Thursday 29 October, 2020

Chutney Soca Monarch cancelled as NLCB pulls funding

Chutney Soca Monarch 2018 has been cancelled.

George Singh, promoter of the annual competition, announced the cancellation today, blaming lack of funding from the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Singh said on Wednesday he was informed that the Ministry of Finance issued a directive to pull funding for the competition.

“The offices of Southex contacted the National Lotteries Control Board with regard to the payment of their Sponsorship package; a package that was previously approved by the then board of directors. I was informed that I was required to attend an urgent meeting that morning at the offices of NLCB.

"Whilst there I was greeted by the CEO and informed that there was a change, a change to which he was awaiting a final decision on. Within a few minutes, a phone call was received by the CEO and taken outside of the said meeting. A few minutes later the CEO re-entered the room to which he stated that there was an email confirmation and directive by the Ministry of Finance that stated that the Chutney Soca Monarch was no longer to be the recipient of any funding whatsoever. It was stated that the NLCB would no longer be a sponsor after having a longstanding relationship spanning a period of 15 years,” said Singh.

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He said without that funding the show cannot go on unless there is “input by some angel”.

Singh said they will look at alternative forms of funding for the 2019 edition of the show.

He said over the last three to four years the show has been losing money and personal funds have been invested despite the challenges.  He said they have submitted financial reports to the Ministry of Culture every year and he has worked with the Ministry despite the financial challenges and the dwindling sponsorship in recent years.

Singh said with no CSM he foresees a major reduction of the music in the Carnival as it was the only platform developed for Chutney Soca in 23 years.

The CSM competition has been in the spotlight in recent weeks with speculation over the inclusion Nirmal "Massive" Gosein's controversial song "Rowlee Massive Count". Gosein registered the song and the list of semi-finalists was due to be announced at a media launch on Friday. 

Calls to Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Culture Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly went unanswered.

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