Statement on the route for the Carnival Parade of the Bands 2014
February 2, 2014:
On January 30th, 2014 the Acting Prime Minister the Honourable Prakash Ramadhar, The Honourable Lincoln Douglas Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism and the Honourable Gary Griffith Minister of National Security met with senior representatives of the National Carnival Commission (NCC), the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA), the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) and the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) to discuss pressing issues concerning the route for the Carnival Parade of the Bands 2014.
I wish to thank the Acting Prime Minister for chairing the meeting and for his solution-oriented approach which culminated with agreement among the relevant stakeholders, with respect to a route for this year’s Parade of the Bands. After lengthy discussions, a decision was made that the original direction of the Parade of the Bands route would be maintained for this year.
In 2013 the NCC commissioned an independent study to analyse and subsequently develop recommendations to improve the Parade of the Bands route. The firm of C & H Associates Limited, with a team headed by Dr Rae Furlonge, has been conducting this study. Based on the results, to date, of this on-going project, a proposal was put forward to change the directional flow of the existing route.
While it was agreed by all present that substantial work in this area is required to significantly improve the flow of carnival bands, it was felt that the timeframe for the implementation of the route adjustments was too limited.
The findings of the study would be taken into consideration for implementation in 2015 after additional consultations are held with Carnival Bandleaders and other relevant stakeholders.It was also decided that initiatives would be put in place for Carnival 2014 to improve the management and control, and help alleviate the bottlenecks along the existing parade route.
The Honourable Gary Griffith has committed the available resources of the Ministry of the National Security to assist with the management of the Carnival parade and the flow of the bands. In addition, Traffic Wardens are to be deployed to support members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. The system of Route Managers and Marshalls would also be enhanced.
The NCC will make adjustments to the implementation of the GPS system that monitors the location of bands on the route. This shall facilitate the optimal management of the logistics and flow to the Savannah and other competition points.
Additionally, all Associations present have committed to ensuring that their respective members abide by the rules governing the parade route for this year’s Carnival.It is expected that these initiatives will ensure equity among the bands and a more structured approach to route management.
The NCC, along with the NCBA, will also consider a proposal to use the periphery car park areas of the National Stadium as a venue for bands to Parade as a strategy for enhancing the flow along the route. A final review is carded for Wednesday the 5th of February.
The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is focused on the continuous advancement of the Carnival product. We see this meeting as a noteworthy step in the right direction. Information and feedback from this year’s Carnival will help inform adjustments to the parade route in 2015. I commend the NCC and the NCBA for their initiative and thank all the representative organisations for their passion and commitment to improving Carnival.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago acknowledges the important role that Carnival plays in our society. I, as the Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, continue to strive toward the development of the Carnival industry. We all stand to benefit from a jubilant and harmonious festival, both from an economic and a social point of view.