Delay in naming Tobago Carnival committee

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Secretary for Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris is expected to name the committee to oversee Tobago’s first ever full Carnivalon Monday.

Burris had said the committee would be named between May 9 and 13.

But, contacted for an update on Friday, she admitted to a lag.

“Yes. We delayed the announcement, out of sensitivity to situations that emerged in the national space. The announcement would be made on Monday afternoon.”

In April, the full Carnival set for October 28-30 was announced, with Burris saying then that the committee would oversee the planning and execution of the events.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine confirmed what she said on Friday.

“The committee was approved this week and the secretary has advised that on Monday, she would be making the announcement.”

He explained that the process involved not just the executive council approving the committee, but collecting members’ resumes and other paperwork.

The committee, he said consists of seven core members as well as representatives of pan, mas and calypso organisations.

“We have asked the head of TTAL (Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd) to also sit at the table. So, it would have all-round conversations, but the core of the committee is really seven.”

He said on Thursday, he met with the leaders of Pan Trinbago Tobago Region, chairman of the Tobago Carnival Bandleaders Association Jemma Bedlow and Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) acting president Ainsley King.

“They are well on the way. The stakeholders are happy, and everybody is participating in what will be Tobago’s first official Carnival.”

Questioned about funding allocations, he said: “We are not yet at that part. The first task of the committee would be to do a budget for us. It doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to fund the entire budget as they would propose – in the past normally, we’ll just pick a figure and say, ‘Have Carnival at that cost,’ but we are using a different approach.

“The first task of the committee is to provide us with a budget, a proposed budget and from that we would determine what would be the cost that we can actually afford.”

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