The chairman of Grenada’s carnival organizing committee has said that underfunding at all levels, including from government, is one of the main factors hindering the development of carnival.
Colin Dowe, chairman of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), said carnival needs about EC$2.2 million to be properly planned and executed.
The amount received is way below that figure and the SMC is yet to receive all the money government promised for Spicemas 2011.
“The reality is that of the budgeted amount of $700,000 for subvention and $127,000 in administrative monies for last year, we did not receive approximately $200,000 of that. So, there is in arrears from 2011 just about $200,000,’’ Dowe said.
“The Spicemas Corporation was created by an act of the Grenada Parliament – Act No. 10 of 2011, which was passed in July of last year. Unfortunately, counter to norm, we did not receive any seed money. So, the corporation has been operating on goodwill, as well as on some shrewd financial management over 2011 to 2012 that has gotten us thus far into the carnival season,’’ Dowe added. “It is a bother when there are cash flow hiccups; it compromises one’s ability to deliver at a superior level.’’
As for this year, Dowe said, “we all know some of the challenges that central government has been experiencing in the recent past with cash flow. And, as such, we have yet to receive any monies from them.’’
Apart from government, Spicemas also receives support from “quasi public entities like the National Lotteries Authority, the Grenada Board of Tourism and the Airports Authority, as well as from the private sector, Dowe explained. The biggest private funder is communications provider, LIME.
“Quite often when things don’t get delivered at a level we would have liked, it is invariably because of a lack of resources; not because of personnel or lack of ideas but because of lack of resources,’’ said Dowe. “At the end of the day, there is cost attached to delivering on a vision. We’re particularly challenged when it comes to financial backing.’’
The SMC chairman is convinced that Spicemas can “grow by leaps and bounds’’ and that carnival, which generated $18 million in revenue in 2011, “can be increased five times within the next 10 years or thereabouts.’’
“I am honestly convinced of that,’’ Dowe said. “However, it requires a national effort; it requires a sense of national consciousness. It is extremely important that we change our mindset as we look towards Spicemas; as we look towards the carnival arts; as we look towards culture; as we look towards things Grenadian.’’
Reproduced from the August edition of Barnacle, a Grenada monthly