The CIBC First Caribbean International Bank (Saint Lucia) has thrown its support behind this year’s Panorama Competition with a $5000 financial donation.
The presentation was made at the bank’s Castries location in the presence of bank officials and representatives from the St Lucia National Steel Band Association – the beneficiaries of the donation.
CIBC Bank Country Manager Ladesa James-Williams said the financial donation is to assist to sustain the rich culture of steel pan music.
Aside from that, the bank’s country manager said a lot of its staff are also actively involved in steel pan music and thought that it was necessary to support not only the association, but staffers who have a passion for the art.
Treasurer of the Steel Band Association Sydwina Alexander praised the CIBC Bank for deciding on donating to the event this year.
Alexander said the donation comes at a time when the money is most needed, especially since there have been cutbacks in the annual subvention to support Carnival this year. She said the donation will ensure that the show remains one of high standards.
Government has announced plans to cut back on spending for Carnival this year. While this is yet to be confirmed, it is likely that Carnival is one of the programmes that will no longer receive budgetary allocations.
The effect could be far reaching, as the Steel Band Association fears it will make it difficult to sustain the pan music tradition.
Organisers say the steel pan championships have constantly improved since its revival in 1998.