CARIFESTA Logistics Coordinator and Interim Director of the Montserrat Arts Council Nerissa Golden has returned with the remaining nine members of the 29 member delegation. Mrs. Daphne Cassell Head of Delegation joins with Ms Golden in stating that the Montserrat Delegation has participated commendably in the festival. Mrs. Cassell said that she is pleased with what the delegation has achieved at the festival.
“Montserrat has not sent a delegation of this size to the regional festival in many years and this was a trial run in preparation for a heightened presence in 2021. There are various moving parts of participating in the festival and we also lacked an artistic director therefore the focus was on understanding all that is involved and ensuring we are better positioned for the next one and our artists and products are at the standards expected for an international stage,” Cassell stated.
The work of Visual artist Kelvin “Tabu Duberry” was selected to represent Montserrat in the Across Boundaries exhibition at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad & Tobago. Six of the 10 pieces sent were used in the exhibition which featured artists from across the Caribbean and ran for the length of the festival. He also participated in the Artist Talk along with fellow artists from Belize, Haiti and Guyana. Tabu also taught classes at his booth in the Craft Market and shared his work with the thousands who visited the CARIFESTA Grand Market daily.
Montserrat Festival winners Trevvle, Nyne and Sylk performed during the popular Live at Lunch show in the Grand Market at the Savannah. Trevvle also performed at the Carifesta Youth Village held at a nearby high school.
“Carifesta XIV was a great experience for me. My performances were well received and I took advantage of the opportunity to network. As a young recording artist, being able to perform at CARIFESTA solidified my direction as I traverse the music industry,” shared Trevon “Trevvle” Pollard, the reigning Groovy Soca Monarch.
Vocalist Nia Golden was part of the All Jazzed Up Show at the National Academy for the Performing Arts. She performed with the James Jesse Joseph Band, a combination of musicians and singers from Haiti and Trinidad. She also had performances at the Trinidad & Tobago Central Bank and on CARIFESTA Radio.
Authors Chadd Cumberbatch, Juliana Meade and Nerissa Golden read at various events at the Bocas Lit Fest tent which was also at the Grand Market. Meade also represented various crafters and designers on island and offered memorabilia and other locally made products at the Montserrat Country Booth.
“It was again a wonderful experience and more persons should think of going to participate and share in this amazing cultural experience,” said Meade. “People from the diaspora should look at it as a learning vacation for what can be done on the island. It brings new ideas in to focus. It will also assist in improving the size of the Montserrat contingency.”
The virtual reality experience of the Plymouth Recreation project by 4th Dymension was a popular attraction at the Country Booth. Jerely Browne and Carlon Braithwaite were able to share this VR experience on Trinidad’s most popular television morning show, TTT Live Now. The video from their interview has already racked up over 10,000 views on Facebook.
“My experience at CARIFESTA was epic. The whole atmosphere in Trinidad, the way they set up the presentations, the vibes, the culture is one to remember. I’m happy that I got to go as 4th Dymension to display our hard work. I am truly thankful to all who made it possible for selecting us to go to CARIFESTA XIV,” Browne shared upon his return.
Golden along with Browne attended the Script to Screen talk, an event hosted by the TT National Artist Registry for aspiring filmmakers. Golden was one of the featured presenters discussing film financing and promotion.
“While at the event we began discussions on what areas Montserrat can play a key role at the 2021 festival. The country booth was busy every day, all day and with more than 15,000 visitors daily to the Grand Market it was a great space to share information on Montserrat and how people can come to visit. A greater investment in promotional material must be made. Those in the hospitality industry should consider participating in future festivals as there is a lot of interest from Caribbean people,” said Golden.
“There is much Montserrat can do on the knowledge level at the symposiums, in technology and also in exposing the meaning of the mask and rituals of the Montserrat Masquerade who were a definite hit at the festival. We hope our artists work harder at building their careers and our entrepreneurs improve the quality of the products being developed so they are comparative to what other islands are bringing to CARIFESTA. The MAC must also establish a committee immediately to plan and secure funding for Montserrat’s participation in CARIFESTA 15 in 2021.”
The Office of the Premier was the main sponsor of the delegation to CARIFESTA XIV. Six members of the official delegation paid their own way to the festival. Additional financial support was received by the Department of Trade, the Ministry of Communications and Works ICT Division and 4th Dymension.