NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 04, 2013) — The financial gains made for Culturama 2013 indicated a willingness of Nevisians to pay to support their culture and cultural icons. That view was expressed by Deputy Premier and Minister of Culture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Mark Brantley, when he was a guest on Nevis Television Channel 8’s Inside Government programme on September 02, 2013.
Mr. Brantley was at the time speaking to the progress made for the island’s annual cultural festival which commenced on July 25 to August 06, 2013. He stated that the NIA had introduced a new policy of limited complimentary tickets which he believed effected positive financial gain at the end of the festival.
“This year we decided as a policy, that with difficult economic times we really couldn’t continue that practice. So we said to patrons, listen, the price is not exorbitant, we have tried to keep the prices for the shows reasonable, $30 or EC$35 for a show,…Can you please pay for the shows?
“So we introduced a new policy where we limited the number of complimentary tickets that were made available and politically. I confess, I took some licks for it but at the end of the day we have seen the results in terms of the numbers. Our revenue at the gates has jumped from $109, 000 last year to $202,000 this year and I think that that is a tremendous indicator of success of the festival and the willingness of Nevisians to pay to support their culture and their cultural icons,” he said.
The Culture Minister added that in previous years Culturama was replete with free tickets and complimentary tickets were issued for all shows and events and had fears that that practice was part of the reason he identified that the Administration put in far more money than the returns from gate receipts.
Meantime, Mr. Brantley presented some comparative figures from the Festival’s balance sheet over the years to support the financial success of this year’s festival.
“In 2009 the Nevis Island Administration would have spent $225,000 in terms of their subvention for Culturama. In 2010 that figure was the same $225,000. In 2011 the figure was $220,000. In 2012 it was $200,000 and this year 2013 the expenditure was $100,000 in terms of a direct subvention to Culturama…
“In 2009 the gate receipts were $183,513; in 2010 the figure for gate receipts dropped tremendously to $127,033. In 2011 the figure for gate receipts dropped further to $108, 518 in 2012 it remained pretty much the same, it was $109, 653 and for 2013 the figure for gate receipts moved to $202, 377. So the last figures we had for 2012, we were at $109, 000, paying patrons going into the venues for Culturama. This year we’re at $202, 000, so we nearly doubled in terms of gate receipts,” he said.
The Nevis Culture Minister reminded that one should bear in mind that the financial gains came although ticket prices remained the same and for the first time in a long time there was no charge for the final day and persons were allowed to enter the Complex free.
With regard to the revenue derived from online streaming of the Culturama shows, Mr. Brantley acknowledged that the initiative commenced with the previous Administration in 2012 both the receipts and patronage grew in 2013.
“Last year from the online streaming, we were able to earn $1,042. That was the share the NIA got from the online streaming. This year the number quadrupled. We earned four times as much this year and we were able to put in the bank $4,274.05,” he said.
In conclusion, on the matter of Culturama 2013, Mr. Brantley noted that the investments made for the Festival were sound.
“So from the perspective of income and patrons coming into the venue, people paying to come into the venue, we have seen receipts which have almost doubled and in the case of online viewers, quadrupled both in numbers and in revenue. So the truth is that it was a good investment to add those additional seats. Clearly, people were occupying them. People came into the venue. People paid,” he said.