National Carnival Commission
Launch of Carnival 2013
Wednesday 12th December, 2012
NAPA, Hotel Restaurant
DR. THE HONOURABLE LINCOLN DOUGLAS
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- Members of Cabinet and other Government Ministers
- Ms. Desdra Bascombe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- Mr. Vel Lewis, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- Ms. Allison Demas, Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC)
- Mr. Clarence Moe, Chief Executive Officer of the National Carnival Commission (NCC)
- Other distinguished members of the Board of NCC
- Specially invited guests
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
Today I am honoured to address you at the launch Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013. I must congratulate the Chairman of the National Carnival Commission, Ms. Allison Demas and the hardworking team at the NCC for the preparation that has gone into making today’s launch possible. I am certain that Carnival 2013 will be one of the most efficiently delivered events in the history of the festival.
Trinidad and Tobago is the world leader of Carnival. The festival epitomizes the plethora of our creative expression and is reflective of our rich diversity and history. It attracts over 40,000 visitors annually and studies from the University of the West Indies indicate that revenue from the season exceeds US$100 million dollars annually. This proves that the Carnival sector has the potential to draw large numbers of tourists and earn significant revenue as a major contributor the creative economy of Trinidad and Tobago. As Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, I will continue to work closely with the National Carnival Commission to further improve the economic viability and image of Carnival.
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is important as an industry that exists beyond the shores of our twin-island state. Whatever happens in our festivities affects many Carnivals around the Caribbean and in major cities around the world: such as Notting Hill Carnival in London, Labour Day Carnival in New York, Caribana in Toronto and Miami Carnival, to name a few. The global impact of our Carnival means therefore that there is an international market for products and expertise that are home-grown. This factor must be harnessed and exploited to ensure that we maximise the financial viability of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival.
I recently returned from a very successful trip to Nigeria for Abuja Carnival 2013 on the invitation of the Nigerian Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke. The contingent included officials of Pan Trinbago and the Courts Laventille Sound Specialists, who received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Nigerian people and also from BBC who reported on the Carnival. Picture this: Nigeria has the largest population in Africa with over 170 million people and Abuja Carnival is just one of six Carnivals staged annually in the West African country. Can you imagine the potential of this market for the export of our immense creative talent and expertise? Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to think big, think international, Carnival is global. The possibilities are limitless.
While the industry has witnessed growth over the years, the potential of Carnival to boost the local creative economy is largely untapped. I am committed to working closely with the National Carnival Commission and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that we tap the unexplored potential of Carnival.
As we aspire to strengthen the efficiency, marketability and economic viability of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is also working on bolstering the legislative and regulatory agenda as it pertains to the creative economy. To this end, the National Cultural Policy and the Policy Framework for Multiculturalism will be completed in 2013. This will be a monumental step towards protecting and promoting the creative genius of Trinidad and Tobago.
While the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is leading the drive to advance the creative and heritage sectors of Trinidad and Tobago, more strategic partnerships need to be forged with the private sector. The vision to develop the creative sector of our country cannot take place without increased collaboration and networking.
As we launch Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013 I would like to urge all organizers and participants to see yourselves as ambassadors of our culture, you are representative of the creative genius of our multicultural society. Place no limits on your creativity and see yourselves as leaders of the Carnival Diaspora. Lets us show the world that Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is truly ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.
I must express sincere thanks to the Honourable Prime Minister, Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, for her unwavering commitment and support to the development of the creative and cultural sectors of Trinidad and Tobago. Under your stewardship we will continue to make considerable strides in placing the creative economy at the forefront of our nation’s development.
I would also like to wish the Chairman, Ms. Allison Demas and staff of the National Carnival Commission a most successful staging of Carnival.
Thank you and may you all have a safe and enjoyable Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013.