St Mary’s South MP wants more money for carnival

Editorial Staff

Mar 15, 2023

Opposition Member of Parliament for St. Mary’s South Kelvin “Shugy” Simon

Opposition Member of Parliament for St. Mary’s South Kelvin “Shugy” Simon wants the government to make cash injections available to local costume bands, to enhance their production and carnival product as a whole

During his debate on the 2023 Budget in Parliament on Tuesday, Simon said he sees a need for “mobilization funds to be given to the bands,” that are preparing to participate in the upcoming carnival celebration.

“It is hard for bands to put production on the road with only subsidies when they bring in things for carnival. Injecting physical cash into these bands will go a long way,” Simon told Parliament.

He said coming out of the pandemic [Covid-19], several costume bands had to sit out participation in carnival 2022 amid financial constraints.

“It was a shame not to have Myst on the road, given the level of professionalism and good revelry that they bring year after year. I am proposing to the other side [ABL] that they should look into giving these bands a kickstart come carnival time. It is done in St. Kitts it is done in the Bahamas and I think that we should look into doing it in Antigua,” the new MP said.

Additionally, Simon questioned the government on what they are doing to assist local artists, especially honoring their obligation to carnival show winners and participants.

“Our music needs to be more international because the more international our music is the more people will learn of our county and pay a keen interest in our carnival,” he said.

Prize money is another issue, that’s plaguing Antigua and Barbuda carnival he said.

“To this day bands have not been paid for last year and we’re a few months away from the next carnival. These things need to be improved. We’re killing our culture and were killing our product,” he told the house.

Carnival will be launched on April 15th this year.

A $4.2 million budget has been set for this year’s Carnival celebrations, an increase from the little over $3 million in last year’s allocation.


  1. Mystic

    Carnival is a Combined Consorted Effort.
    Portray in Poetry Art Music & Cukture.
    Cogging not Reading Our Biggest Hurdle
    We Have Overcomed..
    We ARE on Par with Others even Above
    But Even in Culture no Love.No Long Epistle Blow de Whistle..
    We Have Openings for
    GLobal Port Entertsinment.
    Some Dancers & Whatever ARTISTRY
    Carnival is All year Round…
    Creative Industry as it’s Called..
    Is Oart of de Evonomy saying Shuggy!!
    💰 🤑 💸 💲 🪙

  2. Audley Phillip

    Antigua’s Carnival once famous, but now seem stuck with very little growth to show over the years.
    Carnival was widely known as the greatest summer festival and the most prominent form of expression of Antiguan culture. Across the nation people stop whatever they are doing to party and dance for a solid straight two weeks.
    But despite the thousands of Antiguans and visitors Carnival attracts every year, providing a major boost to the country’s tourism industry, and economy, some still question its true benefits to Antiguan economy. This is because after so many years of carnival, a true cost benefit analysts has never been done to determine the real benefits to the Antiguan economy. Governments input into Carnival continues to be a “hit and run” thing because like other areas of the economy very little assessment is done in order to see the real benefits and the need for promotion and marketing in order to see growth.


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