The dispute between the Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM) and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) over the declaration of Kevin Small as Designer of the Year for Crop Over 2017 has been settled.
After raising strong objection to the results, BAM President Chetwyn Stewart said the matter had since been put to arbitration and other members of his association were forced to concede that, based on points, Small had won the title fair and square.
“It was just a matter of us seeing the judges’ points and the accumulation of the points and seeing how they came up with a winner [and] out of that, nothing was changed because Kevin did get the most points and was the clear winner,” Stewart explained, adding that it was all a big misunderstanding.
“Apparently there is a rule in there that says you can enter as many sections as you want to and with every section you can have an individual and you can have a couple. So if you enter 12 sections, when you are judged and you have an individual in all of those sections, although I may beat you in everything, when the points are added up – and the public doesn’t see those points – when they are added up you could probably get more than me.
“So basically nothing was done wrong by anyone. It’s just something that we have to look now to review,” he added.
Following the presentation of the keys to a fully loaded Mazda 2 valued at $68 000 to Small on Wednesday, Stewart also made it clear that the matter had been put to bed and that BAM would not be taking its challenge to the results any further.
He also made it clear that there was “no bad blood” between Small and other members of the masqueraders association.
“We queried [the result] and that was it. We went to the presentation and everything and we wished him the best. He won. Looking at it from the [outset], you didn’t think that he would have gotten that amount of points. No one was really checking for all those other little points that would have been added up and so on. No one was to blame for it. It’s for the bandleaders now to understand the rules and where points come from and work along with the system,” Stewart stressed.
However, in light of the myriad problems faced by masqueraders this year, the BAM president said other changes were needed in time for Crop Over 2018.
“The major plan going forward is that
things have to be done. A Cultural Industries Act was passed like three years ago. Up to this day things have not been implemented and we are still paying duties. Things like that need to be done.
“The bigger picture at the end of the day is that we need more input into the festival. You have to get out there and use your initiative and find ways to market Crop Over and Barbados [and] the Government needs to get more involved and do more for the festival,” he added.