The Grenada Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (GCRAC) of Dr. Francis Alexis is turning to the use of calypso to help promote its work.
The committee has announced that it will be offering financial incentives to calypsonians to come up with calypsos as part of a competition.
GCRAC officials met with reporters at a press conference to disclose that the calypso competition will be open to all Grenadians and should focus on the theme, “Linking Constitutional Reform to National Development” in an effort to get more citizens involved in the constitutional reform process.
Committee member, Robert Branch who is Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Legal Affairs said the aim of the competition is “to afford an opportunity for the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to participate in the process of constitution reform and to ensure that persons in all walks of life get an opportunity to become engaged in the process”.
The competition, being organised in collaboration with Spicemas Corporation (SMC), will be held on August 1st at Carnival City at Tanteen, St. George.
The winner will receive $10,000, second prize $7000, third place winner will get $5000 while an appearance fee of $1000 will be given to the other finalists.
According to Branch, the committee decided to offer these “attractive prizes” out of a recognition that the artiste has to put in a lot of effort in constructing a calypso.
“We understand that there is a financial burden in producing a calypso. You have to write, you have to record, sometimes there is a fee associated with the band and so we understand that there is a financial cost…,” he told reporters.
Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Lillian Sylvester said that the song being produced by Calypsonians for the competition should be inspirational and a call to action.
“The theme may be interpreted in its broad sense. The writer may examine any aspect of the Grenada Constitution and also the proposals for amendment and link it to national development. They can make suggestions for its improvement or its strengthening”, she remarked.
“…You have areas like fundamental rights and freedom, gender equality, the rights of the child. We have copyright issues and then we have other areas relating to the name of the state”, she said.
Participants have until June 16 to register with SMC for the competition and each artiste is required to submit one original song on CD by July 15.
Based on the rules of the competition, the song must not be in violation of any intellectual property law and must not have been published before July 15th, 2016.
Sylvester said the same song can be used by the Artiste in the National Competition for Spicemas 2016, however, the committee will be using the winning song for promotional activities.
The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government has announced plans to hold a referendum this year on Constitutional reform but no firm date has been given for the vote.