Soca and Groovy artistes can expect an increase in prize monies for Spicemas 2017.
Jackpot City through its owner Steve Duncan has contributed $15,00O towards prize monies for the two competitions to run over the next three years.
This partnership agreement between Jackpot City and Spicemas Corporation (SMC) will see the Groovy competition winner seeing his takings move from $20,000 to $25,000 and the Soca Competition winner prize money will be increased from $35,000 to $45,000.
Speaking at a ceremony held at SMC’s office on the Kirani James Boulevard on Friday, businessman Steven Duncan who is also Co-Producer of Extreme White said the gesture is being done in keeping with his support for the artform.
“I have always been a supporter of the arts. As one (who is) involved in production of events and is aware of what it cost for artistes to produce their music, I am very aware of what it cost to get that final product out every year and in addition to that, the stage performance, in order to bring that energy and that presentation…”, he said.
According to Duncan, it is very costly for an artiste to fully prepare himself for the big night of competition in the final as “quite a few things” have to be done.
“So, what will happen is at the end of the day, if the artiste gets $30,000, $20,000 may just end up being the cost of producing their presentation and in so doing I have decided that I could make a contribution that in some part it’s going to help to lift the standards”, he said.
“…I have decided to make a contribution that can help to raise the bar by bringing the prize monies of both the Groovy and Soca monarch to something that is a little bit more presentable and as the years go by we would see that number increase because we have committed to doing this at least for the next three years”, he added.
Duncan stated that businesses should not be seen only in terms of profit but corporate entities should find it within themselves to give back to the society.
“The people that patronise my business are the everyday people that come in and entertain themselves and in so doing, I feel obligated to giving back to the community in one form or the other”, he remarked.
“I do it many other ways. I have had scholarships going into primary and secondary…I think it’s just something that every responsible corporate citizen should do…” he said.
SMC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kirk Seetahal welcomed the intervention of the Duncan-led outfit in light of the severe financial constraints under which the state-appointed body is forced to operate.
Seetahal pointed out that the financial constraint of the corporation has been told to the artistes earlier in the year and that SMC would not be able to increase prize monies for the 2017 season.
He said the understanding is that what the carnival body could not give them in cash would be made up in through some corporate entities that came on board.
He cited the case of Caribbean Airlines which agreed to give two tickets to any of its destinations and Columbian Emeralds which agreed to give jewelry like wrist watches to the winners of the Carnival Kings in this year’s competitions.
In addition, Seetahal said that two airline tickets will go to the winners of the Queen Show, Soca Monarch and national Calypso Monarch crown.