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Chutney Soca Funding Slashed, Finalist Vying for Smaller Prizes

Chutney Soca Funding Slashed, Finalist Vying for Smaller Prizes

For the third consecutive year, Government has reduced its subvention for the Chutney Soca Monarch competition.

This time the cut is by 75 per cent—from $4.5 million in 2015 and $3.5 million in 2016, the figure is down to $1.18 million this year.

George Singh, Southex CEO and producer of the event, said with sponsors also cutting back it is becoming very difficult to produce the show.

“I don’t know how long we will be able to continue. The signal coming from Government is that they want to take away the subvention altogether. If they do, the show will die,” he said yesterday.

Singh said he was disappointed because the competition is the only major platform for Indo culture in Carnival. He said he knew cuts were coming because of the economic situation, but did not expect it to be so drastic.

“I would like the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs to identify one project they do for the development of Indian culture for the year. There is not one. This is the biggest platform. $1 million for Chutney Soca Monarch … something is definitely wrong with that,” he said.

Singh said when he was advised by a letter from the Ministry that $1.18m had been allocated for the 2017 Pick 2 Chutney Soca Monarch competition, adjustments were made to the prize structure.

The first prize is $500,000, instead of the $1m awarded the year before. Second prize has been drastically reduced from $500,000 to $150,000 and the third prize from $300,000 to $75,000.

Competitors who place fourth to tenth in the finals received $100,000 each before but this year the figure has been reduced to $25,000 each.

For the World’s Ultimate Chutney challenge segment of the show, the first prize has also been slashed t0 $100,000, from $200,000 and second to tenth place contestants will all receive an appearance fee of $20,000.

The grand finale takes place at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on February 11 with nine artistes competing against reigning monarch KI for the title.

Sunil Dyal

February 3rd, 2017

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