Geoffrey Wharton-Lake, one of the directors of the International Soca Monarch (ISM), has issued an open call for a new chairman of the competition after it was announced that Fay Ann Lyons- Alvarez would no longer be its chairman.
In a phone interview with Newsday, Wharton-Lake said, “I would love for anyone that is willing to take on the challenge in TT or anywhere in the world and would love to be a part of Soca Monarch. I would for love anyone that would like to be a part of it and would like to challenge themselves, and has the credentials, to be a part of the process.
“We are willing to sit with anyone that would love to be a part of the process.”
In an Instagram post, Lyons-Alvarez said, “It was the kind of work that made you smile, and made others see a piece of their dreams materialised. This year I was not given a timely go-ahead to start and as such my heart cannot be put into a rushed product.
“I believe in giving the public a soca monarch they deserve and with limited time it becomes harder to accomplish...”
Lyons-Alvarez said in the post that she appreciated the experience.
Wharton-Lake told Newsday it was unfortunate things turned out this way, and Lyons-Alvarez did an excellent job last year.
“There is no doubt of the job she did for us and bringing the show back to a particular level, where we saw last year the Prime Minister of St Lucia was here, the Minister of Tourism for Grenada was here for the show.
“For sure the diaspora within the Caribbean is very keen on having the show and for us the show must go on.”
He added that the prize money – $1 million for the Power category and $500,000 for Groovy – remains the same.
He said the Soca Monarch contest was not about the organisers, Fay Ann or anyone else but the artistes, and making sure they have a forum to display their craft.
Wharton-Lake said the organisers were working hand in hand with government and sponsors.
Registration for Soca Monarch starts on Saturday and a new website for the event is being built.
“The show has to go on,” Wharton-Lake said.