With fewer than three weeks to go before the 'Greatest Show on Earth', Carnival 2018, NCC Executive Chairman, Colin Lucas has expressed his heartfelt optimism that this year’s season and its events will be one of the best and safest in recent memory.
He said that while there are many plans still being put in place, so far the progress has been encouraging with many of the mainstay shows of the season just around the corner.
“We are particularly encouraged by the work that Pan Trinbago and TUCO have been able to accomplish with the adjusted budgets and many of the challenges that we each face in meeting our obligations,” Lucas said.
He added; “With both Pan Trinbago and TUCO having some of their big ticket items (Pan Semis, Calypso Fiesta, and Kaisorama) coming up soon, we are really satisfied with the tremendous work that they have been able to undertake in responsibly managing this year’s competitions under the circumstances. As usual, we have provided the infrastructure and security for the event and have met with all our stakeholders to ensure that everything is in place for maximum patron comfort and security. We are excited and hopeful to see how Pan Trinbago and TUCO continue to seize their roles, in these challenging times, as we carry these beloved competitions forward to the satisfaction of the steel pan, the calypso, and the national communities alike. And, as always, the NCC is deeply committed to working with them every step of the way.”
Speaking on some other points of concern, Lucas reiterated that the short season and significantly reduced budgets continue to present quite a few challenges.
However, he said that he has been assured that these challenges would not affect the quality of critical elements, such as enjoyment and security, during the Junior and Senior Parades of the Bands, as well as the stagings of the Dimanche Gras show, the Kings and Queens Competition, the Stick Fighting Competitions, the Canboulay Re-enactments, and the Traditional Characters Parade on Carnival Monday at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
“We know that it’s not an easy task. Thankfully, we have a great mix of both experience and youthful energy to see us through, which is just the thing we really need to keep the thing moving in the right direction, at the right pace, and guided by the right people.”
Lucas also commended the work being done by the various NCC Committees, the Mas Secretariat, and Accreditation Desk in planning the season, handling the high volumes of Mas registrations, and attending to the wide variety of media requests.
Citing these as big wins for the Commission, Lucas also praised successful partnerships with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and their digital comprehensive one-stop cultural resource app, CultureTT, as well as a new partnership with the D’Junction on their app that features up-to-the-minute band locator functionality; allowing users to know exactly where their bands (large and medium) are at all times.
“So far, we’re on good path. So while many of our loftier goals had to be left on the back burner this year, we have been able to proceed at a good speed and in a good direction, carefully counseled by our stakeholders at every step of the way. Of course, we’ve encountered many challenges along the way. But we firmly believe that despite all of these, Carnival must be done right. And thanks to the hard work of so many different teams, many things have fallen into place to the Commission’s satisfaction. 2018 is shaping into a Carnival to remember,” Lucas said.