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Crop Over revamp on cards

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

Crop Over revamp on cards

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Strategic and significant changes are coming to Crop Over.

One of them is a revamped Bridgetown Market with a new site at Spring Garden near the Flour Mill, while there will be a Chinese cultural show and more.

But no word has been given by Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King on the other changes.

Speaking at the official launch of the festival, Crop Over Xplosion, he said that in his new role he would identify the best team to bring the visions forward.

“When I stepped into the role three weeks ago I had meetings to get a sense of where we were at. Now the festival is going forward and the Crop Over Xplosion format is the direction we will take onwards. I will do a post-mortem and the results will also shape the future of this important pillar.

“This doesn’t negate the need to make any changes during the festival if needs be,” he warned.

The minister said he would be doing a full assessment, and added that even with budgetary constraints it was vital to “recreate the festival model to be competitive with other Caribbean carnivals.

“The National Cultural Foundation (NCF), the ministry, stakeholders and sponsors will consult on how to restructure the festival, so I am asking for support in the coming months. Culture is one of the main drivers for economic growth, as is entertainment, and other tributaries in the cultural industries.”

The minister said innovativeness must be at forefront as next year marks the 45th anniversary of the festival. He said synergies had already been created between culture and tourism as seen in the Barbados Tourism Product Authority’s Heritage Bus Tour.

The minister listed a pop-up museum roaming the country, an NCF mobile app and the new-look Visual Arts Festival as “innovative”.

He said the ministry’s mandate was to create national events and festivals throughout the year and expressed the hope that sponsors would recognise the value and come aboard.

“Investment in this industry is necessary to achieve these goals. The target will be overseas markets,” King added. (NS)