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
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.