NCC, Carnival Museum look at IP protection

Takeyah Fletcher Marshall portrays The Spirit of Carnival - Tribute to Roland St George at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on February 17 2023.   - Andrea De Silva
Takeyah Fletcher Marshall portrays The Spirit of Carnival - Tribute to Roland St George at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on February 17 2023. - Andrea De Silva

With the Carnival museum approaching its first anniversary, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) and the Carnival Museum hosted a brainstorming session for experts on the intellectual property (IP) for the museum.

Spearheading the discussions and presentations were TT’s IP Office controller Regan Asgarali and legal officer II Lyrinda Persaud, at the VIP Room, Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, on Thursday.

The two-day brainstorming session – which is ending Friday – was meant to bring together key professionals versed in Carnival to share their ideas on the intellectual property protection, preservation and management of contributors’ cultural works. These displays will be contained to the Carnival museum on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, where the old Penny Bank Building stands.

In their opening remarks, NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters and president of the TT Carnival Bandleaders’ Association and member of the Carnival Museum committee, Rosalind Gabriel mentioned the critical role IP plays.

Chairman of the National Carnival Commission Winston "Gypsy" Peters, right, speaks with legal consultant and attorney Sharon Le Gall of Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO), left; Controller of TTIPO Regan Asgarali and Carnival Museum director, Rosalind Gabriel.  - Photo by Anisto Alves

Peters said, “You can see how exposed our Carnival and cultural assets are. Protecting these assets, digitally and physically has to be of paramount importance to each and every accountable stakeholder.”

He added that the NCC doubled down on its responsibilities when it launched the TT Carnival World website – this provides a virtual tour of the Grand Stand Queen’s Park Savannah, then a museum tour through a YouTube video.

“In bringing that virtual museum to life, we saw an opportunity to create and preserve the various Carnival and cultural assets that would have, otherwise, been lost forever. We are very optimistic about the possibilities to build on that platform, advance IP protection on our local level and add significant value to the preservation efforts across the nation.”

Gabriel said the aim is to unlock the full potential of the museum by fostering collaboration, innovation and strategic thinking. She added that the museum’s potential to encourage research, development and innovation of artifacts and collections that are virtually scattered everywhere.

Expanding on the future plans for the museum, she said those include exhibitions, community outreach and public events, digital collections, audio/visual documentation, networking with similar institutions, training workshops and publication of books, DVDs, CDs, posters pamphlets and brochures. She said a gift shop will also be included in these future plans, pan and calypso evenings and a coffee shop/cafe.

The museum is currently hosting an exhibition titled Story of J’Ouvert, which is open to public from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sundays 2 pm-5 pm. This is being put on the Carnival Institute of TT which also held the previous exhibition, Old Mas.

Though a representative from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts was not present, Asgarali mentioned a strategy for the pan that bolth the ministry and the TTIPO are working on together.

Also present were Lorena Bolanos, senior programme officer of the World IP Organisation’s (WIPO) copyright development division under the copyright and creative industries sector in Geneva; Natasha Barrow, permanent secretary of the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs; Dr Sharon Le Gall, legal consultant and attorney-at-law; Dr Robert Bowman, a Canadian professor of of Ethnomusicology at York University, Toronto; Lalloo Ramlal, technical information specialist at the TTIPO and Yaniv Benhamou, a professor from Geneva.


"NCC, Carnival Museum look at IP protection"

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