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The World

Published on June 14th, 2015 | by Trinidad Express Newspapers

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Money is the key to the music – Pan Trinbago seeks millions for international conference and competition

In their continuing efforts to promote the steelpan globally, while ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago remains identified as the birthplace and Mecca of the instrument, Pan Trinbago is working to raise at least TT$12M to host its International Conference and World Panorama in August this year. At a corporate breakfast meeting held at the headquarters of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday, Minister of Community Development, Winston “Gypsy” Peters was quite frank in his remarks to members of the production team of the International Conference and Panorama (ICP) and Pan Trinbago about accountability and honesty. He said: “The heart of our Government is in culture but in a project as big as this we have to look at the logistics with a practical eye. We must be true to ourselves and given the time frame this looks like it’s a rushed project.”

“Although it came across my desk when I was the Minister of Culture, we have to be very careful in what we are doing here. If it fails we will be looked at in a negative light through the eyes of the world. Whatever you do here you have to make us proud, pan is our identity and I am of the view that pan has exported itself. The first time I performed with a steelband was in Tokyo and I am yet to do so in Trinidad and Tobago,” Peters said. Peters said: “When you expend so much money there must be something tangible in return. The time is going to come when the dependency on the Government purse will be no more, there might be willingness but it just might not be possible. You have to do all that you can to be self-sufficient.”

Peters also told the audience that we should not forget where pan came from. “While it is good to launch in the Chamber and at the Hyatt do something to launch it in Laventille and Morvant so the people will feel they are a part of it. We must understand what we are doing with pan in Trinidad and Tobago; we have to take it to the communities. “After all this is said and done we dismantle everything and put it away, it needs to be permanent. There must be a village for all to see all the time.”

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