Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2024

Government takes control of carnival organization

PHILIPSBURG -- The organization of carnival will from now on be under the control of a newly established St. Maarten Carnival and Planning Committee it appears from the restructuring policy for carnival published in the National Gazette.

The policy marks the end of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) as the entity that has been responsible for the organization of carnival for decades. The policy identifies several “pressing challenges:” Inconsistent management structures, financial instability, lack of procedural transparency, underrepresentation of local culture and concerns about the safety of residents and visitors. The document furthermore mentions lack of procedural transparency and limited accountability as reasons for establishing the Carnival and Planning Committee that will resort under the Ministry of Justice.

A supervisory board will act as the governing body responsible for the strategic oversight, and ensuring that the carnival’s objectives align with broader cultural and economic goals.

The supervisory board will be responsible for approving strategic plans and budgets as proposed by the management board. It also has to ensure that carnival activities maintain cultural integrity and community values. The board also oversees financial transactions and accountability and it serves as an advisory body on key decisions to the management board.

The management board reports directly to the supervisory board; it is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the carnival. This board plans and organizes carnival events in line with strategic objectives; it coordinates with government agencies, participants, sponsors and vendors to ensure seamless operations. It furthermore manages financial operations including budgeting and financial reporting. The management board implements marketing and promotional strategies to enhance local and international participation. Lastly, the board will have to ensure compliance with health, safety and environmental standards.

In its conclusion, the policy document states: “The restructuring is a strategic initiative designed to enhance the event’s cultural significance, operational efficiency and economic impact.”


Image caption: The Theo look-a-like carnival troupe cartoon is taken from the book Cusha Cartoons. Pre-order your copy by buying a Cusha Columns subscription here online at https://stmaartennews.com/subscriptions.





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