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$28 m. added to carnival purse

Dr. Lincoln Douglas.

PORT OF SPAIN — Government has approved a $27.8 million increase in funding for Carnival 2013, Dr. Lincoln Douglas, Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, said during yesterday’s weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair.

He said the increase would assist the National Carnival Commission to take Carnival to the next level.

“We are looking to take our Carnival and the festivities to a different level. The redesign and enhancements of some of the major events surrounding the Carnival calendar have challenged us in a way that requires additional funding,” Douglas added.

He did not commit to sustain the increases in prize money for the various competitions past this year’s festival.

The initial budget for Carnival 2013 was $126 million. This year’s Carnival funding, totalling almost $154 million, surpasses that of last year, when then Arts Minister Winston Gypsy Peters approved a budget of $96.5 million but later increased it to $125 million.

Yesterday, Douglas said: “My goal is to work toward the development of the Carnival product in such a way that it will continue to demonstrate that Trinidad is a destination place.”

Douglas said his goal also was to increase the funding so people who made and created art would be able to make a living and export the art and culture that was made in T&T.

He denied the increased prize money was a measure to buy the silence of the mas fraternity which had threatened to boycott the King and Queen competitions if several concerns they raised were not addressed.

He said: “It is unfortunate that bacchanal rhymes with Carnival and people tend to feel that this has to be a reality but I have no bacchanal in my repertoire.” (Guardian)

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