Soca and masquerade will filter through the streets of Port of Spain while pan will resound in Tunapuna as the launches of Carnival and Panorama take place this weekend.
These will happen on November 4 and 5 respectively. The first of these will be Carnival’s launch at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, from 3 pm. It will begin with a pre-show at that time and will feature performances by Nadia Batson, Patrice Roberts, Destra, reigning calypso monarch Ta’zyah O’Connor, SuperBlue and Ronnie McIntosh, among others.
Panorama’s launch on November 5 will be blended with performances by Naliah Blackman, Ding Dong, Chuck Gordon and Darwren “Pharoah” Greenidge.
For the past three years or more, Pan Trinbago’s launches took place in the city but this year it moves east and will be held at Republic Bank Exodus’ panyard, Eastern Main Road, St Augustine, from 5.30 pm.
Pan Trinbago's president Beverley Ramsey-Moore promises a great show as the organisation prepares for even bigger things as the annual pan competition progresses.
Ramsey-Moore believes the great performances and enthusiastic players that people will see on Sunday will be fuelled by the body having attained the UN’s declaration of World Steelpan Day on August 11.
“Recognition helps to boost individuals and with that world-wide recognition, there is a rejuvenation in spirit, resiliency and energy. That is why the theme this year is Rhythms of Steel: feel it, love it, share it,” she said.
At the time of interview, Ramsey-Moore was in Antigua for the Antigua Commercial Bank (ACB) Caribbean National Schools’ Panorama Competition.
Pan Trinbago met with Antigua and Barbuda’s director in the Antiguan Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Khan Cordice as well as a board member of the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission. Ramsey-Moore, accompanied by Pan Trinbago’s PRO Withfield Weekes also met with Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Culture in its Ministry of Education, Sports and the Creative Industries Daryll Matthew.
Pan Trinbago also met with the Antigua Steelband Association, Ramsey-Moore said in a phone interview.
In the meeting with Matthew, they discussed the importance of pan for capital human development, its uses as a tool in aiding positive youth behaviours, and the positive impact of pan on communities.
The meeting in Antigua was one of many Pan Trinbago hopes to host as it hopes to contact all Caribbean countries with pan associations to “rebuild and strengthen bridges that were broken.”
“It is very important when we speak; we speak with one voice, just as we do with West Indies cricket. Because one of the things I recognise is that the associations in these countries do not have the power to manage their own affairs as we do in Trinidad and Tobago.”
For World Steelpan Day 2024, the organisation plans to host an international conference where global pan bodies will discuss strategies to “impact the world with our national musical instrument.”
She said this is going to work well for pan’s further global growth and development and would also allow the individual bodies to affect governmental decision making about pan.
“I think this is going to work well for our Caribbean islands where we can speak with one voice, where we can impact Caricom, where we can impact our governments in terms of support that they lend to steelband organisations that work extremely hard in their communities to help in the governance of our islands through our social programmes.”
It is hoped that a regional pan body could be formed out of this.
There was once a regional body but there were a lot of challenges and disappointments which eventually led to it being disbanded. That body was Caripan.
“Remember we inherited some challenges, but we did not reach out until we did our homework in terms of rebranding and rebuilding our image. Because we have done that successfully, the Caribbean islands are now calling us,” Ramsey-Moore said.
Despite the challenges over the years under previous leaders, Ramsey-Moore said these countries were now looking at Pan Trinbago in a different light and one of the things that gave them the boost was the UN’s declaration of World Steelpan Day.
She said other countries were now looking at Pan Trinbago and TT in a positive light and it was grateful for the support from Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell.
“Quietly he is there behind the scenes, pushing us and guiding me, in particular, into some of the decisions Pan Trinbago is making at this time,” she said.
She said if her executive returns to office there might be a regional Panorama.
“Pan tourism. Regional tourism. Just as there is sport tourism we are going to have that and focus on that: the movement of people.”
Ramsey-Moore said the body will be hosting youth exchange programmes between regional and TT bands as it builds the regional pan movement.
“We have done it in St Lucia. We have seen Massy Trinidad All Stars sponsoring a band, T-shirts for St Lucia carnival and Pan Trinbago also supported them with sponsoring of T-shirts.
“We are seeing now how the bands in TT that can help the bands here (Antigua and Barbuda) with players, arrangers, tuners. We are going to establish that relationship with other Caribbean islands so our players can support them, their players can come back and so we have this exchange. Caribbean love, Caribbean unity.
“We are one people.”
These were exciting times for TT and pan and she said she was proud of people’s support for the national instrument.
“We are all interconnected because we work with people. The people of TT are our major stakeholders and we are entrenched in community.
“Once you are entrenched in community, you are entrenched in family and family is the social fabric of society and as such we are important to development.”
She called on people to pay and support the launch.
Ramsey-Moore added she was optimistic of sponsorship for Panorama 2024. She thanked corporate TT for its support in advance.
Pan Trinbago employed two professional marketers and sponsorship proposals were already out for Panorama, she said.
“Corporate TT we are asking you to come onboard. It is your social responsibility to invest in our youth in pan, invest in our women in pan, to invest in our young men as we use pan as a vehicle for social transformation.
“We give you the music and we are hoping you will help us we develop our young people.”