A group photo of Carnival 2019 pageant winners, Posh Productions president Cassandra Weekes-Jeffers and a Motorworld representative.
COLE BAY–With two years having passed since Carnival 2019, pageant organisers Posh Productions presented cash prizes to the winners of 2019’s pageants on Thursday, April 22.
Carnival 2019 was the last edition of St. Maarten’s festival before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which put an end to mass gatherings and celebrations.
Posh Productions said it could not deliver the prizes until now because it lacked sponsors and was unable to recover investments made in the cancelled Carnival 2020.
“Despite efforts to raise funds through various initiatives, ultimately the non-profit foundation could not garner sufficient revenue to complete our obligations at an earlier time.
“Furthermore, with a large percentage of patrons who attended the shows in Festival Village entering using season passes, the foundation gained little success at the gate through door sales. This significantly contributed to our negative financial position and ultimately bankrupted the foundation,” said Posh Productions in a press release on Sunday.
Although the winners were set to receive brand new vehicles, Posh Productions handed out US $10,000 cheques to 2019 Mr. Genuine Quality (GQ) Learie Hall, Mature Carnival Queen Anastatia Peters and Senior Carnival Queen D’Shnay Mathew York. Posh Productions said this represents the maximum value of the vehicles they would have received.
“The winners are free to purchase a vehicle from Motorworld or do what they wish with the funds. Ultimately, they have accepted this as their top and final prize,” said Posh Productions.
The pageants’ runner-up winners have also yet to receive their prizes. Posh Productions said it will be meeting with the runners-up soon to discuss these outstanding awards.
“When Posh launched for Carnival 2016, we came out with great enthusiasm and were passionate to take pageantry to another level. I believe it is safe to say we did just that.
“However, as the years proceeded, the financial challenges that we faced became more difficult. There was an inability to secure funding and the needed support to maintain the five-year concession contract the foundation was locked into. …
“Unfortunately, year after year, not being able to recover from the year before eventually tanked Posh and left the foundation and participants in a very unpleasant situation.
“Posh has maintained contact with most of the participants and once again takes this opportunity to express our sincere apologies for the unfair and unfortunate situation experienced.
“This was never our intention and to a large degree fell out of our control. We truly appreciate your patience with us, and we are grateful for your kind cooperation,” said Posh Productions president Cassandra Weekes-Jeffers.
She also thanked Motorworld for “working with us and making this all possible.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/carnival-2019-pageant-winners-get-their-prizes