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The Award Ceremony and Reception for “Mentoring by the Masters”

Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Presented by:
Dr. the Honourable Lincoln Douglas
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism 


Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to the Award Ceremony for the project: Mentoring by the Masters.

It is truly good to be here once again at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, SAPA. I am sure that you will note the proper name of this magnificent facility as we continue to showcase our performing arts and cultural programmes right here.

Last year, our nation celebrated its 50th Anniversary of Independence. The Ministry with responsibility for culture – our ministry - used this as an opportunity to establish a series of programmes that would help to shape the next fifty years of cultural development –in a similar fashion as to the programmes instituted immediately upon our attaining Independence in 1962.

Some of these legendary programmes still exist today and include Panorama, the formal King and Queen of Carnival Competitions and the Prime Minister’s Best Village Programme. These competitions became instruments of policy that were exercises in promotion, development and, in some cases, preservation.

In like manner, the Ministry thought it prudent to use the golden anniversary of Independence to launch a developmental slate of programmes. Once they are continued over time, they too, would contribute significantly to national development.

Some of the programmes to which I refer are: Music School in the Panyard, Pan Camps, the We’re Trinbagonian Campaignand of course, the Mentoring by the Masters Programme.

Having recognised the need to facilitate the exchange of technique and information within the artistic community, and the need to develop mechanisms to acknowledge the achievements of senior cultural practitioners, the Ministry sought to create a programme whichwould achieve these objectives.

Consequently, the goal of the Mentoring by the Masters programme is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from senior, accomplished artists to emerging practitioners or apprentices in their respective fields. We, at the Ministry, also chose to celebrate these mentors simultaneously.

Mentoring by the Mentors comprised a training component called “the Art of Success”along with this evening’s Award Ceremony.

The programme included stakeholder consultation and a broader definition of the Culture Sector in its remit.

The five mentors in this inaugural programme were selected from a pool of esteemed individuals established after consultation with 27 stakeholder organisations.

These organisations spanned diverse spheres of activity such as Dance, Music, Drama, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Design, Criticism, Journalism and Research, Festivals, Media Arts, and Traditional Knowledge & Folklore.
We were extremely happy when the five distinguished individuals being honoured this evening agreed to participate in the programme.
They are:

  • Mr. Rajkumar Krishna Persad - Dance
  • Mr. Rodney Ramjit - Festivals   


  • Mr. Errol Ince  - Music
  • Mr. Kim Johnson - Film


  • Mr. Zeno Constance - Theatre

These individuals gave of themselves, their expertise and their time.

Consequently, the courses proved to be one of the more eclectic mix of activities conducted by the Ministry within recent times. Outputs fromthe classes span a broad spectrum from short films to elaborate props, to scripts for theatrical productions.

It is our sincerest hope that the individuals who participated in the programme will seize the opportunity to incorporate the learning they received into their lives. In so doing, they will grow to make significant contributions to this country called Trinidad and Tobago.

This evening, we pay respect to the Masters who participated in this inaugural Mentoring by the Masters Programme. It our greatest privilege to stand with the members of the culture fraternity, and celebrateyour achievements.

Your collective and individual contributions in the fields of education, scholarship, public service, community life and the Arts single you out as exemplary citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Your devotion to your craft, to your peers and to your country is an example worth emulating.

Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to give our Masters a rousing round of applause.

Thank you and may God richly bless us all.