete failures who are supposed to be planning and running this event. If they had ANY idea what they where doing they would have started planning and organizing from the very day after last years event. What fool would think you could start planing an event of this size three months prior with NO budget? Only a government entity would be so lost/clueless/disorganized/out of their depth. Once again our FAILURE of a government is showing the people exactly why they are unfit to govern. Once again the Bahamian people's money will be flushed down the toilet with a few loyal PLP's the only winners. When Oh when will my Bahamas wake up to the ABUSE this government is dishing out?

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Emac 3 years, 7 months ago

I keep telling yall this carnival thing just a front for the PLP to throw a lavish party on the house(the public purse) If they had canceled it this year, it would be admitting that they were wrong in the first place, in regards to this event being successful. Further, next year's carnival will even be greater and will culminate into election fever. Trust me, the PLP gat a bag of tricks that they keep pulling out to fool gullible Bahamians.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrades the same 2015 Carnival scheme is back, but you can bet at double the monies to be pickpocket from the trousers taxpayers

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

I am sure that there is a line item in the National Budget for the Bahamas National Cultural Commission ............... someone can surely verify that

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

............ or the Bahamas National Festival Commission ....... somewhere

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrades remember my pre Carnival 2015 posts that question the original plan in the budget to build designer Outhouses. Oh yes, it may have since been shredded but there really existed the artist's conception of what the toilets would look like - taxpayers paid for at that too. Not a single member of the official opposition, talk or communications media, ever asked the PLP Cabinet, if this was true. I wonder, why that was?

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 7 months ago

Tal: There is no opposition. There is more opposition to the PLP expressed in these blogs than is expressed in the HOA. That is some sad shit. If the bloggers here could run under their blog names, we could change the whole shebang in the house and have good governance till us bloggers were no longer equal with the rest of the population but were MORE Equal. In fact the Tribune should organize a meet and greet cocktail reception for its bloogers and one would have access simply by connecting your real name and blog name. I would hate to know who TalRussell is, and moreso birdiestrachan. It would be fun though.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

         VOTE FOR

Comrade "Blogger "MonkeeDoo"

        Any Monkey
    Be Better House MP
      Swing New BS

Than Monkey's Up There Now!

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

we're at least honest in our debates. Honesty is so far from the HOA it has become incompatible with it.

This is me https://soundcloud.com/true-people-en...">https://soundcloud.com/true-people-en...

Download the Full Mixtape @ https://1drv.ms/1nBkJtR">https://1drv.ms/1nBkJtR

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 7 months ago

Any money spent on international marketing is really a waste of time. Create a nice fb video and boost. The only tourists that will be here in May are the ones who've already planned to come for sun sand and sea

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

This should be the ad for 2016!

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OMG 3 years, 7 months ago

Any event of this magnitude requires a precise budget to be decided months in advance or how else can you apportion the funds to different sectors of the Carnival. Politicians should never be in charge of any business venture that involves making a profit, they just don't care when it comes down to the finer points.

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MonkeeDoo 3 years, 7 months ago

The trouble is that they do care and make sure their friends family and lovers get what they want them to get. Politicians are not in it for the taxpayers they are in it for themselves and who they want.

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