By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Last year Vila Isabel basked in the glory of becoming the Carnival 2013 champions. This year, the once underdogs are now facing a list of challenges all due to lack of financial sponsorship from three companies, calculated at R$6.718 Million.

2013 Carnival Champions Face Problems, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The striking colors of Escola Unidos de Vila Isabel during the 2013 Carnival parade, photo by Marco Antonio Cavalcanti/Riotur.

The samba school’s carnival designer, Cid Carvalho, also admitted that Vila Isabel is facing delays in the production of its parade floats. The situation, however, is being downplayed by Vila Isabel’s President of Honor, Wilson Vieira Alves. According to him, if there were ten more days in addition to what is left until Carnival to prepare the floats and costumes, “it would be more comfortable.”

To meet its budget, the school needed a minimum of twenty percent of R$ 6.7 million, but was only given R$800,000 from the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity and Natural Conservation (ICMBio) for their theme this year, “Portraits of Biodiversity in Brasil.” However, president of ICMBio Roberto Ricardo Vizentin argued that the institution had fulfilled its agreement with the school and that they encouraged other companies to collaborate.

With vast experience as carnival designer along with a reassuring smile on his face, Cid Carvalho, acknowledged that there is a delay in the timetable of float production. However, he told O Globo that he is confident that this will not affect the school’s parade on Monday, March 3rd. According to Carvalho, six floats are being decorated and only one car is still in building phase. “Time will only tell and as we enter the Marquês de Sapucaí to dispute the championship, that’s what matters the most.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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