TT – San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello does not support the suggestion by captain of San City Steel Orchestra Aquil Arrindell to cut Panorama prize money so players could receive a stipend.
Regrello said it was he, as an alderman at the San Fernando City Corporation and chair of its Carnival committee, who was able to get the prize money increased from $750,000 to $1 million. He said this was an incentive to get bands to participate in the 2017 National Panorama competition held for the first and only time at Skinner Park, San Fernando.
“They should not have gotten the increase just to come to San Fernando. One million should have always been the first prize as an incentive of what it costs to get them to the finals. But they were reluctant to come to Skinner Park,” Regrello said.
He said to get from preliminary to final stages, a large band’s budget is beyond $500,000.
“Panorama finals probably take about two-thirds of a band’s annual budget for tuning, arranging, blending of instruments, uniforms and T-shirts, decorations, because it is a phenomenal event.
“In the case of bands from San Fernando, they have to pay transportation cost of over $100,000, pay for loaders to put the pans on the trucks and take them off.
“Bands from Port of Spain don’t have that challenge, they could push their pans to the Savannah.”
He said he knew Arrindell’s heart is in the right place, ‘But I beg to differ with him.