Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) is calling on Government to implement an artiste development fund of $5 million for the development of local artistes.
Gregory Fernandez, Advisor to Executive Chairman, CPF, made this call at the launch of the 2012 Digicel International Power Soca Monarch, Play Whe Groovy Soca Monarch and the Flavorite Supreme Ice Cream National Schools Soca Monarch Competitions at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad on Monday evening. Fernandez also called for legislation for a 50 percent share of radio time for local artistes.
Fernandez said, “After 20 years of Soca Monarch, we are calling for an artiste development fund of $5 million dollars annually to be used for the development of our local artistes of all musical genres. With this fund, ten artistes would be selected each year and $500,000 will be invested in developing their talent and careers over a period of three years, as that is the time I am suggesting it would take for the artistes to develop and hone their skills, so that they can start earning the income which equates to their talent, and which would redound to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.”
“I am also advocating once again we legislate for at least a 50 percent share of radio time for our local artistes. We have enough talent in TT which includes producers and song writers, to more than fill the space,” Diaz said.
Diaz said artistes cannot be developed when they are shut out of their own local music market.
He noted that in developed countries like Canada, this is the legislation they have implemented. Meanwhile, Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Winston Gypsy Peters said, while he is appreciative of Fernandez’ views, he (Peters) admonished artistes to begin to invest in their own fund which the government will then match. He said once artistes begin to invest in themselves, the government will be able to assist in a more meaningful way.
Peters said, “Arts and Multiculturalism is resolute in lending its support to efforts that promote business mentalities among our local artistes. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that the performer who can act as his own accountant, marketer and public relations specialist always has an edge over the individual who cannot do so. “For this reason, promoting these skills among our local performers is important. My desire is that all our artistes and cultural workers will understand the wealth of potential that they themselves are, in regard to developing successful and sustainable careers,” Peters said.
Peters said with the establishment of the National Registry of Artistes and Cultural Workers, such professionals can take greater control of their careers. He explained that the Registry benefits by creating greater opportunities for corporate sponsorship and foreign opportunities through the CSME and the European Union. He said the registry and other initiatives are geared toward the independence of local performers.
Next year for the first time CPF has introduced “The Play Whe Tribute to the Classics” which would feature four Soca powerbards of yesteryear featuring Explainer, Loraine; The Baron, Sweet Soca Man; Nelson, Meh Lover and Black Stalin, Blackman feeling to party. This segment will be featured after the Play Whe Groovy Soca Monarch Competition.
The theme for the 2012 Digicel International Soca Monarch is Super Red 20 and the competition will be staged at the Haseley Crawford Stadium. The finals will be broadcast to several television stations in the Caribbean, and for the first time there would be a Caribbean wide and global texting platform, courtesy new title sponsor, Digicel. Tickets go on sale for the final event from December 12.
- Trinidad and Tobago Newsday