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Prize distribution for Steelband and Mas winners of Carnival 2009

New York, USA - In closing out what has been one of the most challenging years of its 42 years existence, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) will distribute prizes to all winners of the annual Labor Day Parade and festival. The much anticipated prize giving ceremony will take place on Monday December 21st at the Brooklyn Borough Hall located at 209 Joralemon Street in downtown Brooklyn.

Despite numerous financial hurdles experienced this year, Yolanda Lezama-Clark was optimistic that the Association is in a position to keep its commitment to the artisans who were in this year’s winners’ circle. “In 41 years the Association has never faltered in our financial commitment to the bands and individuals who compete in the parade,” says Lezama-Clark. “This year will be no different despite the global economic downturn and a decline in our corporate sponsorship dollars and a depletion of other funding streams.”
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Well it is great that the bands are finally getting their prize monies. This was almost a $20,000+ lesson. Nonetheless, it is a "bargain price" for the sponsoring institutions to pay especially if they are able to play "these games" in the future. Too bad these payouts do not come with interests or apologies.

One would really not expect these things in a capitalist society. West Indian pan people are going to realized that this "laid back," "Government will take care of me," "sponsors will take care of me," "...because I love pan" attitude that many adopt in their home countries will not work in the US. This entire nation exists on the strength and ability of each individual to "hustle" and "grind" -- day after day. Every day is a BUSINESS DAY and a BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.

Maintaining a steelband is an expensive undertaking. How some bands are able to do it is nothing short of amazing. Nonetheless, bands will need to start finding new creative ways to support and protect themselves because there will always be trials and tribulations. At least for now they have learned an important (and expensive) lesson - "If it is not in writing, it did not happen. Get a contract that can stand in a court of law"


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