July 11, 2008
That Carnival programme again


Our congratulations go out to all who made Vincy Mas 2008 a success – the componthankent parts who make the Festival, sponsors and organizers of entertainment events, participating Vincies and visitors, the hardworking members of the Carnival Development Corporation, including judges and the indefatigable Ministers of Culture, Rene Baptiste. Her contributions are often not fully appreciated, but there can be no doubt about where her commitment lies.{{more}}

It is customary at the end of every Carnival to do a review as a basis for forward planning. This has its value since its reveals shortcomings which need corrective action and allows for the ventilation of ideas. There is no shortage in this regard, but there has been a tendency, in spite of correctly identifying weaknesses, to repeat some of the same errors year after year. Very often, while our analyses are on target, it is in implementation that we seem to fall short.

Carnival patrons will therefore be hoping that at least one major shortcoming of our Festival, a perennial one at that, will at long last be tackled. We refer here to the programming of the shows, a matter which has been publicly raised and admitted by both the Acting Chairman of the CDC and the Culture Minister herself. Every year, for a number of years now, we make the same criticisms and all involved pledge to ensure that corrective action is taken. Yet when it comes to actually doing something about the problem, we balk at implementing decisions which may not be popular with the mas makers.

One gets the impression that no one wants to compromise, everyone wishes to be in the limelight. It is as though we refuse to understand that the good of all, the future of the Festival itself must come before individual interests and preferences. In the process, we undermine the quality of the very Festival we wish to promote. Vincy Mas is undoubtedly of a high standard where all the basics are concerned. Our problem is how best to package it for the entertainment of all our patrons and how to strike the right balance between competing interests. We make decisions, but then always seem to pander to the bluff and bluster of those bent on having their own way.

We simply cannot continue like this. As we sit down for our annual post-mortem, we must take decisive action in addressing this programming matter. Yes, we must collectively discuss and take all views into consideration, but where the future of our Carnival is concerned, national interests must take precedence. Firm and enlightened leadership is required.