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SCDF cancels Calypso outsourcing agreement with Raw Promotions

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has cancelled the outsourcing agreement signed a year ago with Raw Promotions to host the NAGICO Senior Calypso Competition. SCDF took the decision during its annual evaluation of the Carnival season, the Foundation said in a statement.

Noting that “some positive steps were taken by Raw Promotions such as its website for calypso and historical perspectives,” SCDF said “the very public issues between Raw and title sponsor NAGICO, compounded by other organizational problems, led to the decision to cancel the outsourcing agreement.”

The Foundation said there are matters regarding the calypso competition that will be handled internally, but stressed that confidence of calypsonians in Raw has been “too far eroded to allow the situation to continue.”

Additionally, “it was embarrassing to the Foundation to have one of our most dedicated corporate sponsors, NAGICO, dragged into a public debate in the same year the Foundation chose to honour that company. It was not what the Foundation expected or can tolerate,” SCDF said.

SCDF stated that all financial obligations that Raw committed itself to remain the promoter’s responsibility. “The Foundation will not assume responsibility and will not be held liable for any outstanding monies, agreements, or the sort that Raw has committed itself to. We took the decision because we believe it is best for Calypso and to protect long-standing relationships. Raw Promotions is still responsible for its obligations to calypsonians and others,” SCDF said.

SCDF disclosed there are other parties interested in organizing the Calypso Competition and discussions will soon take place, with “lessons learnt from this most recent incident,” SCDF said.

“Calypso is the heart and soul of Carnival. The Foundation wants to involve as many stakeholders in Carnival as possible which is why we outsource certain events, but if we see the event is heading in a troublesome direction, we will intervene if the intervention is absolutely necessary; in this case it was,” SCDF said.

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