Creative Industries Minister Daryl Mathew has said that this year’s carnival budget has jumped from $3 million last year, to a whopping $4.2 million this year.
Carnival is scheduled to take place from July 27 to August 8.
He told parliament on Friday that every cent will be spent to ensure that the Caribbean’s greatest summer festival remains second to none.
Mathew said his ministry asking alongside event planners to ensure every relevant sector receives a stimulus to start their own carnival
“A part of those funds will be used to give the relevant sectors a stimulus so that they can start their Carnival. We have come up with a formula with support of the calypsonians and the Calypso Association about how to give them that advance so that they can get in the studio and start the production of their work because their music needs to come out earlier,” he said.
Mathew indicated that his government is also in talks with the Pan Association to provide some financial support to them, saying that it may not happen “overnight”.
“We are currently in discussion with the Pan Association about how we can support them even from now because Panorama and the production of Panorama doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a level of advanced work that needs to be done, and so we will be providing them with that stimulus and that advance so that they can start their work,” Matthew said.
Meanwhile, this year’s celebration will be launched at the Rising Sun Grounds, which Mathew said will have a new format.
He said the launch of this year’s festivities will also take on a new format.
“The launch will happen at Rising Sun Grounds and there will be a full theatric production that will be put together by our Department of Culture that will carry a particular theme. So, when you come to that launch on that particular day, your children are playing on the bounce castle, we have our sponsors station set up, our mas’ troupes have areas where they can sell and display their product,” he said
“On the stage, there will be a full theatrical presentation that will incorporate our dancers, our singers, our mas’ troupes, some of our artistes to give a fully comprehensive overview of what we have here in Antigua and Barbuda,” he added.