Carnival bands record major losses

Carnival bands record major losses

Members of the Saint Lucia Carnival Bands Association have confirmed the general consensus regarding the lackluster 2014 Carnival season.

At the first meeting of the Association since the close of carnival, members agreed that the festival lacked the necessary cohesion and consistency that had been building over previous years.

Several members are reflecting seriously on yet another year of financial losses, and the Association is therefore seriously concerned about the viability of several member bands and their sustainable participation in future carnivals.

The August 9th meeting saw record attendance by Bandleaders, many of whom articulated their disappointment in the production and management structure in effect for the 2014 festival.

This year’s festival was produced and managed by the Carnival Production and Management Agency (CPMA), an agency that does not provide for representation by any of the major stakeholders, particularly the representative associations of steel bands, calypso tents and mas’ bands. As such, the Association feels that many years of knowledge and experience in producing and managing the Saint Lucia carnival have been discarded.

The Carnival Stakeholder Committee which previously managed Carnival was created by Cabinet some four years ago, to improve planning, implementation, transparency and accountability. That committee included all the representative associations with oversight by the Ministry of Finance, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, the Chamber of Commerce and CDF. That structure was abandoned this year without prior notice or explanation.

The Lucia Carnival Band’s Association therefore plans to engage the CPMA and the Ministry of Creative Industries to table the issue of adequate representation, and what it feels are other important production issues hindering the enhancement of Saint Lucia’s carnival product.

Speaking to these issues, CBA President Sonia Sifflet, says “…Carnival bands are loosing money each season because many of the elements needed to ensure creativity, growth and development of the carnival product are still being ignored”.

She noted that while members of the SLNCBA remain committed to the development of the Carnival industry in St. Lucia, Government should not speak about exporting the carnival product until an environment is created locally for the producers of carnival to grow and develop.

“Among those issues is the incentive structure for all carnival creators”, said Mrs Sifflet, pointing out that “bands continue to invest in materials, labour, talent and infrastructure with little prior assurance of any return”.

She said “…Some bands barely made it on the road this year while two bands pulled out altogether. Sponsorship, subventions, prizes and even sales of costumes remain uncertain from year to year, making Carnival a very precarious business for us all”


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  1. For those who say Ban Carnival, we as a Island nation with a rich diversity culture Carnival is our culture a rich heritage born out Slavery, and emancipation.
    Carnival suppose to promote culture, customs,skills alongside education through the art form maybe that is what is missing. we have lost our Masquerades on Christmas and New Years day, we have lost Toes (Papa Jab) on Christmas and New Years day.
    what is left of our rich heritage and traditions from Africa?


  2. wow !!!!! what a surprise. Committees, clubs, so called elites, and all those "brains" they claim they put together and still they record a loss. We have to look at this thing logically. Each and every member of the committees have their loyalty to their own carnival band why would they push a cause if its not for their own benefit. The whole planning process has and continues to be flawed. Every band expects the govt to inject so much money I a lost cause whereas there's a whole year to raise funds to help the situation. Milking the damn empty treasury!!!!! its time they quit putting money into that shate and calling it culture. I was never raised learning that my culture was to parade my naked body on the streets of Castries.


  3. Carnival was a financial loss. Heck! Even Stevie Wonder could have seen that coming. It is a great time to look at Carnival about its value to the economy and culture. I for one believe that it's not worth the effort.


  4. vaval is not for the poor or those who can't afford likewise jazz, if ur'll want culture wait for jounen kweyol pay 25 bux do a round d island and live mass for ppl with paper and cardboard, the price can go up to 1500 i in dat, it didnt hurt me, if i lie say i lie and your'll know i talkin the truth


  5. They need to bring in the Old Carnival process back, our traditional carnival is missing that is why they not seeing profit, they lamenting on other countries culture to much! And for the fools saying ban carnival when they do that you ban a piece of your culture.


  6. Well the smaller band probably did but the bigger band no names probably made a profit maybe not the profit they wanted to but they made a profit. But we know what happens the carnival costume prices go up again


  7. These costumes for the women are getting too damn ridiculous now lets cover up these females more or just cut out carnival completly n do something else . Bring back Coney island I miss the rides n the slides .


  8. The money that was pumped into carnival could have been given to St. Jude Hospital for medication!!!
    Must better worthwhile use.


  9. Is that egg in the face of the "success crew"? As everything that government has organised is always declared a success.

    Even the media is guilty of this, never doing any investigation into the actual success or failure of any event. They just drink whatever officials or some of their cronnies say and come and repeat it to poor unasuming people. Poor Jab.
    No wonder we don't know the true state of the economy. We are still being fed with all juberishfrom PM and "regional surveyors" yet we find it hard to put out the facts in the latest IMF report for public consumption.

    Even the media's credibility will be questioned in the future. You know why? because it failed to expose the liars and cronnies. Then in turn the liars and cronnies will not fail to expose them.

    This is all at the expense of poor people.


  10. Not feeling sorry for any of the Carnival Bands. St Lucian like too much fetes, party and alcohol.


  11. next year the costumes , should green fig tree leaves and breadfruit leaves, start cutting cost move from DJ to live drummers. damn just heard myself sounds more like journey kweyol.......... even better


    • now that sounds more like the "CULTURE" that is supposed to be portrayed and not the copy-cat fashion show carnival has become


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