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CDF to Assume the Reins of M&C Fine Arts Awards Scheme

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Teddy Francis
Executive Director CDF

Friday, September 05, 2003 – Minvielle and Chastanet Limited, originator and the principal sponsor of the annual M&C Fine Arts Awards has planned a grand finale in January, 2004, when it climaxes it’s twenty-five year involvement in the awards scheme.

At a press conference on Thursday, September 4, 2003 at La Place Carenage in downtown Castries, Executive Chairman of the M&C Group of Companies Mr. Fred Devaux said the Awards ceremony slated for January 24, 2004 at the National Cultural Centre, is expected to be an event that truly reflects the results of 25 years of dedicated work by many individuals over the years. He explained that the decision to scale back the M&C’s involvement in the scheme was borne out of the fact that the venture had outgrown the company’s ability to nurture it, and there was the need for greater government and private sector support.

“It increasingly became recognized that if the arts were to achieve loftier development goals, a level of input would be required that would be difficult for a private company to achieve and that government involvement would make it easier to tap the overseas resources that do exist to develop and promote the arts,” said Mr. Devaux.

He went on, “the analogy that I would draw is that M&C is like a parent saying farewell to its child going off either to university or to married life. We are not parting company completely, we are remaining there to give good strong support for the child and we are certain ourselves that the child is in very good hands and hopefully the child keeps good company. The support we as a company is going to give is that we are going to continue with the main prizes of the Performing, Literary and Visual Arts in addition to the Joe Devaux Lifetime Award.”

The prize monies will be increased, bringing M&C’s total contribution to twenty five thousand dollars per year. The Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) will take over the management and administration of the annual awards, and is expected to foster greater private sector support for the scheme. Chairperson of the Foundation Mrs. Patricia Charles noted that under the supervision of the CDF, greater emphasis will be placed on the recognition of music and entertainment.

“This scheme has allowed the arts to flourish; it has provided encouragement, has provided incentive and has allowed the arts and individual artists to move from one stage to another. It has also brought the whole area of arts and culture to a stance where we are not able to seriously think of developing cultural industries and this is going to be the key work for the CDF for the next few years,” said Charles.

Meantime consultations will be held to identify a new name for the awards. The M&C Fine Arts Awards Scheme was given to the nation in 1979, as an independence gift. The annual fine arts exhibition normally held at the Castries City Hall will be held from October 11th 2003, at La Place Careenage.

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