Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts



Our Projects


In our continued efforts to promote, protect and preserve the cultural heritage of Trinidad and Tobago, and in celebration of our 50th year of Independence, the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism in conjunction with the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) mounted a 50th Anniversary Exhibition in the North Atrium of the Piarco International Airport on the 1st of August 2012.


The call for submissions for the National Inventories of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and World Cultural and Natural Heritage was made based on our ratification of the UNESCO Conventions related to culture which mandates that National Inventories be generated.


In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Division of Culture produced an Arts Showcase from July to August, 2012, featuring the overwhelming talent, performing arts, and collaborative efforts of our creative peoples. The Arts Showcase was open to the public as a gift to our nation, with events noted as follows:

  • Pan on a higher note
    The “Pan on a Higher Note” concert has become the marquee concert of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO). Their presentation on the 21st and 22nd of July in 2012 was the first of the series of concerts presented by the Division of Culture in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Trinidad and Tobago. The Concert, as a subtext, represented twin celebrations of Independence of Trinidad and Tobago and that of Colombia.The major guests on the programme were the Colombian Percussion group Tambores de Cabildo who presented traditional works native to Afro-Colombians. The NSSO itself presented Nationalist works from the Western Classical Tradition by Tchaikovsky and Falla; works from the Spanish Nationalist Tradition; and an entire section of music devoted to original works from Trinidad and Tobago including treatments of two of the National songs “Our Nation’s Dawning” and “God Bless Our Nation”.

  • SUMMBA – A Folk Ballet
    WASAFOLI Trinidad and Tobago produced their first full length folk ballet called “WASAFOLI – SUUMBA” at City Hall in Port of Spain on June 1st and 3rd in 2012. Their performance was confident, exuberant and a delight to the audience who felt that they had not witnessed such a dance performance in a long time. This performance inspired members of staff of the Division of Culture at the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism who were present for the show to recommend that the production be made part of the performances at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Lord Kitchener Auditorium) for the 50th Anniversary Independence Celebrations. Their show was held on the 28th and 29th of July 2012.

  • Colours of Consciousness
    “Colours of Consciousness” was a showcase of a multifaceted production, displaying a mosaic of cultural expression through today’s youth, held on the 11th of August 2012. In order to maintain a healthy cultural climate, especially one as diverse as ours,  it is an imperative to nurture and support the work of the younger generation, as it is only through proper succession and incubation strategies can we ensure that our culture survive, in all its expressions.The production featured some of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading talents in the contemporary performance arts scene.  Artists such as 3Canal, Collis Duranty, Kavita Ganness, Maximus Dan, Gyazette the Band and Muhammed Muwakil, took the stage and performed to a packed house. Several of the performers applauded the Ministry for its venture into this area and suggested that this production tour the country and the region.

  • Eric the Musical
    Along with SUUMBA presented by Wasafoli Trinidad and Tobago, another adopted production was ‘Eric the Musical’ written by Zeno Constance and produced by Iere Theatre Productions under the direction of Victor Edwards which was held on the 17th and 18th of August 2012. The production features the life and times of the Right Honourable Dr. Eric Williams, father of the nation and first Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The dramatic telling of his life and his political contribution is threaded by a series of calypsos that were relevant to the period.

    Eric the musical performed to rave reviews at the Naparima Girls’ High School Auditorium and the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre.  Iere Theatre Productions approached the Ministry to have the production be part of the 50th Anniversary Arts Showcase and a proposal was presented to adopt the production under the showcase calendar.  The musical benefitted from additional technical support and a marketing plan that made it one of the Showcase’s more successful productions.

  • The National Song Competition

    The National Song Competition was an “Open Style” Music Competition divided into three (3) phases which ran from the 5th of June to the 26th of August 2012. The Competition was geared towards the composer and original compositions of all genres of music.  Both amateur and professional composers were eligible to enter.  Persons who render these compositions were selected solely at the discretion of the composer. Furthermore, composers could have chosen to render their own composition.On Tuesday 7th August, 2012, a media event was held for the ceremonial opening of the box that contained the applications.  This ceremony was led by the Minister, Dr. the Honourable Lincoln Douglas who opened the box to reveal 57 applications.  The applications were deliberated over by a panel of industry specialists and 20 compositions were selected.  The panel was comprised:

    • Marteen Manmohan – Record Producer
    • Lois Lewis – Choral Director and Vocal Coach
    • Kenny Phillips – Record Producer
    • Winsford Devignes – Lyricist
    • Alvin Daniel – Cultural Researcher; founder of the original ‘National Song Competition’

    During the period August 14th to 23rd, workshops were held in vocal technique, performance and style and lyrical composition and interpretation.  Band rehearsals were also conducted during this period so that the composer, the singer and the musical director was comfortable with the rendition of the piece.  Advice as it relates to costuming and performance style was also provided.

    On Sunday 26th of August the Finalists’ Showcase was held at the Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) Auditorium.  Eighteen (18) compositions were performed by sixteen (16) vocalists (two vocalists performed two compositions), accompanied by a full band. The adjudicators for the evening comprised;

    • Raff Robertson – Musician
    • Marteen Manmohan – Record Producer
    • Kenny Phillips – Record Producer
    • Sunity Maharaj – Journalist
    • Annette Lessey – Public Speeker and Vocal Coach
    • Stacy Alcantara – Musician
    • Jessel Murray – Conductor, Vocal Coach and Music Lecturer

    Scores were tabulated by a secretariat put together by the producers and audited the following day by the Ministry’s internal auditor.  The results were published in all three national papers on Wednesday 29th August, 2012. This event was lauded as one of ‘the best productions of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations’.

  • Red White and Black Parade

    The 50th Anniversary Showcase came to a close on Friday the 30th of August, 2012 in a street festival that featured traditional and contemporary Mas and members of the general public in a celebration of our nation’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. Dressed in mainly red, white and black the parade was led by the Director of Culture, Mrs. Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, as she was accompanied by steelpan, tassa, drums and rhythm sections.The Guardian Newspaper on August 31st in a report written by Shirvan Williams stated that;
    “Bad weather failed to dampen the Carnival atmosphere as masqueraders chipped to Soca music, complemented with Dame Lorraines, jab jabs, sailors and wild Indians. Providing music were Petrotrin Boodoosingh’s Tassa Group, Laventille Rhythm Section, Siparia Rhythm Section and Diego Ville Drummers”
    The article went on to quote;
    “Attorney Om Lalla said it was good to see such a strong sense of patriotism among the people. He said people ought to realise the significance of a democracy operating for 50 years.”


The Pan Camps was a project of the Division of Culture that took place in 2012, alongside Music School in the Pan Yard project. During the periods of July 9th – 27th and August 6th – 24th ten (10) camps were conducted for young students to introduce them to music literacy in venues in the north, east, central and south Trinidad with a maximum of fifty (50) participants per camp.


The Music School in the Pan Yard was created as a means of developing a more holistic approach to music education in terms of the teaching and learning of music, the development and enhancement of performance skills and the knowledge of music literacy.