Launch: 2013 International Soca Monarch Competitions
Thursday 15, November 2012
The Hyatt Regency
Port of Spain
Dr. The Honourable Lincoln Douglas
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- Mr. William Munro, Executive Chairman of the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts
Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.
Carnival 2013 is fast approaching. A critical element of ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’is the music of Trinidad and Tobago. Soca is the fuel that energises hundreds of thousands of masqueraders during the Carnival season. Soca is the heartbeat of Carnival. Today I have the pleasure of launching of the 2013 edition of the Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch, the Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch and the Flavourite Supreme Ice Cream National Schools Soca Monarch Competitions.
I must congratulate the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts and its pioneering Executive Chairman, William Munro, for conceptualising and spearheading the International Soca Monarch Competition. Already celebrating its 21st Anniversary, 2013 represents another progressive step for the development of Soca as an artform and the creative industry that supports it.
The International Soca Monarch Competition is one of the premiere events of our annual Carnival Festival. It has launched the careers of hundreds of artistes from Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the globe. This competition has become an annual spectacle that represents the best of Soca worldwide. It’s ‘The Greatest Soca Show on Earth’ and it is ours to develop, harness, package and promote to the world. To this end the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is a committed partner in the thrust to continue the internationalisation of the Soca Monarch Competitions.
My Ministry is playing its part in creating an environment where all within the Carnival and Creative sectors can flourish. This is evidenced by the recent staging of two Consultations to provide feedback on the Draft Policy Framework for Multiculturalism and the Draft National Cultural Policy. These consultations were necessary activities to engage stakeholders as we proceed to strengthen the legislative and policy agenda for the creative sector of Trinidad and Tobago.
Another important development that will positively affect the Carnival sector as we enter 2013 is the recent installation of Ms. Alison Demas as the Chairperson of the National Carnival Commission (NCC). I congratulate her on her appointment and look forward to working with the Management and Staff of the NCC as we aim to make Carnival 2013 a well managed and orchestrated spectacle that will increase the ‘soft power’ of Trinidad and Tobago on the world stage.
The development of Brand T&T through the Competitions like the International Soca Monarch and other events during Carnival can only be possible with the strategic alliances of entrepreneurs, the government and the private sector. I must therefore congratulate the private sector for their support of Soca and all other artforms of Carnival. In particular I must single out all sponsors of the 2013 International Soca Monarch and urge you to continue partnering with us as we take Carnival to the world.
Soca music would be nothing without the ingenious enterprise of the artistes. 2013 must be a tribute to the creative energy of our artists who are also cultural ambassadors by extension. As this competition continues to grow in terms of its global reach, our artistes will be doing much more than competing for the coveted title of Soca Monarch. They are the voice of Carnival, the voice of our creative and ingenious energy and more importantly, the voice of the people.
I urge all performers to continue to pursue their creative development and hone their professional skills and strive for excellence in their careers. Additionally, it is important to understand the values of industry, thrift, strategic thinking and prudent investment.
I would like to commend the Caribbean Prestige Foundation and Mr. William Munroe in particular for his commitment and for the tremendous work over the years to produce this competition. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Munro and his entire team deserves a special round of applause for lighting the torch of Soca locally, regionally and internationally.
The International Soca Monarch has been a successful forum for our Soca artistes adding excitement and energy to our Carnival season.
I wish the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for Performing Arts all success in the 2013 staging of the International Soca Monarch Competition and the best of luck to all the contestants.
May God bless you.