Blackett: No slight to Gabby
ANTHONY “GABBY” CARTER’S omission from a cultural team to the World Expo in China is no slight on the 2010 calypso monarch, says Minister of Culture Steve Blackett.
That assurance was given yesterday after revelations that Gabby was not among the cultural contingent flying out of Barbados to China for the ongoing May 1 – October 31 event. Included in the party were nine-time calypso monarch Red Plastic Bag, two-time monarch Adrian Clarke and this year’s Party Monarch winner Blood.
Gabby defeated the trio on the way to capturing his eighth calypso crown in the prestigious Pic-O-De-Crop Finals at Kensington Oval on July 31.
Also in the contingent are chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Dr Donna Hunte-Cox, Dorsie Boyce, veteran road tennis player and NCF board member Philip
Garner, NCF staffer Stacia Bryan and Mikey, who took second and third positions in the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch competitions, respectively.
Not on original listBlackett told the DAILY NATION that the entertainment contingent for China had been determined before the completion of the Crop-Over competition. He said Gabby had not been on the original list of those considered for the expo. He noted, however, that the veteran calypsonian would be representing Barbados at Labour Day celebrations in New York.
Efforts to reach Gabby for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.
The Expo is being staged on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, and more than 190 countries and 50 organisations are slated to participate. Between 70 and 100 million people are expected to visit the expo which has been mooted as the biggest in history.
Blackett said the massive event provided an ideal opportunity for countries to expose several aspects of their culture and Barbados had decided to send a team. He explained that it was primarily a Ministry of Tourism initiative.
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy was part of an official delegation that visited the Expo last month to push Barbados as a tourism destination.
China has granted Barbados the designation of Approved Destination Status (ADS), which affords Chinese citizens the opportunity to visit the island under self-funded tourist travel for leisure. Barbados officially opened an embassy in Beijing on July 15. (WG)