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‘Massive’ pledge

Lisa King

‘Massive’ pledge

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GOVERNMENT will be making a major contribution to this year’s Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition, says Minister of Social Care Chris Sinckler.Sinckler, who is patron of this year’s show, made this announcement on Sunday night at the Plantation Garden Theatre where the 34th edition of the annual contest was launched. “Thirty-four years of anything is a great, wonderful achievement, which will be appropriately honoured by Government very shortly,” he said.  Though the minister did not disclose the specifics of the contribution, he said Government’s input was “not small news, but something massive”.Sinckler suggested Government should make a contribution toward the “institutionalisation” of the competition. He revealed that after discussions with personnel from the Enterprise Growth Fund, they came up with what would be the biggest donation ever made to any cultural or performing arts competition in Barbados. Stoute noted this year was the first time Government had given its approval to the show in a significant way. He added he was absolutely thrilled that after 34 years of struggle his efforts were being appreciated by Government.The veteran entertainer said he would continue to fight hard to help push emerging talent. He said the future was “in the youth” and they should be given an early opportunity to fulfil their dreams.This year’s honouree is singer Tamara Marshall, who was a competitor in the show in 1978. The show will also be dedicated to the memory of Nial Hackett, who died of an asthma attack last month.  Nial’s mother Lisa Hackett was a competitor in the competition during the time she was pregnant with him.Stoute revealed that this year the dance group X-tra Hype would be given the opportunity to perform over the 13 weeks of the competition to raise funds for a trip to Jamaica.During the launch there were performances by Cherish Breedy, who won the 6-12 category of the contest in 2008 and recorded the single I’m The One, which was written by Toni Norville. Last year’s winner Jalisa Greaves also performed.The first preliminary round of the competition takes place on Sunday at the Plantation Garden Theatre. Contestants will be Tanisha Holder, Aleah Searles, Shavonne Dottin, Chantal Jemmott, Dario Lovell, Shanice Lynch, Sasha Abraham, Tricia Scantlebury and Alicia Phillips.