Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:00am
Increase in bands a boost to country’s economy
Title sponsor of Grand Kadooment, Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, is committed to seeing this premier event reach higher heights, which makes them pleased to see that it has attracted even more registered bands this year than it did in 2015 – moving from 21 to 28.
Susan Torry, General Manager, Retail Banking at Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, indicated in an interview with The Barbados Advocate yesterday morning that this increase in bands participating in the high point of the Crop Over Festival will no doubt redound to the benefit of the country’s economy. And, Torry said, with even with more revellers expected on the road this year, the Bank has every confidence in the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), the Royal Barbados Police Force and private security provided by individual bands, to guarantee the safety of revellers as they have on previous occasions.
“The increase in the bands says a lot for the NCF and for all the private sector’s help and sponsorship towards Grand Kadooment and Crop Over in general. So it is a very positive thing for the country to have more bands displayed, and it is so well managed, it does not pose a problem to have more bands because of how tightly it is managed,” she said.
Referring to this surge in Grand Kadooment’s attractiveness, the Republic Bank official suggested that any fear that the Foreday Morning Jam will overshadow and eventually surpass Grand Kadooment in popularity is unwarranted, as she contended that the two mas events are completely different in their appeal. Moreover, she noted that in an effort to ensure the sustainability of the Kadooment Day jump, the Bank earmarked part of the $85 000 given in sponsorship to a prize for the most promising emerging designer.
With that in mind, she also weighed in on the ongoing debate about the appropriateness of costumes, which some persons have been suggesting are becoming skimpier each year. Torry said while the Bank does not want to see the traditional aspects of Grand Kadooment die, they also recognise that designers have various audiences that they are seeking to appeal to.
“We can’t get away from different types of costumes. Kadooment is old, young, traditional, contemporary, and we cannot move away from the fact that they are some people who will want certain things. More and more you find that bands do have offerings for the mature, and you can choose variations of everything. If they want to satisfy their market and also grow their brand, they will have offerings for everyone. We as a corporate entity will continue to promote that everyone behaves responsibly, but people must have choice,” she said.
The Retail Banking General Manager added that the Bank is leading by example and is ensuring that the revellers in their Blue Thunder Kadooment band are attired in “proper T-shirts and proper bottom pieces”. However, she made it clear that they are not condemning any “small costumes”, as they are cognisant of the role that the production of the costumes plays in the economy.
“We are interested in the economy growing and the whole turnaround of the economy. If you pull them off the market what will happen to the band leaders? It provides employment and income for a lot of people during the festival, in terms of the persons who help in the camps and make all those things - the fact is it is an industry. Also, if we took the youth out of the festival completely, what will happen to the festival in the years to come when the more mature move?” she queried.
As such, she said there must be balance and reiterated the Bank’s appeal for persons to act responsibly, not only in their attire, but also in respect of alcohol consumption and their behaviour on the road.
Meanwhile, touching on the Bank’s Kadooment Band, she said spaces were reversed on a first come, first serve basis and is free to the employees. She said they are pleased to have the band once again, as it gives management and staff the opportunity to come together to socialise and build camaraderie. (JRT)