Saturday, April 24, 2010

Revellers to decide whether or not to compete next year


TOP: Award winning bandleader Brian Mac Farlane, right, chats with designer Fareed Carvalho.
CENTRE: King of Carnival Curtis Eustace receives his award from Hermia Tyson-Cuffie, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs.
ABOVE: Garth Peters, chairman, Tobago Festivals Committee, left, presents the husband and wife team of Ronnie and Carol Mc Intosh, from the band Ronnie and Caro, with the Harold Saldehna Medium Band of the Year award.
Revellers with Brian Mac Farlane and Associates will decide whether the band returns to competition during next year’s National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) Parade of the Bands, to defend the George Bailey Band of the Year (large) title. Celebrated bandleader Brian Mac Farlane revealed this during a Guardian interview on April 14, at the NCBA prize-distribution ceremony, held at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, Port-of-Spain. “I will bring the band. It will be fabulous. But I won’t be competing if things remain the same,” said Mac Farlane. “My committee disagrees with me. They now want the masqueraders to go online and vote on whether the band should take part in the competition.”
He expressed frustration about having to wait five hours to cross the “stage” at the Savannah at this year’s edition of the Parade of The Bands to present their portrayal, Resurrection—The Mas. Mac Farlane said he lodged a complaint with Culture Minister Marlene Mc Donald, who promised to meet with him on the issue in hopes of devising a plan to reduce the perennial congestion experienced at major judging points during the national street festival. However, that was before Prime Minister Patrick Manning called a snap general election, scheduled for May 24. Mac Farlane said: “We even suggested that bands draw straws and appear before the judges at different venues on different days. That would certainly address the bottle-neck issues at the Savannah.” More than 300 awards were presented at the NCBA function to bands and individuals. Angela Jack, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, represented Line Minister Mc Donald.
Her deputy Hermia Tyson-Cuffie was also in attendance, along with members of the diplomatic corps, as well as representatives from Pan Trinbago and the Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Organisation (Tuco). Speaking on behalf of the Culture Minister, Tyson-Cuffie said while Carnival brought out the creative genius of T&T’s artisans, “our attempt to dazzle the world with the colour and artistry of our national festival can easily be (spoiled) by inappropriate behaviour. And acts of indiscretion could tarnish the very positive image of our Carnival in the eyes of the world.” That aside, she said, the protective services and responsible bandleaders ensured that T&T’s Carnival continues to be clean, enjoyable and without any major crime.
SEAN NERO
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