A challenge has been issued to private sector businesses to put some funding behind the arts, more specifically, the development of pan in Barbados.
It has come from Country Manager of Massy Barbados Limited Frere Delmas during the launch this morning of the Massy Pan Pun De Sand event, scheduled for next week Sunday on Brandon’s beach.
“I want to encourage more private sector companies to contribute to the development of this steel pan artform by aligning with any of the organised community, church, or school steel pan groups – whether through outright sponsorship of the bands, support for technical assistance or in the purchase of equipment.
“I believe that it is part of our corporate responsibility to support initiatives which not only showcase our cultural expression but also those activities in which our young people show interest and are passionate about. Steelpan seems to have their attention and that in itself is encouraging,” he said.
“The NCF [National Cultural Foundation], through its programmes in schools and the community has been the driving force behind this growing appreciation for steelpan music here in Barbados, but as a government agency and given the competing demands for their limited resources across other art-forms, the NCF cannot do it on its own. We the private sector must also chip in,” Delmas added.
Meantime, the NCF’s Manager of Administration Wayne Webster said with markets worldwide affected by financial difficulties, Barbados had been no exception.
“From year to year, the NCF accepts the creative challenge of keeping the [Crop Over] Festival relevant, interesting; reinventing our staple events with consideration given to the ever expanding expectation of stakeholders and all in the face of dwindling budgets.
“ . . . sometimes we pay little attention to the fact that it is free and, of course, there is a significant cost factor involved in the delivery of an event of this calibre,” he said.
The NCF official revealed that over the last seven years the Pan Pun De Sand had recorded over 12,000 patrons in attendance each year, with some of the biggest numbers to date recorded during the bumper crop last year.