‘Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.’ ~ Robyn Nola
It is now widely known that Band Leader Renee Ratcliffe loved Dragonflies and by this quote, today, her light will be reflected in a dream realised for her counterparts.
Ratcliffe, supported by her fellow bandleaders, was a strong proponent for a vehicle prize in recognition of and as an incentive for the continued commitment to the heartbeat of Grand Kadooment - costume design, for without it there would be no splendour to masquerade.
In answer to their plea, Consolidated Finance and McEnearney Quality Inc. (MQI) announced their partnership on the sponsorship of a Mazda 2 prize vehicle for the Festival Designer of the Year.
A gift that has a very personal meaning for Renee’s aunt and Vice President of Credit, Consolidated Finance, Frances Parravicino, who noted that, “Renee agitated for many years for this to become a reality and it will make her smile in heaven to know we have been able to fulfil one of her deepest wishes for the Festival, something we all know she loved dearly.”
She went on to explain, “We make dreams come true for hundreds of customers each year by approving loans for them to purchase vehicles and now we are delighted to be able to do this in conjunction with MQI, in appreciation for the months of hard work and dedication that goes into creating the amazing bands we see on the roads each year.”
Margaret Hoyte, Sales & Marketing Manager of MQI commented, “We have supported the Festival for many years now and we are thrilled to have Consolidated Finance on board with us for this new prize. This year, MQI will again be providing two Mazda 3 Sedans for the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch winners. Both these vehicles are valued at $79,900 each and are really the ‘sexiest sedans’ on the road. We wish all the performers, costume designers, band leaders and all those involved in the Festival, the very best and pray for a safe and enjoyable Crop Over.”
The Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth was on hand to make the announcement along with the sponsors. Minister Lashley lauded the efforts of the two organizations in his remarks, expressing his gratitude for their support. “The NCF is the producer and executing agency of our world renowned Crop Over Festival, a role they continue to fulfill with passion and purpose, but this Festival is a part of and belongs to all of us. I have always said that many benefit from its very existence from year-to-year, but not all contribute and that is why we celebrate the investment of private sector organizations like MQI and Consolidated Finance, for their commitment to moving this Festival forward.”
He continued, “The prize vehicle will be awarded to the Festival Designer of the Year, with outstanding depictions in both Grand Kadooment and Junior Kadooment. It is a fitting tribute to the dedication and artistry of our band designers”
This Mazda 2 vehicle raises the prize pool for Grand Kadooment by a value of $68,000, in addition to the $30,000 agreed by Minister Lashley to be allocated to the prize monies late last month.
Cranston Browne, Chief Executive Officer, National Cultural Foundation (NCF); the Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture Sports & Youth; Frances Parravicino, Vice President of Credit, Consolidated Finance; Margaret Hoyte, Sales & Marketing Manager, McEnearney Quality Inc. (MQI); Chetwin Stewart, President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM).
Veteran band leaders and members of BAM, Trevor Chase, Mackie Holder and Gwyneth Squires; the Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture Sports & Youth; Frances Parravicino, Vice President of Credit, Consolidated Finance; Margaret Hoyte, Sales & Marketing Manager, McEnearney Quality Inc.;Cranston Browne, Chief Executive Officer, National Cultural Foundation; Chetwin Stewart, President of BAM; Adisa Andwele, Producer for Grand Kadooment, NCF.