by Donella Hosten
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) stands among many looking for answers from the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) and the Ministry of Culture as to the true reason for the postponement of Panorama 2017.
According to the NDC’s Cultural Spokesman, Elwin ‘Black Wizard’ Mc Quilkin, a former calypsonian, this is an embarrassment to the cultural aspect of Grenada.
Mc Quilkin, during the NDC’s weekly press briefing, posed a number of questions to the SMC and the Ministry of Culture regarding the treatment handed out to the pan players and the young calypsonians.
Mc Quilkin made reference to the Junior Calypso competition which, prior to the last 2 years, was held at the National Stadium. He questioned the government’s statements when the young artistes competition was moved to a location which he considered to be under ‘very degradable conditions.’ He noted too that the competition was also completely removed from the Kids Carnival Frolic.
Addressing the issue at hand, Mc Quilkin questioned the relationship between the SMC and the Xtreme White’s promoters. Some have indicated that Panorama has proven to be not viable, as it attracts such a small number of patrons. However, according to McQuilkin, if this is the case, could that mean that Dimanche Gras is next?
During a press conference last week, held by the SMC and the Minister with responsibility for Culture, Senator Brenda Hood, she assured the public and the Steelpan Association that a thorough investigation into the matter has started. Additionally, she stated at that point, no one person or group could be blamed, but that after facts were gathered they would handle the situation accordingly.
The Pan Association also made a request to the SMC and the government, for full compensation to the pan groups which were scheduled to compete this year. Speaking to Stephen Greenidge, an active member of the association, he stated that they were informed that the matter has to be taken to Cabinet, and that the association would be given a response by Tuesday, 22 August 2017. However, to date, no response was given to the association.
“The NDC views government’s disrespect for Pan as an extension of its disrespect for our cultural heritage of patrimony in general,” said Mc Quilkin. In this light, they are asking for the resignation of Senator Brenda Hood.