Dialogue has begun between the Ministry of Culture and various stakeholders to examine how best to improve the Crop Over Festival.
Speaking at the Catch The Feeling: Crop Over Sponsors Launch last Friday at Ilaro Court, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, stated that as time progressed, Barbados must adapt its offerings to match the needs of a varying target audience, without compromising its cultural identity.
“There is a need for continuous review to ensure relevance and viability in a rapidly changing environment . . . We have to come to grips with the fact that changes are indeed inevitable . . . Competition is emerging from other sources, and patrons have many other options to exercise their purchasing power,” the Culture Minister pointed out.
Highlighting the need to restructure traditional Crop Over events such as the King and Queen of the Crop Awards, the Minister noted that one option was to re-imagine the King and Queen of the Crop and to make a list of selected honorees.
However, Mr Lashley stated that there was a need to keep those traditions that “form the core of our mirror image”. “The current status quo . . . will be retained until all options have been exhausted and the NCF (National Cultural Foundation) carries out the widest possible consultation with our stakeholders,” he assured his audience.