More $$ for Carnival Kings and Queens
By LEISELLE MARAJ Friday, January 25 2013
PRIZES FOR the winners of the Senior Kings and Queens of Carnival have been increased by over 100 percent according to information released by the National Carnival Commission(NCC) yesterday.
In its media release, the NCC listed the new prize structure for junior and senior King and Queen of Carnival competitions made possible from increased funds approved by Cabinet last Thursday.
Senior Kings and Queens will now compete for the top prize of $250,000 each, up from the 2012 offering of $120,000 each. At a post cabinet media conference last week, Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas announced a $1.6 million increase in prize money for the senior King and Queen competition.
However, the NCC release stated these prizes now total $1.6 million with the addition of $884,000 to the 2012 figure of $824,000. Attempts to contact NCC chairwoman Allison Demas, for clarification yesterday proved futile. The release stated however that the allocation represents 64 percent of the increase granted.
The allocation will be used to increase the prize offering to the top ten positions in each of the Kings and Queens Finals competition.
Prize money for the Junior Kings and Queens competitions were also increase using 36 percent of the additional approved funding or $ 480,500. In 2012 the total prize allocation for these Junior events was $143,550 and for 2013 the figure has been increased to $624,050.
“These Junior events allow us to gain participation from the schools, an avenue of stimulating the young masqueraders and stimulating the future growth and development of the Mas product. In this category of Junior Kings and Queen’s the top 15 contestants will receive prize money,” the release stated.
This year, the winner of the Junior King and Queen competitions in the open category will receive $20,000 each for first place. In the school category, first place in each competition receives $7000 and the Junior King and Queen of the Day each receives $12,000.
Demas, in the release, said: “We at the NCC are very excited to share with the Carnival community the increase in prize money for 2013. The NCC remains committed to supporting and developing Mas, Calypso and Pan to ensure that our Carnival product is sound and promotable.”
David Lopez, president of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) stated, “The prizes in these competitions have been historically very low and we welcome this opportunity to improve our offerings to the winners.
“We have lobbied many former Ministers, and we’re grateful to the Minister and the Chairman of the NCC for the value they have placed on the Carnival, particularly the Mas. In many instances we’ve been able to secure at least a 100 percent increase in the winning. We continue to lobby on behalf of our membership,” Lopez said.
Increased prize monies were one of the issues tackled by the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association(TTCBA) on behalf of its members who had threatened to boycott the King and Queen competitions if their concerns were not addressed.
TTCBA director Gerard Weekes, said while they had not received official word, he believes Kings and Queens of his association would be happy with these increases.
“The increase falls within the ball park figure we had. The kings and queens would be happy that the increase has been effected,” Weekes said.
The NCC release also listed the prize structure for the Calypso Monarch and Panorama competitions that remains the same as in 2012.