Tobago Carnival committee to be named this week

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Secretary for Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, Tashia Burris. FILE PHOTO –

MEMBERS of the committee tasked with overseeing Tobago’s first ever full Carnival, set for October, is expected to be named sometime this week, THA Secretary for Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris says.

Burris announced in April, the full Carnival show set for October 28-30, saying then that a committee was being established to oversee the planning and execution of the event which is expected to see a host of activities.

Responding to questions on Thursday during a ceremony hosted to commemorate the return of Caribbean Airlines’ (CAL) non-stop service between Tobago and JFK, New York, at the ANR Robinson International Airport in Crown Point, Burris said an announcement would be made in the week to come.

“The committee would be announced next week.”

Asked for specifics, she said the committee would be charged with responsibility of crafting what this carnival looks like. She added that Tobago’s business community, as stakeholders, would be part of the discussion.

The committee has to do its work, she said, and the THA is confident that the people selected for the committee would provide the necessary expertise to ensure the carnival is a success.

“We just want people to embrace the concept of a Tobago carnival as what it is intended to be is a profit-earning activity and one that will boost our tourism especially in that October period.”

She said October is usually a slow period in terms of domestic travel, “because school has just reopened, you would have the winter season now starting. The idea is that this is an activity that could bring much needed foreign exchange to Tobago for that entire month.”

Burris said a schedule of events will be published in due course.

She said while certain activities such as J’ouvert and the parade of the bands are synonymous with Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, and will be part of the Tobago carnival list of activities, there will be need for innovation to ensure that Tobago’s carnival stands out on its own.

“We don’t want the Tobago Carnival to be just like any other carnival. So this requires innovation, some creativity and discussions. People are bringing a lot of ideas to the table; how do you go about selecting which ones are the best is what the committee will work on.”

She asked for patience saying there is time for the committee and the division to do its homework in terms of planning for the event.

Asked about a budget, Burris said, “In terms of it being financed, the Tobago House of Assembly is making that investment but the onus is on all of us to get together and embrace the concept of a carnival being a money-making event for Tobago.

“Tourism is one of the pillars of our economy and part of the THA;s mandate is to ensure we have activities that are going to get people wanting to visit our island and that is the purpose behind this carnival.”