Winners of prizes for Tobago Carnival 2015 competitions received their rewards in less than one month courtesy the Division of Community Development and Culture.

These were distributed at the Tobago Carnival 2015’s Official Prize Giving Ceremony themed “An Evening of Excellence” held on Thursday 12th March 2015 at the Division’s Main Office in Glen Road.

Welcome remarks were brought by Ms. Victoria Mitchell, Chairman of the Tobago Festivals Commission who paved the way for remarks from Councillor Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, Secretary of Community Development and Culture.

Secretary Angus shared that she has been questioned on numerous occasions as to the success of Tobago Carnival 2015 to which each time she answered a resounding yes. Dr. Angus rationalized that “Carnival in all its splendour cannot and should not be measured by one moment but the culmination of moments; it is not to be measured by a location but the sum total of the activities occurring throughout that morning; and certainly it is not to be measured by a day but the totality of the season”.

Noting from the braving of the inclement weather at the Launch held in November 2014, Dr. Angus said that this was an indication of a bumper season which saw the birth of new partnerships and smashing of several records in unveiling the secrets of Tobago’s Carnival.

The Secretary enlightened the crowd on the collaboration between the Division and 91.9 with their Street Tent programme which offered a platform for budding Tobago artistes to be heard on a national level. Collaboration was also seen with: the Magnificent Glow and Masters Calypso Tents to have calypsonians sing on Monday in Scarborough, NCBA and TCBA in creating a more effective mas route and with Pan Trinbago in creating a haven for Pan Lovers in lower Scarborough on Carnival Monday and Tuesday that avoided the competing sounds from music trucks.

In identifying the broken records, Secretary Tsoiafatt-Angus listed: eleven bands succeeded to the Panorama semi finals, appearance fees were paid to finalists at T.H.A. Pan Champs for the first time, $110,000.00 was distributed to Calypsonians who qualified for the Calypso semis at Skinner Park and Junior Calypso Monarch, two generations qualified to go to Trinidad as children Garvé Sandy and Shé Ann Cunningham both qualified for Junior finals alongside their parents who also qualified for semi-finals at Skinner park and in mas, “the undisputedly higher quality in creativity and expression was demonstrated through performance.”

Congratulations were extended to: The Administrator and Staff of the Division of Community Development and Culture, the Tobago Carnival Committee 2015, The Commissioners and Staff of the Tobago Festivals Commission, The Windward CDC, Crown Point jouvert comittee, Pan Trinbago, T.U.C.O, NCBA, TCBA, Bandleaders, all participants and stakeholders.

Before closing, the Culture Secretary challenged all involved emphasizing that there is still work to do. She forecasted that the Carnival Committee would be meeting with stakeholders and special interest groups to improve for next year.

“I expect that those vocal about Scarborough will come out and collaborate on improving that product” Dr. Angus welcomed, highlighting that “at the end of the day it is all about becoming more beautiful with each step we take.”

She closed by thanking all for their contribution to a successful Carnival 2k15 while looking forward eagerly to Carnival 2k16. Bringing the curtains down on what was indeed an evening of excellence, Chairman of the Tobago Carnival Committee Mr. Winston Gordon gave the Vote of Thanks.

He expressed heartfelt gratitude to Secretary Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, whom he described as a stickler for precision and for her support. Assemblyman Hilton Sandy who was present, received thanks for his significant contribution to Tobago’s Carnival in the past.

Chairman Victoria Mitchell and her team at the Commission for their oversight management, Mr. Eric Powder and his staff, Mr. Julian Celestine and his Committee also came in for high praises. Former Assemblyman Wendell Berkley and Coordinator for Community Development Mrs. Ayanna Webster-Roy were also thanked for their contribution.

Gratitude was also extended to leaders of the special interest groups namely Pantrinbago, NCBA, TCBA, TUCO, Crown Point Carnival Personnel and Modern Mud. All persons who contributed significantly to Tobago Carnival 2015 and those who performed throughout the evening’s proceedings also received warm thanks.