The press briefing was held at the spacious lounge, located at the Nevis Cultural Village.
Chairing the proceedings, was Mr. Antonio ABONATTY Liburd, Executive Director at the Culturama Secretariat, who not only introduced the Minister but pointed out that the Minister would give an overview of the recently concluded Culturama 44 activities and a financial report as well.
Minister Evelyn commenced by commending and listing all of the winners in the various shows that were held during the prestigious festival and also congratulated all of the participants for their contribution.
He also thanked Premier Mark Brantley for entrusting the critical portfolio to him and thanked his cabinet colleagues for their full support.
He also lauded the efforts of the Culturama Secretariat and the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, for their efforts in making the festival a success.
Also included in his thank yous, were Patron of the festival, Mr. Cleffrin SHINE Daniel; Grand Marshall of the street parade, Mr. Arthur France MBE; the slogan winner; Supt. Lindon David and the entire Police force and army men, for ensuring that the festival was indeed INCIDENT and ACCIDENT free.
The sponsors and various partners, also came in for high praise.
He noted that Culturama 45 will be a significant one and will be the ‘best ever’ and in that regard, he was urging potential sponsors to start from $45,000 and upwards but stated that if they could not do that, then whatever they gave, would be greatly appreciated.
He stated that his experience this year was a great one, even though there were a few negatives involved.
He listed the high points of the festival as:
- Excellent promotions via radio, television and social media
- The coverage of the events and singled out Judith Dasent and her staff at NTV 8 for special praise
- The additional events, such as the four in one fet; Culturama games and Junior street parade, to name a few
- The enhancement of the Cultural Complex, to the tune of half of a million dollars
- No additional cost at gate for patrons
- Increased participation in some of the events e.g. Junior Calypso show
- Increased attendance, generally, at most shows
- Accident and incident free festival
- A wide variety of activities
- Increase in gate receipts
- Slogan competition for 2019, launched at opening of 2018 festival. Interested persons can submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
The low points he listed as:
- Late start of shows. He is demanding improvements in 2019
- Late finish to shows-noted that no show should be finishing at 2am, next year
- Rain interruptions
- Debacle involved in the senior calypso show
He then presented a financial report pertaining to gate receipts and payments for the prize giving ceremony as follows:
Ticket sales and Gate receipts: 210,079.00-increase of 18% over last year
Broken down into:
Calypso related activities: $31,648.00
Miss Culture show: $21,180.00
Soca Monarch: $21,360.00
Swim wear/Mr. Kool: $27,170.00
Talented youth: 22,070.00
Wet FET: $85,650.00 (41% of ticket sales and gate receipts)
Booth rentals and vending activities $36,800.00
Prize giving: $256,000.00 (3% increase)
Broken down into:
Senior Kaiso: $83,250.00
Junior Kaiso: $16,000.00
Cultural street parade: $16,500.00
Swim Wear/Mr. Kool: 32,000.00
Miss Culture $33,000.00
Road march: $2,000.00
Soca Monarch: $57,250.00
Talented Youth: $16,000.00
A question and answer segment followed, with representatives from various media houses fielding questions to the Minister.
Some of the issues raised included:
What transpired with the senior Kaiso debacle?
Why was the swim wear segment dropped from the Miss Culture show?
What is the policy of paying persons who do work for the committee?
How does one become a member of the Culturama committee?
Why not more emphasis on folklore at the Cultural street parades?
Minister Evelyn responded eloquently and was commended for a well-coordinated and cordial press conference.