Statement by Chairman of CDF on The Planning and Production of Carnival 2012
The present Board of the CDF, at its first meeting on April 4th, 2012 resolved to do all in its power to avoid the unnecessary miscommunication, confusion and controversy that marred what was otherwise an excellent carnival 2011. The Board resolved to do all it could to ensure that a harmonious working relationship would exist between the CDF and any group identified by Government to produce the major events for Carnival 2012.
By Cabinet Conclusion No.235 dated 30th April 2012, Cabinet approved the establishment of a committee consisting of principal stakeholders in carnival and empowered that team to plan and produce carnival. CDF welcomes the establishment of the Committee, and true to the sentiment expressed at its first board meeting, has set the stage for a true collaboration and conflict-free process between the Foundation and the Committee.
The Chairperson of the Foundation, Petrus Compton, and the Committee, John Joseph held an inaugural meeting on May 15th and agreed a series of measures designed to make Carnival 2012 a great production success. These included acknowledging the Committee as the principal agency in the planning and production of the carnival events, agreeing the exact terms of CDF’s support for the Committee, establishing clear lines of communication between the two bodies and agreeing on an approach with respect to the financial accountability of the Committee.
These decisions will ensure that all actors in the carnival scenario will be singing from the same song sheet and decision making will be greatly enhanced. CDF wishes to make it clear, therefore, that the CDF is NOT the body responsible for the planning and production of Carnival 2012. CDF is a part of the planning and production team, and an important part, given its history, institutional strength and experience, but responsibility for decision making and execution of decisions rests with the Committee.
Nevertheless, mindful of its statutory obligations, CDF will continue to provide leadership in respect of the developmental aspects of carnival generally. New ideas for cultural activities based around carnival will continue to be developed and the training of persons in the arts connected to carnival will be developed even further. CDF will continue to focus on shaping the overall development of the artistic, cultural and social dimensions of the carnival phenomenon, thereby ensuring that our carnival activities will continue to grow stronger, be more diversified and embrace more of our people. CDF will pay special attention to working with communities outside Castries to help them develop their carnival activities and strengthen their capacity to design, plan and produce high quality activities which will have a positive impact on economic activity in these areas.
Consistent with the sentiment that the production of this carnival should be as conflict-free as possible, the CDF has made available to the Committee the services of its Marketing Officer, who, under the guidance and instructions of the Chairman, John Joseph, will liaise with the media with regards to developments pertaining to Carnival 2012. We ask the media to note, and respect, this arrangement and direct all queries and requests for information to the Chair of the Committee and the Committee’s PR team.
CDF believes that this arrangement will conduce to a carnival free of friction and rancor and begin paving the way towards the creation of a Carnival or Festivals Commission, consistent with Government’s stated desire.