Given the declining state of the Calypso in Saint Lucia over the past years there have been numerous appeals from calypsonians and calypso lovers for something to be done to resuscitate the Art Form. In response a new approach has been developed and agreed upon to manage the 2016 Calypso Season.
Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony intervened and following discussions with Tent Leaders agreed to establish a Calypso Management Committee (CMC) for a period of two (2) years with a mandate to oversee and manage the regular Calypso Tent Season in collaboration with the calypso and soca fraternity in Saint Lucia.
The CMC will work with the tent leaders to ensure that the logistical and financial arrangements are put in place for contracting relevant service providers and ensuring that all requirements such as venue, sound, security and other related aspects are adequately provided for in the hosting of the Calypso season up to the quarter final stage. Beyond that the Carnival Planning and Management Authority (CPMA) will remain as the agency responsible for the production of the National events of the Calypso Monarch, Power and Groovy Preliminaries and the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch. The CMC will however assist the CPMA as a stakeholder in the production of these events.
The Government of Saint Lucia has agreed to provide financial support to assist with the management of the calypso season and the CMC will be held accountable for the disbursement of those funds in meeting the related costs. Additionally CMC will engage with the business community to secure opportunities for corporate sponsorship of the season.
The CMC will conduct a review of the competition rules to allow for demographic and other changes in the Calypso genre to encourage wider participation, and in collaboration with the Calypso Tents will prepare the schedule of the Tent Shows up to the Quarter Finals.
The CMC is expected to consult with a cross section of stakeholders including the calypso writers, arrangers, musicians, sound engineers and other interested parties in charting the way forward for calypso. There is an underlying objective of revitalizing the Calypso Association so that calypsonians and the relevant interested parties can collaborate to effectively rescue the art form.
The appointed members of the newly established CMC are as follows:
Mr. Claude Paul (Chairman)
Dr. Mkabi Walcott
Ms. Alison King
Mr. Finbar Cotter Accountant – Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries
Mr. Eddie Hazel
Mr. Victor Poyotte
Mr. Teddy Francis
The CMC has already began meeting with the representatives of the various tents and will broaden those discussions in the coming weeks to formulate solutions for staging a calypso season that will be pleasing to calypsonians, calypso lovers and the public at large.