Grenada, St. George’s, W.I. - On Saturday August 7, 2022 the steelpan instrument was supposed to be featured in Grenada’s Panorama 2022 - an event promoted as “Pantastic Saturday Ultra.” However, A very curious and disrespectful thing happened along the way to the event. The promoters “forgot” to put the names of the steelbands and/or any pertinent information relating to Panorama - the marquis event - on the flyer disseminated over the internet. That was an omen.
In fact to make matters worse, the information - and images - on the flyer were about the after party, which features prominent Soca artists. No pan.
Not one steelband / steel orchestra listed or featured on official Grenada 2022 National Panorama flyer
Some in the steelband community made their displeasure towards Spicemas Corporation known via their Facebook posts. See below:
Pan lovers document their displeasure on Facebook regarding the Grenada 2022 National Panorama flyer
When Steel Talks was able to secure the names of participating bands, tunes, arrangers and order of appearance for our global pan community through direct contact with prominent members of Grenada’s steelband community.
Once again Spicemas Corporation is sending a clear massage to Grenada’s pan community - “clear the road - clear the stage,” pan not wanted on Saturday night as part of carnival. Spicemas Corporation seems to be one second away from uninviting pan and panfans to the Saturday Carnival event.
It would behoove the Spicemas Corporation to take a look at how Barbados recently ran its steelpan music event - Pandemonium - for Crop Over, and seek some pointers from NCF (National Cultural Foundation) Festival Events Coordinator Karen Pestaina on how to feature Pan in a major pan event. Grenada’s steel orchestras, the steelpan musicians - especially the youngsters, the art form, and steelband music lovers deserve much better.
The new Prime Minster of Grenada Dickon Mitchell can immediately demonstrate that no group under his administration will be marginalized and/or ignored - particularly the youth - by sacking all at the Spicemas Corporation. We recommend that Mitchell have a serious sit down with Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados for guidance on how her administration was so successful in their investment in youth, pan and culture coming out of a global pandemic.
As of the time of this writing - it is now 2:58 a.m. on Sunday August 7 EST (Eastern Standard Time) - results of the Panorama competition have not be posted as yet.
It is not the first time that Spicemas Corporation has displayed unacceptable and disrespectful behavior toward Grenada’s steelband art form and community. In 2017 the then-CEO of the corporation, Kirk Seetahal, had callous disregard, with not even the Panorama stage being built for the steel orchestras, and as a result the 2017 Panorama was boycotted/cancelled at the venue just before the competition. To put it bluntly, with several documented issues over the years, Spicemas Corporation has a history of blatant disrespect for Panorama and the steelband art form in Grenada.
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