ST. GEORGE’S - WEDNESDAY, 24TH AUGUST, 2013 – As part of its mandate to support culture within the Tri-Island State, the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) announced its contribution to Carnival 2013, focusing mostly on the Panorama and Steel Band Competitions and Carnival ticketing. A press conference was held at the Carenage Sporting Complex involving a number of top officials from the Government of Grenada, the Spice Mas Corporation and the host – NLA where the major announcement was made.
The 2013 competitions of the pan art form, through the Spice Mas Corporation (SMC), are now sponsored in full by the NLA to the tune of EC$340,000.00. This sponsorship amount to the SMC is one of the biggest by any sector of the economy, which according to Hon. Sen. Brenda Hood, “It is second to the contributions made by the Government of Grenada, who provides the largest contribution by way of subventions and more. One of the major highlights of this Carnival,” she added, “is the fact that after every major show, all the prizes, including appearance fees will be paid on the night, and that is being taken care of by the NLA for the Bomb-Tune, Junior Panorama and National Panorama Competitions.”
In accepting the cheque, Chairman of the SMC – Mr. Arthur Hosten candidly expressed his heartfelt sentiments towards the contribution by the NLA. “Finding the money for steel band has been the biggest headache for every chairman. This year, I thought it would be the same but the NLA, like in 2007, has taken care of that, and in full. In addition to all that they’re doing, they have also extended an over-draft facility that is helping us cushion that $800,000.00 debt that we met at the SMC. So, it has been a fruitful relationship with the NLA. They have been very proactive, which shows the NLA’s total commitment to Carnival and Steel Band.”
Also at the conference was Mr. Geoffrey Gilbert – General Manager of NLA. He said, “The NLA is extremely proud to be supporting Spice Mas. $340,000.00 sounds like a lot but we are actually giving much more by way of logistical and technical support.. Already, our two outlets are involved in the ticket sales. We are very serious about the overall management of Spice Mas and have already drafted a proposal for presentation to SMC after Carnival, regarding the 2014 Spice Mas.”
“We pledge our increased support for the coming years,” added the NLA’s Chairman, Mr. Hayden Redhead, “with the hope that the management of Spice Mas will be handled properly to allow for minimum cash injection by the NLA. We are interested in assisting with the whole management of the Carnival in terms of the finances.”
Representing the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports, the body under which the NLA falls, Permanent Secretary – Mrs. Veda Bruno-Victor stated, “We are happy to be a part of this year’s activities and to make Carnival what it should be because it is the money of the people of Grenada that is being used. NLA has been supporting Carnival for a very long time; and support of pan is very important as a lot of young people play pan.”
“I am extremely happy,” said Mr. David “Peck” Edwards – Outgoing President of the Grenada Steel Band Association who witnessed the sponsorship hand-over towards pan. “Knowing full well that our interests are considered by an institution such as the National Lotteries Authority is very much appreciated, especially as so many young people are involved in the art form.” He added, “The NLA has been there for us in the past. As recent as last year, the organisation funded the judges workshop, which speaks well for the development of the talent. We pledge to provide a good showing at Panorama but for us to go even further; we need the entire country’s support of pan.”
Hon. Min. Alexandra Otway-Noel – Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation expressed congratulations to the NLA. She said, “The youth need support; and Carnival needs more support. Entities like yours must continue making such contributions because Carnival is important and resources are limited.”
Specific to the playing of the games of the NLA, the company has recently launched its 4th edition of the Access Granted promotion. A total of 204 Spice Mas tickets for major Carnival shows can be won by players who spend $6.00 or more in Lotto and Daily Pick 3 from July 22nd through to August 10th, 2013. Over 36 persons have won thus far.
Finance Manager of the NLA, Mr. Richard De Allie who performed the role of Master of Ceremony of the press conference added that very recently, on July 17th, 2013, the NLA marked 20 years of selling lottery games via terminals and Lotto. “Lotto,” he said, “was the first game introduced with the terminals back in 1993.” Quite a number of activities have been planned for within the rest of the year to commemorate the milestone. Already a breakfast was held for employees and sensitization on the milestone has been ongoing.
Photo above: Chairmen of SMC and NLA with Sponsorship Cheque(L – R: Mr. Arthur Hosten, and Mr. Hayden Redhead)
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