NIA committed to safe; enjoyable Culturama festivities, says Dep. Premier

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (JULY 09, 2013) — Deputy Premier and Minister of Culture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Mark Brantley, said the Administration was committed to the delivery of a safe and enjoyable Culturama festival; the island’s leading cultural event.

Bank of Nevis Representative Mrs. Bronte Swanston Hendrickson presents sponsorship cheque to Chairperson of Culturama 39 Dr. Patricia Bartlett during the press conference

Mr. Brantley’s assurance came during remarks at a press conference hosted by the Culturama Committee on July 05, 2013, at the Red Cross conference room. The 39th Culturama festival is scheduled for July 25th to August 6th with an increased number of fringe activities.

“The Administration and the Police [are] working together to ensure a safe environment for people to enjoy themselves and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that and to reassure the general public that they can come out; they can enjoy the activities on the streets of Charlestown and of course the activities at the Cultural Village and Complex free of fear because the Police effort is being stepped up to a considerable degree,” he said.

According to Mr. Brantley, prevention was a primary goal and as such the NIA had also invested in additional lighting for venues. A number of Close Circuit Television (CCT) cameras would be installed in critical areas ahead of the festivities.

“The presence of surveillance cameras is also a deterrent to crime because people don’t go and commit crimes if they feel their images might be captured. So that too is a deterrent and also we have invested in additional lighting around the venues which again we expect to be a deterrent.

“The Police have also indicated that they are going to have the usual scanners and equipment so the people can feel comfortable coming out understanding that we are making every effort… So prevention that is the primary goal and of course the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) has indicated that those out there who think they can come and do foolishness, then as he says, ‘from there to the Court to 1840’, so it’s a matter for them,” he said.

However, Mr. Brantley said in spite of all the crime preventive measures that would be in place the Police not the Administration could stop crime and called on the assistance of the public in the endeavour.

“We are hopeful that good sense will prevail and I echo the sentiments of ASP Liburd that we cannot do it alone, we need the participation of the general public as well. It is in our best interest to keep ourselves safe,” he said.

Meantime, the Culture Minister used the opportunity to commend all those who were working voluntarily behind the scenes and thanked them for their invaluable service, to ensure the 38th Culturama Festivities would be successful.

He also thanked the sponsors who had contributed to the Festival among them LIME, who increased its sponsorship this year to $75,000 ($54,000 in cash and the remainder in kind).

Mr. Brantley also spoke to some new innovations and the reintroduction of events to the programme line up for the 2013 Culturama among them the Poets in the Square; the Herberts Beach Affair and the International Artist Night.

“We have introduced some innovations that is, Poets in the Square. As many would know, poetry has really taken off on the island and we are trying our best to encourage it and so the Committee had the idea to introduce Poets in the Square everyday at midday, so that when Nevisians and visitors are going about their business, they can experience the joys of our local poets reciting in the Square. So that is a new initiative that has been taken,” he said.

The International Artist Night would also be reintroduced but with a twist. According to Mr. Brantley, the event will be hosted this year as a benefit and all proceeds would go to the health care services on Nevis.

“We have also reintroduced after a hiatus of some years the International Artist Night and this year we have Droop Lion, I-Octane and Dwayne Stevenson taking the stage for one night only in Charlestown. The beautiful thing about that is it’s being put on by Tender Care International a non profit organisation and they are indicating to us that all the proceeds from the show will go to the health care sector in Nevis

“So it is one of those types of shows where you can go spend your money enjoy yourself but also understand that what you are doing benefits others. So I say kudos to Tender Care International – Judith O’Loughlin Lescott who is the brainchild behind it,” he said.

The Minister also urged members of the public to support the Culturama festival and reminded it was the island’s premier summer cultural celebration

“Please come out and enjoy your Culturama. It is your festival it is Nevis’ premier summer festival. A festival which is designed to capture, promote and enhance our culture, our arts, our crafts, our food.

“I ask you to come out and sample all of the delights that we have. Tickets are very, very reasonably priced and you can defiantly come out and have a good time. Some times for some of these show as little as EC$20. The type of entertainment offered for that is really and truly a giveaway. So I ask the public to please support the shows. Support the activities, our young ladies, our gentlemen, our teens and even those who are even younger than teens, who are coming out to show their talent and to demonstrate the good things that Nevis has in store, the good things Nevis has to offer,” he said.

Also present at the Conference was Executive Director of the Culturama Secretariat Mr. Abonati Liburd; and Chairperson for Culturama 39 Dr. Patricia Bartlett and Assistant Commissioner of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force in charge of the Nevis Division Robert Liburd while Marketing Executive for Culturama Mr. Mervin Hanley chaired the event.

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