Craft items on display at booths around the Queens Park
Savannah, weeks after the end of Carnival activities at the Savannah.
Craft vendors blame the National Carnival Commission for their woes.
Photo: Ian Gooding
of the T&T Leathercraft Association (TTLA) who set up shop around
the Queens Park Savannah this carnival are still complaining
about the low sales they suffered during the festival.
are blaming the National Carnival Commission (NCC) for erecting
their tents on Carnival Friday which they say was much too late
to attract the usual number of customers.
normally come out on the Saturday before Panorama, said Gerald
Raphael a vendor. We remain with plenty things. I come from
Point Fortin next to Licensing Office on the Main Road. I make plenty
things. My brother here come from Couva. Now we have all these things
remain on our hands.
business is called Gerico Leather and Craftsmen, comprising five
men who practice their craft all year. We make a wide range
of craft from a lot of local material, he said with disappointment
in his voice.
believe that if we could get a say when they (NCC) organising their
meetings for Carnival, then we could avoid this problem, he
vendor called Judah said that while his sales were good they could
have been much better, if it were not for the late setting up of
said the NCC gave them only a tent for which they had to pay $500
and all the vendors had to provide their own decorations and other
things to make their tents attractive.
complained that the setting up of the stands pushed them down around
the Savannah and spectators had to walk around the stands and plenty
people loss sales there.
need to have a little chat with the craftspersons and exchange ideas,
because we aint too big to learn nothing or too small to give
craftsman claimed that many of them stayed away this year because
of the problems they were having with the NCC.
even put a bar in front of we and take up space that another craftman
could have used, he charged. They running the craftsmen.
Selmon Johnson, said that he invested close to $30,000 to prepare
for the Carnival and he would not recover even a half of that.
year we went to the media to complain and we thought it would be
better, but it was worse. All they give us is a tent and we had
to do everything for ourselves.
of the TTLA Sean Forde, said that the late setting up of the tents
for the craftsmen was only one of the many problems they faced this
year. He cited the lack of enough activities in the Savannah as
another cause for poor sales.
year, he said, the craftsmen seemed to be the last thing on the
NCCs mind and were it not for repeat overseas customers, things
would be very bad.
somebody sits down and have dialogue with us in a meaningful way
and accept us for who we are as entrepreneurs, we will be having
the same problems year after year, he said.