How is T&T’s financial situation affecting Carnival?
Cutbacks and cancellations! It is no secret. It is not ‘business’ as usual this Carnival season.
From reduced funding, no sponsorship at all in some cases and to the cancellation of major fetes; Carnival 2018 is being affected by T&T’s financial situation in some way or the other.
It was Finance Minister Colm Imbert at a press conference recently, who noted that government cannot continue to spend as before, due to current economic challenges.
He said as such this year’s funding of several competitions would be reduced.
However, the ‘greatest show on earth’ must go on despite these financial challenges.
Reduced government funding for CSM and ISM competitions
The Carnival season began with uncertainty as to whether the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) and International Soca Monarch (ISM) competitions would come of this year due to reductions in funding. At one point it was announced that the Chutney Soca Monarch would not take place at the regular Skinners Park location in San Fernando due to reduced funding.
Things began to go downhill when it was announced that the CSM show was cancelled due to reduced funding by the government. However, quick intervention by government saw a turnaround. Despite reduced sponsorship, the Chutney Soca Monarch will go on.
It was announced yesterday that participants in the International Soca Monarch can expect a major reduction in prize monies.
The first place winner at the International Soca Monarch winner will now receive $300,000 down from $500,000 last year.
Caribbean Airlines pulls sponsorship of Invaders Steel Orchestra
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has pulled its sponsorship of Invaders Steel Orchestra.
CAL noted that it was unable to reach an agreement on sponsorship with the band.
It said that it offered Invaders sponsorship in the amount of $400,000.
However, CAL noted that this figure was unacceptable to Invaders who were requesting $800,000 which it said was an almost 80 percent increase over the 2017 sponsorship sum of $450,000.
It said after careful review and due to the economic conditions, it couldn’t meet the request.
Several fetes including the Trinidad and Tobago Hotel and Tourism Institute’s Taste of Carnival, are no more this year due to financial constraints.
TTHTI noted that it was forced to cancel the event this year due to government’s failure to pay the institution monies owed to them for GATE reimbursements and subventions.
In December, over 120 students were issued letters, informing that they will not be able to graduate or collect their certificates if they do not pay their outstanding tuition fees. TTHTI has since cancelled the graduation, calling on government to meet their obligations to the students.