Expired: Pan pain – Petrotrin cuts steelband funding

TT – Sponsorship enjoyed by three steelbands has been pulled by Petrotrin’s successor company Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd, weeks before the preliminary round of the National Panorama competition is scheduled to kick off.

The three bands who flew the Petrotrin flag and carried its title up until 2018, are Katzenjammers from Tobago, led by Pan Trinbago’s president Beverly Ramsey-Moore; Siparia Deltones; and the Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando based band, Hatters.

This crushing blow to these three bands and approximately 20 others it previously assisted, comes less than two months after Petrotrin permanently shut its doors and sent home its 5,000-strong work force last November.

The inevitable fall-out on culture and Carnival was predicted but bands seem to have been caught napping, as they were still holding out hope especially as government has slashed its annual subvention by some $10 million.

For 2019 the pan body has received an allocation of $20 million, downgraded from $30 million, to run the show. Ramsey-Moore has confirmed that was insufficient to manage its affairs and has indicated she might be heading back, cap-in-hand, to beg for a few millions more.

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