With an increase in resources this year, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has expanded its overall Mashramani programme, adding a Hip Hop dance contest for boys in the children’s category and an international artist to tramp along with revellers on Mash Day.
At a media briefing, Permanent Secretary Alfred King said this year the ministry has augmented the budget for regional Mashramani celebrations by 10%. He also said that Banks DIH, Digicel and ANSA McAl, sponsors of the Soca competition, are already onboard and preparations are continuing to expand the float parade this year. King was accompanied by other members of the 2013 Mashramani Organising Committee.
According to a Government Information Agency report, 30 bands are expected to participate in the traditional float parade, presenting a challenge for designers to offer costume packages to companies at a reasonable rate. King said that a company can pay a designer as much as $14M to equip a costumed band of revellers and provide food and refreshments. However, “Together, we are looking at innovative ways in which we can reduce this cost but still have a high quality product to offer companies wishing to participate.” The ministry is also producing a documentary on Mash 2013 to showcase as many of the events as possible, which will be available at a nominal cost. In outlining her programme, Children’s Mash Convenor Desiree Wyles-Ogle said that there will be competitions for poetry, choirs, dancing and the traditional Children’s Costume Parade, sponsored by GT&T.
From January 24 – February 6, regional costume competitions will be held, with the finals set for February 13 – 15 at the National Cultural Centre. The route for the Children’s Costume parade will be from Independence Ground to the National Park, on February 16.
A new addition to the programme this year is a Hip Hop dance competition, for boys, in two categories: 11-13 and 14-17 years. An essay competition for juniors under 18 (450 words) and seniors 18 and older (600 words) will be held based on the theme ‘The role of youths in nation building.’ Entries will close on February 15.
Patricia Chase-Green, an organiser on the Committee, said the Calypso Competition had an initial 30 entrants which has been short listed to 20. The semi-finals will be held in Linden on February 9 and the finals at Thirst Park, Banks DIH on February 15.
Entries are still open for the Health Soca Competition and the Road March Song competition which will be judged on February 23, Mash Day. An international artist will also be participating in the parade, she added.
The Children’s Art Competition, inaugurated in 2012, is also being hosted this year from February 12 – March 1. A number of high quality pieces were produced last year, organiser Collette Jones Chin said.
This year’s competition is based on the Mashramani Theme ‘Reflecting Creativity, Embracing Diversity and children ages 4-12 years can submit drawing and paintings while teens ages 13-17 years can submit graphics and body art in addition to drawings and paintings.
Schools will be asked to submit their three best pieces by February 4. The final exhibition will be held from February 14-18 at the Umana Yana.
Convenor of the Steel Pan Competition, Andrew Tyndall announced that there will be five different categories for the Republic Bank sponsored event. Preliminaries will be hosted at the National Cultural Centre for school bands on February 15 and finals on February 17 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, starting at 4pm. Steel pan concerts have also been planned for several regions and events will he held in Parika, Linden and at other locations in Georgetown.
In addition, concerts featuring local and international artists will be held at Bartica, Lusignan and Linden. A Bright-Up Guyana Competition, Republic lecture series, special concerts for the elderly, Mash workshops, masquerade competitions and folk concerts will also be held.