Tobago Festivals chair: Pandemic won't stop our work

Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis, centre, with new Tobago Festivals Commission board Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus, left, directors Adana Roberts. back left, and Tonya Lee Williams, back right, and deputy chairman Ancil Thorne. -
Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis, centre, with new Tobago Festivals Commission board Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus, left, directors Adana Roberts. back left, and Tonya Lee Williams, back right, and deputy chairman Ancil Thorne. -

Chairman of the Tobago Festivals Commission Ltd (TFCL) Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus is looking forward to improving on the foundation laid during her previous term, having been reappointed for a second term.

Last Thursday, Tsoiafatt-Angus was presented with her instruments of appointment as she was given a fresh mandate by THA Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation Ancil Dennis during a ceremony at the division’s Sangster’s Hill head office in Scarborough.

Speaking with Newsday on Wednesday, Tsoiafatt-Angus said she was happy to be reappointed.

“I am pleased with the opportunity to serve. Even though the board of directors of 2020-2021 achieved a lot in the time frame, there is still more to be done in growing this relatively new company in this unique environment of the pandemic.”

She said while the new board’s priority will be to ensure adherence to the pandemic restrictions and guidelines for internal staff and external stakeholders, its key role is appreciated: “A role which entails preserving our space on the calendar of events, discovering innovative approaches to entertaining and developing a global reach for our products, grasping the opportunity to educate about the culture and providing platforms to stimulate the creative economy.”

She said in her view, this board has an even greater role to play during this pandemic.

“The creative economy has been significantly affected, as the sector itself thrives on social interactions and entertainment. Providing engaging productions and stimulating activities would ease the boredom of the restrictions for persons having to remain at home.”

She said the first strategic plan for the company is just about completed and has involved internal and external stakeholders in informing how they expect the TFCL to achieve its mandate over the next three years.

“It’s about ensuring that transparency, accountability and equity are at the forefront of our deliberations; completing the recruitment of relevant staff to deliver on the mandate; (and) continuing to innovate and deliver quality products which will involve as many stakeholders across the island as possible and in the industry. We foresee that one of our most significant challenges will be decreased funding and the current covid19 restrictions, but we will find ways to surmount them.”

She believes the 2020-2021 board did well in achieving its mandate.

“The feedback from the public and our stakeholders is that we surpassed all expectations, especially the fact that we started in May 2020, in the new unknown of pandemic restrictions, and had to deliver an innovative approach to Heritage (Festival) and manage internal relations of a new normal and without a CEO at the helm.”

The previous board hosted a series of virtual events to celebrate Tobago Heritage Festival, Blue Food Festival and Tobago Jazz. The commission received heavy engagement on social media platforms.

This new board, she said, looks forward to improving on that foundation, as the CEO and additional staff are in place to continue the momentum.

Also appointed were Ancil Thorne as deputy chairman and directors Adana Roberts, Tonya-Lee Williams, Shane Andrews, Derry Trotman and Kieron Mc Dougall.

Ex-officio members are Rawle Titus, Glenda-Rose Layne and Cheryl Duncan.

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