In a move many suspected for days now, it was finally confirmed by John King how both the Crop Over Festival and the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) are the latest casualties of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which is affecting over 200 countries and territories across the world.

Cabinet approved a recommendation by the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports to cancel this year’s Crop Over Festival and NIFCA.

This decision was made in light of ongoing global efforts to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Government’s negative short term projections for the local economy, regional and international travel and trade, and weakened public confidence in attending mass gatherings in the current environment, and immediately thereafter.

Cabinet has further agreed that the Ministry, through the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), would replace the two major festivals with a national training programme in schools and communities, and a wide-reaching campaign to both fund and produce radio, television and digital content, which would be accessible across multiple delivery channels, including the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.

The Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports remains committed to its mission of creating opportunities in the cultural industries.

To this end, the NCF will shortly convene a series of stakeholder consultations to discuss ways in which cultural practitioners could participate in, and benefit from, the programmes identified as replacements for the Crop Over Festival and NIFCA.

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