90% of Virtual Junkanoo production team had COVID-19

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Mario Bowleg, Minister of YOUTH, Sports and Culture.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune journalist

[email protected]

Minister of YOUTH, Sports and Culture, Mario Bowleg, revealed yesterday that 90% of the team contracted to produce a Junkanoo virtual show had COVID-19, which affected production.

A day after telling The Tribune that the quality of the production could have been better, Mr Bowleg repeated to reporters that the Bahamian company hired for the job faced challenges that made the production substandard.

Asked about these challenges, he said: “We (are) in a COVID environment and unfortunately 90% of the production team have contracted COVID and they have not been able to do their work which would allow them to respect the deadline or to do their job for perfection I should say to allow them to meet the deadline that we wanted to broadcast the production.

“Unfortunately, the work they would have provided would not have been enough to satisfy us, but once again I’m not taking anything away from them. They will correct their mistakes and we will move forward.

The show aired on January 1 on TV and social media, but viewers complained about the quality of the production.

Mr Bowleg said once industry stakeholders and ministry officials have reviewed the corrected programme, it will be re-released.

Mr. Bowleg also gave a breakdown of the cost of production.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture previously said the virtual Junkanoo budget for New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands was $300,000.

The ministry said it provided $126,000 to Junkanoo groups as a stipend, giving grants of $11,000 to seven Category A groups and $7,000 to seven Category B groups.

“In production and advertising, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture spent $24,000 on production and $200 on sound advertising.

“The remaining balance of the $300,000 will be spent on virtual parades for Grand Bahama and the Family Islands,” the ministry said in a statement released over the weekend.

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