Thursday 23 November, 2017

13 Soca Monarch finalists receive prize money

Aaron "Voice" St Louis is the winner of the 2017 International Soca Monarch title

Aaron "Voice" St Louis is the winner of the 2017 International Soca Monarch title

Thirteen finalists from the Soca Monarch 2017 competition have finally received their prize money. 

The finalists received their money on Thursday.

However, eight finalists are still owed their money said  Peter Scoon of the Caribbean Prestige Foundation, organisers of the Carnival Friday competition.

Scoon explained that while the Government issued the cheques since May, he withheld the funds as he did not have all the money to pay everyone in the hope that additional funds would be disbursed.

He said he planned to meet with the Minister to discuss the subvention for next year's competition which might be in jeopardy if there aren't enough funds to stage the show. 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Community Development issued a press release confirming the disbursements of cheques for 13 finalists since April.

The Ministry, however, warned that failure to cash these cheques by October 12, 2017, will result in unnecessary inconvenience to winners as the required funding will have to be sourced from the Ministry's allocation for fiscal 2017/18.

"In an effort to avoid the resultant inconvenience and delay which would accompany such a situation, the Ministry is reminding winners in the 2017 edition of the International Soca Monarch Competition to make all necessary arrangements to collect and cash their cheques as soon as possible before October 12, 2017," the Ministry said. 

When contacted about outstanding payments to the remainder of finalists, Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly denied any knowledge of additional funds. 

She said Cabinet approved $1,380,000 based on the prize structure that was submitted by Caribbean Prestige for 13 finalists. 

Asked about the allocation for next year's show, Dr Gadsby-Dolly said more money might not be on the cards.

"I am certain  2018 would be no better than 2017 and I am sure the issue of more is not viable in these circumstances," she said.