Calypso Association threatens to take Carnival Committee to Court

The Grenada Professional Association of Calypsonians and Tents (GPACT) is threatening to take the Grenada Carnival Committee (GCC) to court if prize monies from this year’s carnival are not paid by next Monday October 24th.

In a letter the Committee, President of GPACT, Adrian “Persuader” Thomas complained about what he described as scant courtesies being paid to artistes in respect of their prize winnings over the years.

According to him there was an agreement, prior to the 2011 Carnival, for the monies to be paid to Calypsonians 14-days after the end of the Carnival celebrations in August.

“Consequently, Mr. Chairman, our patience is running out and GPACT has no choice but to give you the final ultimatum that Calypsonians must be paid by Oct. 24th 2011. Failure to adhere to our request will give us no other option but to seek redress in the Court and provide moral support to all other artistes who seek legal redress for the delay/refusal of GCC to pay prize monies.”

For years, there has been friction between calypsonians and Soca artistes and the Carnival Committee over subventions for the Carnival event and prize monies following Carnival.

The GPACT president, in his letter added that the Association will not continue to accept the ‘disrespect meted out to GPACT’.

“Let me take this opportunity also to inform and warn the GCC that the 2012 Carnival Season will not be like that of 2011. Our level of tolerance for GCC’s conduct has reached its peak.”

“We cannot continue to accept the kind of disrespect that you and your Carnival Committee seem to enjoy dishing out to stakeholders, especially GPACT.”

The Association held a meeting with GPACT and other carnival stakeholders on September 27th, promising them that they will receive information on the payment of prize money by October 4th however, to date no such information has been forthcoming.

GPACT is also calling for the GCC to provide them with a copy of the financial report on the 2011 Carnival celebrations.

In a post-carnival press briefing,  both Junior Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Senator Arley Gill and Chairman of the Grenada Carnival Committee (CCC) Colin Dowe reported that the carnival was a ‘success’.

But GPACT says they “…question whether claims by the GCC can be believed in the absence of any written account of the performance of carnival”.

“We wish to publicly request a copy of the report of the performance of carnival 2011, and we call on the minister for culture and the NDC Government to defend its avowed claims of transparency and accountability and demand that the GCC provide stakeholders with a copy of the report of the performance of carnival 2011 and 2010.”

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