The current economic slowdown facing Trinidad and Tobago may have impacted its budget but not the quality of Tobago Carnival 2016.
That’s the view of Secretary of the Division of Community Development and Culture Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, who gave an overview of last weekend’s celebrations.
“I think we would have done well with Tobago’s Carnival experience given the impact of the recession,” Tsoiafatt-Angus said. She applauded the Tobago Festivals Commission and the Carnival Committee and other special interest groups for their hard work, and collaborative efforts, which ensured a successful Carnival.
The Secretary congratulated Tobago Panorama Medium Band category finalists NLCB Bucconeers and Petrotrin Katzenjammers, which placed second and third respectively.
Tsoiafatt-Angus said many pan groups have pan literacy programmes, and additional support was provided through the Division’s Pan Instrumentation Programme, “additionally ensuring that [there are] activities throughout the year”.
She said even after Carnival, the Division will continue to promote steelpan-related events.
“We also have the Pan Folkarama and Black History Month in Carnbee/Mt Pleasant, where we bring both pan players and calypsonians together, therefore giving them the exposure and the additional experience so they keep themselves active outside of the Carnival period,” Tsoiafatt-Angus said.
She added: “We have put on calypso workshops targeting young persons. You cannot speak to effective preservation of the art form without targeting young people, putting the essential training in place so that they have the tools to ensure the authenticity of the art form going forward.”
The Division, the Culture Secretary stressed, will continue to support efforts to showcase the island’s different art forms and to provide a platform for those in the creative industry. Progress, she added, will not be possible without conversation and collaboration within the creative sector.
“We are going into a period of lean resources,” she stated, “and we must continue to build that relationship so we can maximise on the resources available.”
The Secretary also revealed that a public consultation will be scheduled by next month to deal with staging the Tobago Heritage Festival, which is fast approaching.