Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas says he is considering introducing a special prize for children who make mas costumes.
Douglas made the comment during his visit to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday.
In a spectacular display of colour and pageantry yesterday, Destini Jennings’ portrayal of D Mystical Dream Catcher (Tribute to Rosemary Kuru Jagessar) from Eckel Village and Friends charmed the judges at the 56th edition of Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival 2014 Junior King of Carnival. Masquerader Cyan Lue Shue, portraying the Angel of Buccoo, from Rosalind Gabriel’s band, won Junior Queen of Carnival.
Among those present were Reema Carmona, wife of President Anthony Carmona, chair Vindra Amar and committee members including Anna Mahase, Trevor Fung, Marcelle Martinez, Sherene Akow, Theresa Awai, Carol Ramnath, Kathleen Maynard, Richard Bartholomew, Francis Joseph, Jan Sirjusingh, Suzanne Wright and Augustus Forde.
Douglas, who was en route to Calypso Fiesta semi-finals at Skinner Park, San Fernando, said: “It is my second visit. I am considering introducing a special prize for the children who are actually engaged in making and designing the mas. I am supportive of their efforts. The ministry has pledged its support to them for a second year. I believe this is where the mas is alive. It is the future of Trinidad and Tobago mas.”
To date, Douglas’ ministry has donated $20,000 to the event which showcases various themes and costumes. Douglas said he was impressed by the number of tributes ranging from calypsonians (Sparrow), prominent personalities (Janelle ‘Penny’ Commissiong-Chow) to veteran mas designers like Rosalind Gabriel.
He said: “I noticed there were many tributes. Children were paying tribute to those things that make us uniquely Trinidadian. It is an honour to view the mas. It is a sheer delight to witness the creativity, energy and beauty of the masquerade.”
Amar said she was pleased to welcome Carmona for the first time.
She said: “The spouse of the President is a patron. We are pleased to have her with us. So far, she said she was happy to be here and enjoying the beautiful children playing their mas.”
Amar thanked Douglas, its sponsor Citibank for donating over $1 million and the other contributors.
But she said sponsorship still posed a challenge.
“Today things went extremely smooth. But sponsorship remains a challenge,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Amar said the Red Cross will continue to strive towards achieving its $300,000 target. We will be donating about $200,000 to a charitable project,” said Amar.
“We bought an ambulance. We developed the Solar Lantern project which provides electricity to children without this amenity.”
Amar also thanked the National Carnival Commission and about 120 volunteers who man the hospitality gates and staging areas for the event’s success.
Sirjusingh said students hoping to hone their skills at events management also volunteered.