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Who Is Responsible??!! -- An “Ooops” Moment in Steelband Panorama 2010

An “Ooops” Moment in Steelband Panorama 2010 The case of the disappearing steelband panorama internet broadcast
Who Is Responsible??!!

Global - A funny thing happened on the way to this year’s steelband music Panorama internet broadcast. It got lost, and found, and lost again, and then resurfaced - for some. Talk about “mass media confusion.” And yes, ‘confusion’ would be the operative word to describe the online broadcast fiasco of the 2010 steelband music Panorama event by the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG). The end results were massive migraines, many disheartened customers and frustration for many partakers and curious people from all over the world, interested in the carnival season internet stream of which the Panorama finals event was part. Moreover an opportunity to expand and cultivate a global base was squandered and even permanently impaired. In this “must” forum, the stakeholders were never able to establish or exact professionalism at the highest order.

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I'm glad I didn't waste my money and enter into this madness. I will just wait to see the performances to come up on Youtube
My people - probably the last event of interest as an ex-pat during the Carnival season. Last year was much more enjoyable and it was free ( WACK and CN? TV).

Do we need some foreign organization to come in and show us how???
Here's another reason why not to expect things to get any better....

Trinidad Express

Divine Echoes and buzzing in the brain
Lennox Grant

Sunday, February 14th 2010

Pat Bishop, reporting anxiety by Sir Shridath Ramphal over Trinidad and Tobago’s allegedly undivided attention, proposed that Carnival Tuesday be dedicated to Rex Nettleford.

May this be, Ms Bishop prayed, the Rex Nettleford Las Lap. She was addressing a Hilton audience of media people, assembled by the Media Association of T&T for an occasion, ’What Carnival Is’.

Rex Nettleford, the Jamaican renaissance man, who died on February 2, and whose funeral takes place on Tuesday, had earned T&T cultural street credentials since his stint here as a UWI tutor, maybe half a century ago.

As Prof Nettleford, he had risen to the pinnacles of UWI administration, and of Caribbean and international recognition, as an academic, writer, artist and after-dinner speaker.

He knew Carnival. ’Trinidadians phenomenal Carnival’ he wrote in 1979, ’has long become more than an annual show’.

But does Carnival know him? Enough, say, to raise a wire-sculpted depiction of the writer, talker and dancer, in some topical, rapid-response, section of a mas band as, perhaps, only Peter Minshall can do it?

Well, Minshall won’t be doing it.

At Ms Bishop’s bidding, the media people kept a moment of silence.

By then, however, the Carnival Establishment, the Corporate-Sole sponsor and enabler, embodied in the Ministry of Culture, had taken little or no notice of the passing of The Rex Nettleford.

Wherever he is, he’s likely neither surprised nor let down. Also in 1979, he had written, crediting Russian origin: ’It is not the Ministry of Culture that one worries about; it is the culture of the Minister.’

In T&T, the Minister of Culture, Marlene McDonald, didn’t gain the position for having been herself a woman of culture.

Possession of culture, or capability of a quick study in the field, rather disqualifies someone for consideration as minister. For the position of Manning-administration minister, ’required competencies’ highlight ability to exercise power, and to manage the apportionment of patronage in sustenance of that power.

Commanding the post-Cabinet prime time, she spoke the lines of a minister of cultural finance-from a script studded with seven-digit and eight-digit dollar figures.

For the calypso organisation, $8 million; for the big mas bands organisation, $8 million; for regional small mas, $7 million; for Pan Trinbago, $24 million and counting...

As with the scholarship hand-outs, released under pressure last year, the Culture Minister’s role is that of issuer of disbursement cheques, not evaluator, reporter of outcomes, nor celebrator of successes.

Ms McDonald showed herself, however, fired up with boosterism for a Carnival event still to come.

’In pursuit of greater excellence,’ she said, ’I am pleased to announce that this year’s Dimanche Gras will don a new look.’

She quickly removed all doubt about the ’new look’. For sure, it won’t supplant the old pattern of lavish disbursement to favoured beneficiaries, in a word, patronage.

That’s the unspoken rubric under which the minister promoted the 2010 Dimanche Gras, directed by Davlin Thomas, with a curtain-raising role for the Divine Echoes.

That quaintly small-church name came, not out of any big competition, but as the result of a personal musical preference, given effect through enjoyment of power.

If Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s La Fantaisie domain were a palace, the Divine Echoes would be the court band of players.

Maybe the Dimanche Gras Mr Thomas has a namesake, in the person of the PNM councillor who put up a sign on the rubbly bank of a kerbside drain on Tenth Street, Barataria.

The sign brands such minor infrastructural works in progress in the name of the PNM San Juan/Laventille Councillor-one Davlin Thomas.

The dramatic work tonight, in the name of Davlin Thomas, enjoys much the same indulgent state blessing as the Divine Echoes, the dance band that is Mr Manning’s personal, special-purpose, state enterprise.

This precisely targeted state investment in music largely escapes observation and comment. At the official launch in October 2007, Mr Manning dedicated the band to bringing back ballroom dancing as an option for young people. He recalled the 1960s’ popular dance music by the Dutchy Brothers and Joey Lewis bands.

Both, of course, were private enterprises (Joey Lewis’ is still).

In response to the buzzing in the prime minsterial brain, the public funds committed to the Divine Echoes, unlike for Gary Hunt’s $2 million ’monster’ flag, have created jobs for skilled workers.

And music to listen to, if not also to dance.

I hope the Divine Echoes will, as a movement in music, escape the uncertainties of its birth in political whimsy, and survive, beyond dependence on state support, into such self-sufficiency as would add to the gross domestic product in music.

For the love of music, as prime minister myself, I might have done the same. Might.
Sad, real sad.

Junior Leiba said in the WST facebook comment box:
"If CTNT has the exclusive rights for the Television Broadcasting of the major Carnival events they should be sued for Royalties by the participants of each of the Shareholders in Carnival, i.e.NCBA,TUCO,The SteelBand Association,The Kings and Queens that participated in Dimanche Gras,and most of all the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Authority,et al. It was a total disgrace that it was all done for money."...

I agree with this statement totally.

To make matters worst the CNMG people were very rude. No public apology. They acted like they were doing us a favor. They miscalculated just how many people outside of Trinidad nationals would look at the panorama. They were really prepared to rob us.


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