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Carnival Commission Holds First Meeting

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas National Festival Commission held its first meeting yesterday ahead of the second Junkanoo Carnival and has been asked to devise a plan to uplift Bahamian culture, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said.

Mr Wilchcombe said the the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) has been mandated by Prime Minister Perry Christie to create opportunities for entrepreneurship and cultural proliferation throughout the country.

However, he could not say how much money has been budgeted for the controversial event.

When pressed for clarification on the government’s investment this year, the West End and Bimini MP would only say that no “firm proposal” had been submitted to date, implying that the festival commission still had not finalised a budget request.

However, Mr Wilchcombe said he expects to receive a range of proposals that detail finances, structural changes to the festival and its scope for 2016.

Paul Major, chairman of the BNFC, told The Tribune yesterday that the commission will hold a series of meetings over the next couple of weeks with an aim to decide on “all the essential factors” moving forward.

He said factors related to budget and festival structure would be finalised during these meetings.

“We don’t intend to go beyond the budget of last year, it will definitely be less this go around. We have some numbers in mind, but nothing is firm at the moment,” he said.

“We as commissioners have a lot to go through, but we will meet (on Thursday) to go through a number of items and hopefully we can present the government with a full range of plans shortly.”

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 $11.3 million.

The government reaped $8.3m in combined direct and tax revenues, with the latter providing $6.7m of that sum. The direct revenue, which totalled $1.6m, largely came from ticket sales and cash sponsorships, organisers said last year.

Organisers were criticised for poor planning, not enough international marketing and not announcing a headliner for the festival’s concert sooner.

Mr Wilchcombe has said this year’s festival would be more structured, better budgeted and constructed in such a way to guarantee a solid return on investment.

In addition to Mr Major, the commission will consist of Felix Stubbs, Cameron Symonette, Pat Mortimer, Robert Sands, Ed Fields, Muna Issa, Shanae Strachan and Freddy Munnings.

Comments

DillyTree 3 years, 3 months ago

With last year's Carnival being such a dismal failure, and if anything, the economy in even worse shape, why on earth are we having another Carnival?

Surely there are better ways to spend money? Have all the people and structures affected by Hurricane Joaquin been repaired yet? Let's get our priorities straight!

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TruePeople 3 years, 3 months ago

Hold on.... it was (at least) a 3 million$ loss last year (11.3 investment - 8.3 return)

... Seriously, compare this non-sense cash-out to the funding provided to regatta, or any other REAL bahamaian cultural event...

Obviously certain people are getting sweet kick backs from wasting the countries money on this JunkCar Crap

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asiseeit 3 years, 3 months ago

The man says that "Government REAPED 8.3 million", no asshole the government LOST 3 million dollars, there is no REAPING IN A LOSS, you f#@KING IDIOT!

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realfreethinker 3 years, 3 months ago

And these guys are who controls our finances

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Godson 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes there is... the gain is called a social political gain of managing and keeping us preoccupied mentally and emotionally for the period that the Carnival is debated and held.

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Emac 3 years, 3 months ago

Well hopefully Bahamians will be too broke to support this foolishness. Then maybe the organizers will get it in their heads that people are too concerned about crime and the economy to give a rat's ass about a fake carnival.

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thomas 3 years, 3 months ago

POLICE are looking for five gunmen who reportedly broke into the home Pastor Rex Major this morning and terrorized his family.

The break-in occurred around 3am Thursday morning at the pastor’s home

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Honestman 3 years, 3 months ago

This is classic PLP - the Party that can never bring itself to admit it made a mistake. I'll give government credit for trying something different but let's face it, the Junkanoo Carnival was an expensive boo boo. Now any sensible cabinet would acknowledge that and move on to more pressing matters. But this is the PLP and so we will go through this charade of trying to persuade all and sundry that Junkanoo Carnival is a net earner for the economy. At the end of the day, Christie & Co will use the carnival as a distraction from the government's mishandling of the economy and you can bet your bottom dollar they will be planning an even bigger spend on the event in 2017, right before the election.

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GrassRoot 3 years, 3 months ago

I think we should hold a little celebration. They are breaking all the records. It is 14th January and they have the first meeting. When is the event again? May? Even for a school graduation, people are preparing more thoroughly, carefully and with better time management. Where does the government find all these people? The ones I meet on the street and on the job have a brain and some common sense (for most parts).

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realfreethinker 3 years, 3 months ago

And pay reparations for looting the treasury

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TalRussell 3 years, 3 months ago

Comrades tis reading such Carnival 2016 nonsense that could at minimum gets people thinking to send me along thousands others - over to takeout a first-time paid card carrying red party's membership?

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thomas 3 years, 3 months ago

Has the newest 'new ' plan to tackle crime been unveiled? The one for 2016.

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Emac 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes and no, The unveiling of the new plan was announced by our witless leader, which was, ready???.... drum roll..."The commissioner of police should take full responsibility for combating crime." That was the unveiling. Now we're just waiting on the commissioner to execute the plan that was unveiled I guess.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 3 months ago

I'd say it's the unveiling of the campaign 2017 strategy

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TruePeople 3 years, 3 months ago

yes, the new plan is "blame everything on the commissioner"

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stislez 3 years, 3 months ago

These people on drugs man! Wtf they doing Jed, sometimes I wish I had some Isis friends. I'd tell dem when they all be in the house of assembly to bomb DAT shit, kill all dem!

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 3 months ago

These local bands better not be investing money in this scam....

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Sickened 3 years, 3 months ago

Its takes more than 5 months to plan a decent Ball (e.g. Red Cross) with 300-500 people in attendance.

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Godson 3 years, 3 months ago

The operative but descriptive word you used to describe the 'Red Cross Ball', and that should be of significance is "decent". Time to think... and not by Paul D. Reilly either... but by us, the Bahamian People.

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thomas 3 years, 3 months ago

This needs to stop. Can we just cut PGC a check and have him retire now.

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TruePeople 3 years, 3 months ago

only ting he need cut is he ass

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 3 months ago

I honestly don't know what's happening, literally. I can't figure this one out. Last year they told us that they needed to identify a headliner early because people book their tickets a year in advance. This year they've done nothing early. But they're still speaking about the massive influx of tourists expected. Well if there is a massive influx, we should see a sizable spike in visitors. Not just an increase, a massive increase over and above typical spikes (if any) during that period. That's the minimum criteria.

I'm truly baffled by this one. But outside of educational initiatives, I do think the music competition is the BEST thing any government has done for the country, because it's promoting creative minds. They should be proud of that. Who knew we had this breadth of talent? I'm certain the musicians knew, but who else? I would have liked to have seen all the Trinidad flavored elements done away with, death to the "fete", have the music competition become the main focus and then the Junkamania celebration. ("Junkamania", what a nice name for a May cultural festival). All Bahamian, no dispute, no need for all this controversy. Its so simple.

(And of course Machel, I like him from time, unidentified flying objects, unidentified)

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thomas 3 years, 3 months ago

Brazil scraps carnival as recession bites

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