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Get on board

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley is calling for the public and private sector to work more closely together for the upcoming 2015 Crop Over Festival.

Speaking at the sponsorship launch for Crop Over earlier today at Kensington Oval, Lashley said that since Crop Over positively impacts Barbados, there must be a mechanism to ensure greater financial resources.

From left, Chief Executive Officer of the NCF Cranston Browne, Ruth Blackman and Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley in discussion.

From left, Chief Executive Officer of the NCF Cranston Browne, Ruth Blackman and Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley in discussion.

Crop Over provides opportunities and a stimulus for the Barbados economy, I believe that there must be a mechanism to ensure that the National Cultural Foundation as the executing agency for the festival has greater access to greater financial resources, in addition of course to what is attained every year from private sector sponsorship,” he said.

The minister reiterated that there must be a greater private sector participation and involvement in the festival.

“I believe I say this every year. But I believe that the involvement of the private sector should even be more acute, particularly when the NCF during Crop Over stages events in your proverbial backyard and I refer to Cityfest and the Ceremonial delivery of the last canes.

“I thought there could have been more fever and more excitement in the City. So now that City owners are aware that we are bringing back Cityfest to bring more life to the City, I am hopeful that you will be putting before the public some very enticing sales and that your stores would be adorned with Crop Over sales this year. I believe we can work on making this happen,” Lashley stressed.

He further called on business owners in the Speightstown area to get on board.

“The same thing applies to the Speightstown market as well. I believe that there is an opportunity for businesses of Speightstown to be more assertive in claiming this particular activity as their own and while the NCF is able to bring a fantastic business opportunity to Speightstown I think that it can be made even bigger by greater participation at all levels,” he added.

Furthermore, Lashley also called on the ports of entry to update their looks to have a more up-tempo feel for visitors and locals upon entry.

“ Just like how we can have our calypsonians being celebrated in Trinidad, I want to see adorning the airport something that tells visitors Crop Over is happening in Barbados. Crop Over belongs to Barbados and when visitors and locals alike enter our ports of entry, they should be in no doubt that this is Crop Over land,” Lashley insisted.

“So play the music, put up what you have to put up, but ensure the visibility of Crop Over is ever present. And we in the ministry and the NCF, we stand ready to assist in this regard because it is very critical. The branding of Crop Over is particularly important to raise the consciousness and to ensure that everyone is on board and that you can do well.”

Lashley told sponsors and reporters he is looking forward to this year’s festival and is excited to get it going.

“I believe that this year Crop Over will be really even bigger than last year. Each year I make that prediction and it comes through,” he said.

The NCF’s Chief Executive Officer Cranston Browne said he is already excited for the festival.

NCF’s Chief Executive Officer Cranston Browne

NCF’s Chief Executive Officer Cranston Browne

“I look forward to working alongside you. As we present to the world the sweetest summer festival,” he said. 

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