Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 13th 2014 Contents chairmanship in 2012, she realised the organisation
"The last strategic planning was in 1998, and in
September 2012, my predecessor Patrick Arnold had
started a strategic planning process, but there was
nothing in place. One of the first things I did was
to engage in a strategic plan which was completed,
and now it is to implement it over the next five years,"
Making mas viable
Demas said one of the main goals of the strategic
plan is to transform Carnival from just being a festival
to being a viable, sustainable industry.
"A major goal is to improve accountability, both
financial and individual by implementing superior
procurement and management systems. One of the
measures we took was to engage the services of Price-
waterhouseCoopers (PwC) to do a business and finan-
cial diagnostic. That exercise was completed in July
2013, and arising from this, the NCC commissioned
PwC to do a procurement manual," she said.
She said procurement was an area of "weakness"
for the NCC that has since been improved.
"Given that the NCC has to oversee taxpayers'
money, it is critical that the NCC embraces value for
money and accountability. One of the benefits of
having implemented that new procurement system
for Carnival 2014 was the NCC coming within budget.
This is a significant achievement"
She said the NCC was able to pay off its debt last
"We were able to give the Government comfort
because of the new procurement procedure and they
wanted to wipe the slate clean and gave the NCC
$115 million to clear debts that had accumulated from
2011, mainly caused by the overruns of the recon-
struction of the Grand Stand. All these debts were
paid off in 2013," she said.
The NCC has embarked on a Carnival Industry
Development Project, she said.
"It is measurement of the social as well as the
economic development of performers for Carnival.
Secondly, we have taken the United Nations sector-
wide approach. This is conducting meaningful con-
sultation with a wide cross-section of stakeholders
with a view to getting their input on a design of
industrial policy. From this the Government will be
able to make decisions based on empirical data,"
She said not everything the NCC does will be able
to generate money as part of its mandate is to provide
"social and cultural" services that are not for prof-
"There are 53 regional carnivals in T&T and these
are free to the public. These are geared towards pre-
serving the traditional mas. The NCC's mandate is
not only commercial, but also cultural. We also hosted
the Carnival Village, and in 2015, we want to spread
it to San Fernando, and that is free to the public and
it non-profit making."
She said the infrastructure put up for Pan Trinbago
and TUCO are also non-profit making, labelling this
"The NCC puts infrastructure in the (Queen's Park)
Savannah, on South Quay, in Skinner Park and in
the Arima Velodrome. This is to put up shows for
mas, pan and calypso. The NCC does not charge the
special interest groups for these activities."
At the same time, she said the NCC has to become
sustainable and more efficient.
"We have to build partnerships with the private
sector in relation to the production of shows and
events in terms of sponsorship, merchandising and
endorsement as well as the commercial exploitation
of media rights and the acquisition of assets, which
we can license and sell, like television, online stream-
ing, online advertising as well as film," she said.
Two steps forward
She spoke about "two significant" developments
"The NCC partnered with the T&T Film Festival
to stage the Carnival Film Series, which took place
across T&T. As well as the NCC invested in the pro-
duction of two short films: Kings of the
Gayelle and Beneath the Mask."
The NCC also invited a team of journalists
from the United States to Trinidad.
"This included a journalist from Billboard
Magazine. They are interested that T&T is
celebrating the centennial of the first vocal
recording of calypso and Billboard Magazine
will do a special feature on that significant
event. We also had a producer form Trace TV.
They are in 135 countries. We also had a rep-
resentative of HBO. Their mission was to do
fact finding and advise the NCC how we can
better package our shows and events interna-
tionally. We also want to launch our own online
TV station by end of 2014 which will be ready
for next Carnival," she said.
She wants to see the NCC run as a modern,
efficient business with "value for money and
"Basically, this is cultural enterprise and there
will be activities that will not generate profit, but
there are those that do and the aim is to capitalise
on the profit-making aspect in order to subsidise
the non-profit making. It's about achieving both
mandates -- which are the commercial mandate
and the cultural mandate -- which I think can be
done," she said.
Demas said TUCO, the NCBA and Pan Trinbago
all have audited accounts which must be submitted
to the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, while
the NCC's last financial statement to the Ministry
of Arts and Multiculturalism was in 2011.
"There must be efficiency when dealing with public
funds," she said.
She said Carnival becoming more efficient and
generating money will help the T&T economy.
"The benefits are job creation, poverty alleviation,
the potential for the development of technologies,
like film and online, mobile applications, the oppor-
tunity for wealth creation. Small businesses can gen-
erate wealth: look at the street vendors and the money
She also said there has been "no comprehensive
estimate" as to how much money carnival has
generated for the country.
However, she referred to a 2011 study done
by Dr Vanus James, which showed how the
copyright sector during Carnival contributed
to greater economic activity.
"The copyright sector contributed to five
per cent of employment and contributed
more to the gross domestic product (GDP)
than agriculture in that year. The copyright
sector comprises music, mas, media,
advertising, software and all related
We also need to work harder to con-
vince the private sector that investing in
Carnival does yield a significant return on
"Banks during the Carnival period earn
their highest rate of interest from loans to
individuals to purchase Carnival costumes.
The food and beverage sector, ground and
air transport, tourism sector, retail sector
and other businesses in other sectors,
Demas said not enough statistics exist
on how many tourists come in the coun-
try annually or how much Carnival con-
tributes to the GDP, gaps that must be
The NCC commissioned a study in
November 2013 on Carnival's contri-
bution to the economy. It's a work in
"We need solid empirical data so
we can quantify how it contributes to
the economy, how many jobs created and all the eco-
nomic data," Demas said.
MARCH 2014 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
Contined from Page 4
LAVA Moko Jumbies from Bagatelle, Diego Martin. Portrayal: Sweet TNT
Bernice Nero playing
"A tribute to Tony
Julia Edwards Dance Company limbo presentation from
St. James Traditional Carnival Competition held at the
amphitheatre, 19th feb
Links Archive March 12th 2014 March 14th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page