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Patrons of the Launch of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition 2017 were given a grand show that ran the cultural gamut of Trinbagonian Culture on Sunday 22ndJanuary, 2017. As early as 5:00 p.m., Traditional Carnival characters including Jab Molassies, Blue Devils, Moko Jumbies and Cows lined the steps of the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Frederick Street, Port of Spain to greet attendees.

The opening dance sequence that brought hosts Sharon Pitt and Hans Des Vignes on stage let the audience know that they were in for a real treat.

The show was divided into six segments: Praises; Oratory; Rhythm and Song; National Pride; Tobago and Celebration and featured the 2016 winners in their respective categories that were indeed first-class.

While the entire show could be described as outstanding, there were several undeniable renditions that were crowd favourites. Shakira Burton of the Indian Walk Community Council performed her winning piece. The young Ms Burton held the audience, not only with her poem on Child Sexual Abuse but her emotive performance. Ms Ketisha Williams – La Reine Rive Talent Winner 2016 lightened the mood with her hilarious portrayal of a young lady who tries to get a husband by consulting ‘spiritual advisor’ in Les Coteaux.

The Rhythm and Song Segment drew thunderous applause from the start with the Winner in the Pan Soloist category – Dejaun Cain of the Road Block School of the Arts. It would be safe to call the 13 year old a pan prodigy after his scintillating rendition of Voice’s Far from Finished. The Brother’s Roads Dragon Boys gave a rousing Tassa Performance with such style and flair that they left audience cheering.

The Tobago contingent received a warm welcome back to the Best Village Competition. The young performers gave an energetic speech Band Performance while the Combined Performers enchanted patrons with a well-received Jig and Reel.

The undeniable highlight of the Best Village 2017 launch was the 2016 winner of National Dance by the Lael Dance Academy to Ella Andall’s Rhythm of a People. Pint-sized Bele Dancers no older than 8 years old took to the stage with precision and technique far beyond their years. The audience continued their applause long after the group left the stage. 

The programme ended with a presentation by Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts to Christopher Wong Sang, son of Joyce Wong Sang. The trophy was given in honour of Mrs Wong Sang’s service to the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition for over two decades.

The Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition is a programme under the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. The competitions will run from April to August and will include the categories of:

La Reine Rive (Miss Best Village) - Villages send a queen who will depict their community with beauty, elegance, grace and talent.

Folk Presentations – local folklore represented in the genres of dance, music and literature

Village Chat; Short Story; Spoken Word -  juniors and seniors engage in a ‘chat’ based on a topic related to their village; stories adapted from our folk and oral traditions; original poems that draw on the Rapso, Pichakaree/Calypso or Literary genre.

Food and Folk Fair – a cultural extravaganza promoting traditional dishes, craft, folk and cultural traditions