Carifesta XIV opens tomorrow with a wide range of cultural and artistic events for all tastes and interests.
For eight days parts of the country will be transformed into a celebration of all varieties of the arts. The Streets of the Caribbean at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain will be the hub of Carifesta, but San Fernando, Chaguanas, Valencia, Castara, Plymouth and Scarborough will also host Carifesta activities.
Most of the events are free to the public.
Caribbean Country Night
For the eight nights of Carifesta, Caribbean countries will highlight the best of their artistic productions, culture and heritage. Three to four countries will be featured each night from 7-10 pm at the Grand Grand Market, Queen’s Park Savannah.
The Turks and Caicos Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Guyana will be featured on August 17. Curacao, Suriname, Guyana will have the spotlight on August 18. The Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and Jamaica will be showcased on August 19. Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and St Lucia takes centre stage on August 20. The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, and Antigua and Barbuda will show their cultural work on August 21. St Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands and Haiti will show their artistic talent on August 20. TT will be featured last, on August 23.
Decades of Dance kicks off the dance concerts at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s Port of Spain on August 17. Regional national dance companies from Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana will perform. Compagnie de Danse Jean-Rene Deisoin from Haiti, L’Acadco, Movements from Jamaica, Fundacion Coreoarte from Venezuela and KasheDance from Canada are all regional and diasporic dancers featured in Decades of Dance. The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre, the Malick Folk Performing Company, Metamorphosis Dance Company, Nrityanjali Theatre, Shiv Shakti Dancers and the Northwest Laventille Cultural Movement are among the TT dancers.
We Dancing Trinbago! will be hosted at the Southern Academy for Performing Arts (SAPA), San Fernando on August 18. Urban Experience, a hip hop dance showcase, will be hosted at the Naparima Bowl on August 19. Dance Collage on August 22 will be at SAPA.
Rangeela: We Mark Your Memory is an East Indian cultural show at the Central Bank Auditorium on August 22. A showcase of literature, music and dance paying homage to the memory of the East Indian contribution to Caribbean culture, it will feature readings by TT writers Patti-Ann Ali, Stella Chong Sing and Dr Gabrielle Hosein.
August 22 will also have a Country Delegation Show at the Little Carib Theatre, Roberts Street, Port of Spain, from 7-10pm featuring St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.
Caribbean girl power will be on stage at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando on August 17 for the concert By Women Only...For Everyone! The Xavier Strings, Nehilet Blackman and Band, Sally Sagram and more from TT will perform. They will be joined by Claudette Peters from Antigua and Barbuda, Sarina Constantine from Jamaica, Ayiti Coles & Renette Desir from Haiti, along with other guests from Dominica and Guyana.
Rhythms of the Caribbean is a concert full of eclectic combination of soulful musicians on August 18 at Queen’s Hall. From TT there will be performances by Ella Andall, Dane Gulston, Johann Chuckaree, Mungal Patasar and Pantar, Rikki Jai and David Rudder.
Coming from around the region are Kutting Edge and Thalia King from Antigua and Barbuda, Zamfir “Man Zangie” Adams from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Traditional Jing Ping Band from Dominica.
Jazz lovers are in for a treat at All Jazzed Up. This will take place on August 20, at National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), Keate Street, Port of Spain, where Etienne Charles, Vaughnette Bigford, David Boothman and the Caribbean Renaissance Jazz Ensemble, Ijo are the featured performances. Nia Golden from Montserrat, Gerald Kebreau and Friends from Haiti and Kalabash from Canada are also carded to perform.
Pan and Powder is a parade from City Hall, Knox Street, Port of Spain to the Savannah on August 21, and will feature BPTT Renegades, Massy All Stars, Desperadoes and Invaders Youth Orchestra, as well as the National Steel Orchestra of Guyana and Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra from Antigua and Barbuda.
Grammy Award winner Shaggy, soca queen Alison Hinds, Carifesta XIV brand ambassadors Machel Montano, Voice, Neval Chatelal and Nishard Mayrhoo, along with music royalty Calypso Rose and French Caribbean band Kassav take the Savannah stage for the Island Beats concert on August 24.
The Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition promotes culture through drama, song, music, dance, handicraft and environmental awareness. Carifesta will feature the top three winners in the performing categories.
On August 17 at SAPA Wendell Etienne’s play We The People will be performed from 6-9 pm.
On August 20, another theatre production will be staged at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine’s Learning Resource Centre from 7-9 pm.
