CEO of the Festival Management Corporation ‘terminated’

Richard de Lima

Just six months after Richard de Lima was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Festival Management Corporation (FMC) which runs the Toronto Caribbean carnival, his two-year contract has been terminated.

The FMC has given  no reason for the termination of his contract.

When asked specifically about this matter on the weekend, lawyer Anessa Oumarally, chairman of the FMC’s governance committee of the Board of Directors, said “Richard de Lima is no longer with us.”

She told the Caribbean Camera that the position of CEO will be remain vacant until after this year’s carnival and in the interim, members of the FMC’s governance committee will take over the responsibilities of the CEO.

With the grand parade of the 2019 Carnival just about two months away, news of the termination of de  Lima’s  contract came as a surprise to many Toronto’s mas’ makers.

One veteran mas’ man who was present at an FMC meeting last week, said that he suspected “something unusual was happening” when carnival bandleaders and representatives of the local  calypso and steelband organizations were told  by FMC Chairman Joe Halstead  that de Lima who was not present, was on “administrative leave.”

“Well. it looks like ‘administrative leave’ turned out to be a parting of the ways,” the mas’ man said.

In an interview on  Sunday, de Lima told the Caribbean Camera that his termination came as a shock to him.

“I did not  believe that this thing could happen, you know,  in the way that it did  and  I’m still recovering from  a bit of shock.

However, he too gave no reason  for his termination.

” I am now in the midst  of some  delicate negotiations. So consequently,  my mouth is zipped  for the time being,” he added.

However, he laughed off the suggestion that his contract was terminated because the FMC  is facing ” some money problems. because of funding cuts.”

” That would be a hell of a way to address the funding issues,” he remarked.

Several months ago,  de Lima reported that “profound and significant ” changes were underway at  the FMC which will positively impact this year’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival (TCC).

“ The 2019 edition of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, in its 52nd year, will feature a new look, a new feel, and entirely new experiences for its line-up of events,” he said.