by Linda Straker
Companies who have sponsored activities in the past, as well as future sponsors of SpiceMas activities, were given a status report of the present situation of the Corporation and its plans regarding the 2016 event.
This was done in the form of a breakfast meeting last Friday at the Grenada National Stadium, and present was more than 40 representatives from a wide cross-section of corporate bodies and other institutions, who were identified by the management and Board of the SMC as entities that can become their partners for Grenada’s biggest festival.
Deputy Chairman, Adam Andall, admitted to those in attendance that the SMC has had challenges in effectively communicating with the partners/sponsors over the years, but in moving forward the SMC will honour its obligations. “This is all part of healing the disconnect that has occurred over the years. We do respect you as our sponsors, and thank you for working with us over the years, despite the many challenges,” he said.
In his report, General Manager Kirk Seetahal, who only took up the post as of 2 October 2015, informed those in attendance that Carnival 2015 had an overall expenditure of EC$2.9 million, with prize monies tallying more than EC$1 million — stage, sound and light also tallied more than EC$1 million. Revenue for the SMC comes through a subvention from Government, sponsors and gate receipts.
Using comparative data, Seetahal showed that attendance at SpiceMas events is not growing, but has reached a somewhat sustained figure, while expenditure continues to increase. Using the 2014 and 2015 data of attendance at shows, he pointed out that the Soca Monarch, which is the biggest event, had almost 1,000 fewer persons attending. Gate receipts for 2015 was EC$651,891.
“According to the data, there were 6,797 persons attending the show in 2015, but in 2014 there were 7,609. There you have almost 1,000 persons less and it’s our biggest event during the season,” he said.
Seetahal said that initiatives will be undertaken to improve on the product, and this in turn is expected to see greater participation for the 2016 event. He disclosed that as of January 2016, all services required by the SMC will be tendered out, and there will be focus on merchandising opportunity which can result in increased revenue for the Corporation.
Over the years it’s well known that the SMC has had thousands in debt to various service providers, and in 2015 the Board was able to settle EC$500,000 of those debts, but it continues to have an outstanding of EC$700,000. Seetahal disclosed that the Board and Management is coming up with a proposal to deal with the debt.
“2016 will be a watershed year for Carnival and the SpiceMas Corporation,” was the assurance from Director, Shirma Wells.