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Cuba carnival mustn’t be just a ‘Santa parade’

Aug 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

POPULAR: A float and crowds at the last Cuba St Carnival in 2009. PHOTO: Supplied

CUBA Street Carnival stalwart Batucada is not interested in the event if it becomes just a “Santa parade”.

If the new trust announced last week is going to be able to revive the carnival, it needs to be at least as creative as the old one, says the percussion group.

“We don’t want a Santa parade,” committee members Gordon Cessford, Phill Rendle and Caroline Greig say in a statement.

Batucada, formed to enter the 2002 carnival, has still have not forgiven the council for withdrawing support from what should have been the 2011 carnival.

“This is something that had been built up over the years that was very Wellington and very home-grown and authentic,” they say in a statement.”

While the carnival money was shifted to pay for Rugby World Cup activities, the trio says other commercial events were still supported.

“Things like the ‘Sevens and WOW are external and commercial – all good fun but not really about what Wellington is.”

Wellington City Council has backed the new Creative Capital Arts Trust to replace the trusts which formerly organised the Fringe Festival and Cuba Street Carnival

The trust got the go ahead last week, when the Council agreed to pledge the annual $85,000 from Fringe Festival funding from 2011-13, on top of a $70, 000 start-up grant from Creative New Zealand.

Emma Flack, project manager for the establishment of the new trust says having support from the two organisations is important.

“Without the support of Creative New Zealand and the council, it would be very difficult to make this happen.”

She says there is a determination from all sides to keep the Cuba Street Carnival going.

“We just have to work out how and when – watch this space,” she says.

“Wellington prides itself on being the cultural capital of New Zealand and providing opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their work, and both of these [festivals] are key events for Wellington in this regard.”

She says first on the agenda for the trust is getting Fringe 2012 up and running and creating a fantastic event, while at the same time making a plan for the Cuba St Carnival.

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