Date: Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 11:15
There will be no Chutney
Soca Monarch for Carnival 2018 and the organisers Southex officially
announced it's cancellation due to low sponsorship.
saddened by this turn of events and find the timing rather suspicious
given recent events. Therefore please be advised that the 2018 Chutney
Soca Monarch is hereby formally cancelled due to low government and
state support and our inability to fund the venture privately as a
result of its sheer size and expense," Southex CEO George Singh told a
news conference this morning..
He said he attended a meeting with
the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) on Wednesday, where he was
informed that the NLCB will not sponsor the event this year.
January 3rd 2018 a mere one day before the launch of the 23rd
Anniversary of the Chutney Soca Monarch, 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," he said.
He added: "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
He said that the Government over the last three years
has consistently reduced funding to Chutney Soca Monarch and said that
various members of the present administration "have stated directly to
us that ‘Chutney Soca’ brings no value to Carnival".
statements are made all while the government has approved, according to a
recent newspaper article, a budget of $146 million to the NCC, of which
I am aware that close to $10M in the past have gone towards temporary
toilet facilities. The rest being spread across vendors who consistently
raise the same expensive structures at exorbitant prices to the
citizens of this country. Why has the government not cut their funding?
As I have been reliably informed, the “Status Quo is too well
entrenched”," Singh said.
He continued: "It is sad to say but the
real culture and growth, the source of the very thing that drives
Carnival has been forced on the shoulders of private entities that have
grown these shows beyond their own abilities to afford them and
therefore we rely on the government for support. Trinidad and Tobago has
an influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors during the 2 month lead
up to carnival all of whom come to our shores to take part in each and
every cultural aspect this country has to offer. We are unsure as to the
reason and motives behind this sudden pull out from Chutney Soca
Monarch by the government but we hope that we are among many who share
this sentiment as it would be a very peculiar state of affairs if there
were other cultural events receiving sponsorship this carnival with the
exception of one."