The Best Village Variety Show will be on August 21 at SAPA from 7-9 pm.
Country Buck Duppy by Aston Cooke will be performed at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando from 7-9 pm.
The Bocas Lit Fest leads the way with the celebrations of “all things Literature” in Carifesta. There will be workshops on preparing for publication, writing on the erotic, basics of writing for beginners, writing in the digital age and more. Earl Lovelace, Esther Phillips, Vladimir Lucien, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Chadd Cumberbatch, Dwight Thompson, Robert Edison Sandiford, Lisa Allen-Agostini, Ira Mathur and Aliyyah Eniath are among the plethora of authors featured.
There will be 17 plays to choose from at Carifesta.
Choose Your Partner Wisely will pay tribute to late theatre icon Raymond Choo Kong at the Central Bank Auditorium on August 17 from 6-8pm.
Moon on a Rainbow Shawl by Errol Hill will be performed on August 17 at NAPA from 8-11pm.
Bitter Cassava will be performed on August 18 at the Little Carib Theatre from 7-10pm.
Face painting, live painting, gallery hops, art walks, artist talks and more await art lovers at Carifesta.
The visual arts exhibitions will run from August 16-24. The TT exhibition will be at NAPA, Across Boundaries Caricom Exhibition will be at the National Museum and Art Gallery on Keate Street and Icons will be at Castle Killarney.
The National Museum and Art Gallery will host a Gallery Hop on August 18, when people can visit four featured museums and art collections. These will be the National Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Killarney, the Art Society, Central Bank Money Museum, Host Country Exhibition (NAPA & UTT), 101 Art Gallery, Think Art Works TT and Soft Box Studios.
On August 19 and 23 there will be a bring-your-own-bottle sip and paint at the museum.
On August 22
there will be a presentation called the Art of Video Mapping and Digital Pictures from Martinique from 11am-noon at the National Museum.
August 23 will feature an emerging artist workshop called combined collage by a regional facilitator from
The TT Film Festival will run as part of Carifesta this year. TTFF is in its 14th year. The festival will run from August 17-23, with free screenings at NAPA, SAPA, Naparima Bowl and Shaw Park Cultural Complex. More information can be found at www.ttfilmfestival.com.
The Youth Village is a section dedicated specifically for honing the artistic craft of young people. The village is at Bishop Anstey High School, Keate Street.
The Forever Young concert series happens every day from 3-6 pm from August 17-27.
Reasoning is a two-day youth leadership forum to discuss the challenges young people face in the creative industry from August 20-21.
ALIAS Entertainment Expo will have a cosplay parade on August 17 in the Youth Village.
Daily workshops are also available too.
On August 20 there will be a Children’s Variety Show called Jewels of the Caribbean from 4-8pm at Central Bank, Port of Spain.
Oui Papa Yo! Fashion rock the runway is a premier fashion event for the region. Hosted at Hyatt Regency on August 22, there will be fashion showcases, pop-up events, capsule shows and regional buyers on a trade mission that will facilitate business meetings between designers and buyers.
Community Festival Tours
Carifesta is offering the chance for visitors and residents to get to know TT through community festival tours. These expeditions will showcase the culture, food and customs of different communities.
On August 17 the tour will give an experience of the Carib community in Arima. August 18 it will go to the Valencia Eco Resort. On August 22 the tour will show the East Indian Experience in Caroni. On August 22 people can learn the history of Mayaro. Those on the tour will learn the history of the Merikins in Princes Town and on August 23 people will experience the beautiful scenery of Vessigny.
Tobago takes the spotlight for the culinary arts segment of Carifesta. This will feature the best food and drink of the Caribbean, with culinary competitions and signature drinks. The launch of the Carifesta village and island vibes will be on August 18 on the Scarborough Esplanade. Pembroke Heritage Park in Plymouth will host the Salaka Feast on August 19. On August 20 there will be a bonfire in Castara.
Back in Trinidad there will be a Food and Rum Festival at the Grand Market on August 21 from 7-9 pm.
Arts and culture researchers from all over the diaspora will gather at UWI’s Department of Creative and Festival Arts to discuss the impact of the creative fields on society. Topics such as marijuana and sustainable livelihoods, indigenous traditions, reparations, national identities, post-colonial issues in arts management and interrogations of transnational behaviour will be discussed at the symposium, which will run from August 19-22.
Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o will be discussing the purpose of artists in society at the symposium. Prof Kei Miller of Jamaica will deliver the keynote address.