Its mandate includes supporting culture, and on Wednesday 24 July, the National Lotteries Authority announced that it will be sponsoring Panorama and other pan related events for the 2013 carnival celebrations to the tune of EC$340,000.
Accepting the cheque on behalf of the SpiceMas Corporation was Chairman of the Board Arthur Hosten, who expressed his heartfelt sentiments towards the contribution by the NLA. “Finding the money for steel and 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 overdraft facility that is helping us cushion that $800,000.00 debt 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 Steelband.”
“We pledge our increased support for the coming years, with the hope that the management of SpiceMas 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,” said Mr. Hayden Redhead, Chairman of the Authority’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Geoffrey Gilbert, General Manager of NLA, said that the Authority is extremely proud to be supporting the carnival celebrations. “$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 SpiceMas and have already drafted a proposal for presentation to SMC after Carnival, regarding the 2014 SpiceMas,” he informed the media.
Representing the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports, the Government Ministry 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 Steelband Association who witnessed the sponsorship handover 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.”
“This sponsorship amount to the SMC is one of the biggest by any sector of the economy, which according to Hon. Sen. Brenda Hood, “Is second to the contributions made by the Government of Grenada, which 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.”
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 SpiceMas tickets for major Carnival shows can be won by players who spend $6.00 or more in Lotto and Daily Pick 3 from 22 July through 10 August 2013. Over 36 persons have won thus far.
Finance Manager of the NLA, Mr. Richard DeAllie, who performed the role of Master of Ceremony of the press conference, added that very recently, on 17 July 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 the rest of the year to commemorate the milestone. Already a breakfast was held for employees and sensitization on the milestone has been ongoing.