Crop Over Stakeholders Laud Barbados Culture Minister for Initiatives to prevent Controversies

Bigger prize packages for calypso competitions, a new look Bridgetown Market, a reduction in the price of stall spaces, preferential stall spaces for long standing crafts persons and two folk concerts and a gospel concert for Crop Over 2011 were among new initiatives announced by Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Hon. Stephen Lashley, when he met at the first ever meeting held between all stakeholders of the Festival and a Minister of Culture.

"Reports from the meeting, which was held at the Culture Ministry’s Warrens Complex offices on Friday evening, were that it was a fruitful one and many of the stakeholder representatives expressed appreciation at the fact that the Minister took the time to listen to their issues and respond to many of the suggestions which came out of the initial meetings with the Board and staff of the NCF."

This was a follow up to the inaugural meetings which were held with the various stakeholder groups with members of the then newly constituted board of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) from January 31 to February 10 2011.

The unprecedented meeting was the fulfillment of a promise the Minister had made, following those initial stakeholder meetings, that he would meet representatives from the groups to hear their views and chart a path for a successful and controversy free Crop-Over Festival.

Those represented included calypsonians, promoters, technical service providers, tuk and folk groups, craft persons, vendors, background singers and tent managers among others.

L/R: Chair of the NCF, Monique Taitt & Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth - Stephen Lashley

Minister Lashley started the meeting by reminding stakeholders present of the initiatives they had suggested during the previous meetings and outlined which of those initiatives had been introduced into Crop Over 2011.

Citing the background of a cash strapped economy, the Minister outlined efforts to ease stakeholders in their efforts during the Crop Over season, specifically the vendors who were given reductions in stall prices.

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