June 29, 2012
CDC never leaves soca artistes out in the cold, says Ambrose

Entries to the 2012 Soca Monarch competition have been “overwhelming”, despite the complaints by some leading soca monarchs that the prize money and appearance fees are inadequate.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Chairman of the Carnival Development (CDC) Corporation Denis Ambrose stated that there were sixty entries to the Soca Monarch competition, from which 17 finalists were chosen last Thursday.

“It is obvious that the interest in participation in Soca Monarch as it is, is extremely high.

“You may recall that the CDC made an initial response to the concerns raised by some soca artistes and I wish to reiterate that we have not in any way slighted the issue, regarding price increases,” the CDC Chairman stated.

He further noted that it would be unethical to strike up new financial arrangements with a single component at this stage in the process.

“Planning is not just a perception of the CDC; it is a factual way of life.”

To put the issue into greater perspective, Ambrose says that the public should be made aware that apart from the prize monies paid to the winners, the number of opportunities that have been created by the CDC for the winner of the Soca Monarch are “highly valuable and provide additional substantial gains.

“It is perhaps well known that the CDC was instrumental in having the winner of the Soca Monarch competition gain entry into the International Soca Monarch competition.

“This brings to the particular artistes an appearance fee of $100,000 TT, approximately EC $50,000. Additionally, the CDC, on each occasion, negotiated with its local partners to supplement this to the tune of EC$25,000 or more like US$10,000.

“We know that these artistes represent St Vincent well and for that the CDC is pleased,” Ambrose added.

Ambrose, who has been at the helm of the CDC since 2001, further stated that while the CDC is not putting a “dollar value” to the situation, the spin-offs for soca artistes here are tremendous, due to the international exposure the winner receives.

“Contrary to the impressions which have been created, the CDC and its partners never leave these performers out in the cold to face all the expenses on their own. General support is given to them,” the Chairman said.

The 2012 Soca Monarch show is slated for July 7 at Victoria Park, where seventeen other soca artistes will be seeking to take the crown from reigning monarch Delroy Fireman Hooper.(AA)