The island’s number one festival is not only about revelry, pomp and pageantry, says Minister of Culture.
Speaking at this year’s awards ceremony held on Saturday at the Frank Collymore Hall in the City, Stephen Lashley said the annual event which officially runs for six weeks, “has significant implications for the overall economic development of this island and the viability of the business community.”
What he also did was remind the members of the audience of the need to work together and noted that the recommendations made by various stakeholders were considered by the planners.
Additionally, said the Minister, the “on-going dialogue with stakeholders serves to birth many of new initiatives seen in the festival. It also fosters the shared sentiments that Crop-Over should be a holistic Festival, encompassing various art forms, and emphasising every cultural expression, while paying tribute to our heritage.”
Earlier in his address Lashley noted the annual awards ceremony “endorses the idea that the season’s success cannot be solely measured by the gate receipts, revenues earned, tourism numbers and reviews”. He said that although those were all important, the “valuable contributions” made by the stakeholders were of equal import.
“The awards ceremony recognises your commitment and dedication and the spirit of collaboration between yourselves and the National Cultural Foundation in the process. It is this collaborative relationship which redounds to the excellent production of the sweetest summer festival. As Minister responsible for Culture I say a big thank you,” Lashley said.
He thanked the corporate partners and all awardees including calypsonians, band leaders, the King and Queen of the Crop, every vendor and crafts person, and the “hard working staff of the NCF” for making this year’s festival the spectacle and success it was.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I want to thank all those who in any way, big or small, contributed to the success of the 2013 Crop-Over Season,” said Minister Lashley.
He added: “As producers and stakeholders, we must move forward with a renewed cohesive approach to all our endeavours. There are many things to consider, but all decisions will be taken in the best interest of the festival. In summary, it is only by working together that we can be assured of the future success of our Crop-Over Festival. We therefore look forward to your continued support.” (DS)