Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, accepting the sponsorship cheque from Grace Chambers, Marketing Manager of Dacosta Mannings, while (from left) Senior Administrative Officer in the Division of Culture and Sports, Maylene Browne, Coordinator of the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat, Curtis Gibbons, and Public Relations Manager at??BS&T, Jennifer Branch-Maloney, look on. ??(A. Miller/BGIS)

Government has lauded BS&T, in association with DaCosta Mannings and Super Centre, for injecting $16,000 into its Community Independence Celebrations Programme, namely the Parish Talent Zonal Shows.

Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, accepted a cheque today on behalf of the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat from the Public Relations Manager of BS&T, Jennifer Branch-Maloney, and Marketing Manager of DaCosta Mannings, Grace Chambers.

Mr. Lashley said: "Without the support of corporate Barbados we would be stretched every year to put on the kind of quality programme that we do. Each year, I specifically request more support from corporate Barbados and…the assistance provided by these companies, in addition to other corporate partners who would have already donated their contributions, is certainly welcomed.

"It goes a long way towards not only encouraging the Secretariat in its programme, but all of the young people who are involved are certainly thrilled to know that corporate Barbados continues to support them."

He noted that many Barbadians, including young people, were attracted to the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat’s programme.

Mrs. Branch-Maloney said the Parish Talent Zonal Shows offered exciting opportunities to unearth talent, and suggested that there were a few areas which could be looked at to ensure continued growth. "For instance, much of the expression at these events is through song, but we think that more effort could be made to ensure that there is greater diversity of talent beyond the singing aspect, thus ensuring that there is an equal mix of drama, music, dancing, [and] ??poetry…," she remarked.

Responding to her concern, Minister Lashley disclosed that the Secretariat had been looking at this area. "Next year we will have a special prize as an incentive for the groups to come up with variety in terms of drama and other presentations… which would be rooted in our Barbadian culture," he stated.

Mrs. Chambers said she would live to see scholarships offered in the various disciplines and stressed that this year’s talent had improved tremendously.

The parish talent show for the northern zone will be held this Saturday, September 22, at Coleridge and Parry School, Ashton Hall, St. Peter, while the southern one will be on Saturday, September 29, at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, Six Road’s, St. Philip.?? All shows will begin at 6:00 p.m. and members of the public are encouraged to attend and support their local parish talent.


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