Just over two weeks after the curtain came down on the 2016 Carnival Celebrations, prize monies in the sum of just over one million dollars was paid out to the various winners during a prize giving ceremony held at the Galaxy Night Club last Saturday.
Unlike previous years where winners were sometimes made to wait months before receiving their prizes, this time the organisers have stuck to the plans, early payment with a view of putting plans in place for an improved product in 2017.
Among the categories for prizes to be paid were winners of the Children Carnival Frolic (CCF), CCF Traditional, Traditional Mas Pageant, Fancy Mas, Panorama, Queen Show, Groovy Monarch, Dimanche Gras and Soca Monarch.
Last Saturday prize giving ceremony did not bring just winners to receive monies and participate in a social night out but also Government officials and members of the Spicemas Cooperation, who used the opportunity to thank their various sponsors and the various stakeholders for what was dubbed a successful 2016 celebration.
Among the various speakers who addressed the winners was newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Spicemas Cooperation Kirk Seetahal, he calls for stronger legislation to be put in place to take the product to the level it deserves. It is high time, he said that people put aside self-interest and work for the greater good of the art form.
Looking back at his first year in the seat as CEO of the Cooperation, Seetahal said it was not and easy task, many times he said he contemplated throwing in the towel, having had to face up to what he called sabotage and other challenges internally and externally. The CEO said he has had to make some very unpopular decisions and expose issues that is felt should have remained the business of Spicemas. At the end he said he had to do what he had to do, to get the kind of results that is now boasted about.
Seetahal said having sat there for one year he has embraced a greater sense of appreciation for the working of Spicemas, and so he feels it would be a wise move to give him another year in the hot seat.
The CEO took the opportunity to thank all who would have given their support into making Spicemas 2016 the success it has been and urged participants to look beyond the prize monies that can be made after the carnival is over, and see carnival, for what it’s worth and work together towards making the product better. He further noted that the 2017 Carnival season would be opened officially in April of 2017.
Also addressing the ceremony was Minister for Culture Hon. Brenda Hood who took the opportunity to thank all who would have assisted in one way or another in making the 2016 festival what it was, she urged the various stakeholders to avoid becoming complacent. She noted that the time has come for people to ensure that they are ready to secure the sustainability of Spicemas by engaging in meaningful discussions that will plan the way forward.
Also addressing last Saturday prize giving ceremony was Manager of the National Lotteries Authority – Jeffery Gilbert, and Jocelyn Sylvester Gairy – Chairman of Spicemas Cooperation.