Table of Contents PRESIDENT’S EDITORIAL
FROM ARIMA TO INTERNATIONAL ARENA... A story about Bunji Garlin
By Rabindra Jaggernauth, TTCSI’s President
By Dixie-Ann Dickson, TTCSI’s Communication & Marketing Officer
By Natalie-Anne De Silva TTCSI’s Development Officer
T&T’S FIRST STREET ARTS FESTIVAL
By Ryan De Souza & Tori Ann Haywood, TTCSI
THE SECRET IS OUT… Cricket Tourism open for Business
By Baldath Mahabir, Board Director, TTCB
REVEALING THE SECRET
RIKKI JAI - MARKET T&T’S CULTURE TO EUROPE Q&A
OPERATION KI - TAKING SOCA CHUTNEY BEYOND THE DIASPORA Q&A
THE FUTURE OF CALYPSO
By George Sambrano TUCO’s Education Research Officer
By Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants, Tourism Association
BUSINESS CRISIS PLANNING PART II
TOBAGO TOURISM & HOTEL OUTLOOK 2014
By Peter Neptune, BSc MBA CMI - Executive Director, Change Management Inc.
By Christopher James, President of The Tobago Hotel & Tourism Association
MSME GET A FAIR SHARE OF THE GOV’T’S PIE
CARNIVAL TRAINING AND INJURIES PREVENTION
MAKING IT HAPPEN …IN FASHION 18
CHALLENGES IN CARDIAC SURGERY
By Caribbean Heart Care Medcorp Ltd
By Dixie-Ann Dickson, TTCSI’s Communication & Marketing Officer
PAN TO THE WORLD… but maintaining Its Birthplace
By Patti Mohan, TTCSI's Project Officer
By Dr Jo-anne Tull & Kenwyn Murray - Carnival Studies Unit and Lesley Ann & Kenwyn Crichlow - Visual Arts Unit
KIDDIES MAS it’s more than business…it’s love
By Dr Terence Babwah, Sports Medicine Physician
By Ministry of Labour & Small and Micro Enterprise Development
MEETING THE TRAINING NEEDS OF THE CARNIVAL SECTOR
WHAT’S GOING ON
By Jean Michel Gibert, Founder and director of Caribbean Music Group and Maturity Productions & Kim Johnson, UWI Senior Research Fellow
EDITOR- Nirad Tewarie ASSISTANT EDITOR- Dixie-Ann Dickson CONTACT US Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries 45 Cornelio Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain Tel: 622-9229 Fax: 622-8985 Email: email@example.com Website: www.ttcsi.org The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) is an umbrella, non-governmental, business support organization established to encourage the growth and development of the services sector. b In particular TTCSI: assists service providers to identify and exploit market opportunities; lobbies government and international agencies on behalf of services providers; develops capacity among local services providers; assists in the development of standards and certification to access into foreign markets The views and opinions expressed or implied in TTCSI QUARTERLY are solely those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by TTCSI.
and ensures that member interests are represented in trade negotiations. We are also the local body responsible for issuing CARICOM Service Provider Certificates. Our membership includes associations in the fields of financial services, hospitality, construction, ICT, midwifery, cultural industries, customs brokerage, human resource management, and pest management. b Services account for more than 51% of GDP and contribute an average of TT$43 billion annually to the local economy.
All info herein is the property of TTCSI and may not be reproduced without prior consent.
t is that time of the year and, once again, controversy abounds around our Carnival.
Over the last ten years approximately $1.6 billion has been invested into Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival and what do we, as a country, have to show for it in terms of sustainability and growth. For the past ten years the same thing has been done repeatedly with minor changes, which has had little or no impact on the outcome.
Rabindra Jaggernauth TTCSI President
This indicates, therefore, that there is a dire need to re-look the governing bodies’ relevance that oversees the nation’s Carnival product. It is imperative that we change the way Carnival is managed as a mega event, especially when technology is constantly evolving placing the world at our fingertips. With that said, the time is ripe for a new paradigm, one that would include a governance structure that is diametrically opposed to what is current. This new governance structure should be focused on driving innovation, creativity and transformation of Carnival, coupled with branding Carnival globally. It also talks to treating Carnival as a global mega-event, which requires professional management.
As such, the vision for this new body is to streamline and effectively promote and brand a Carnival that is constantly evolving with the next generation in mind; and a body that has business acumen, high levels of professionalism and understands the dynamics of the creative sector. The present governing bodies have been in charge for more than 20 years and have been doing the same thing year after year, even as everyone acknowledges that the overall environment and demands have changed. As a consequence, if we are to benefit economically, there must be a change in the way we manage Carnival, which is a major tourism product. Most of the problems that are encountered during the Carnival season stem from management issues. One of TTCSI’s Association members- the National Carnival Development Foundation has been in the forefront for years, lobbying for sustainable transformation of the Carnival product to no avail. Thus, it begs the question, how can we effectively manage, transform and brand T&T’s Carnival? It is an issue around which TTCSI has sought to facilitate discussions before and will continue to do so in the future.
STRATEGY Export, Live, Prosper By Natalie-Anne de Silva, TTCSI’s Development Officer
Today’s world economy is uniquely knowledge-based, one where management expertise and creativity have become more important assets than commercial crops, steel and factories. The increasing contribution of services to the gross domestic product (GDP) of core countries have inspired local policy makers and commentators to speak of the scope for the region in terms of its political-economic stability, exotic allure, and existing holiday resort services. Offshore banking, health convalescence, entertainment, education and information technology services are thus held out to be real levers for economic success, even renewal. It’s no wonder therefore that the crucial role of education in fostering economic growth is well recognized. Education enables countries to face the challenges of technological change and global commercial integration. Through its capacity to provide skills and enable effective participation in the work force, education is crucial to economic adjustment. This is the imperative of the National Strategy for the Export of Education Services as posited by the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI). The National Strategy funded and developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat identifies Trinidad & Tobago as having an active and vibrant education industry with strong growth potential and was instrumental in the TTCSI’s launch of a Tertiary Education Export Steering Committee at an Education Export Stakeholders Workshop at the Normandie Hotel, Port-of-Spain on January 15, 2014.
The committee, which comprises representatives from public and private tertiary institutions was established to develop the export capacity of the education sector and brand T&T as a destination for higher education.
Members of the Steering Committee include: • Dr Robin Maraj Managing Director, School of Business and Computer Science; • Susan Langdon Managing Director, Langdon’s Language Institute; • Dr David Rampersad University of the West Indies • Dr Robert Liverpool University of the Southern Caribbean, • Idrees Omardeen Managing Director, Omardeen School of Accounting • Navin Boodhai VP, Business Development & MarketingUniversity of Trinidad & Tobago • Lance Dowrich Training Director, Kenson School of Production Technology and • Natalie-Anne de Silva Development Officer, TTCSI.
Arising out of the study and extensive consultations, four sub-sectors were identified—medical tourism, professional, yachting and educational services—as having high short to medium term export potential. TTCSI’s Chief Executive Officer Nirad Tewarie said: “Of the four sub-sectors, educational services emerged as having the most potential in the short to medium term, particularly as it
relates to English Language Learning, given T&T’s proximity to Latin America.” He said while there is significant room for improvement in the education system locally, the report underlines the relative strength of tertiary level institutions and the opportunities they can capitalise on. T&T’s education system must now be seen as an industry as the nation could benefit from strategically marketing its educational services to foreign students and has the capacity to earn approximately US$5,000 to US$15,000 per student. The potential and capacity lie in the areas of Higher Education, English Language Training, Technical and Vocational Education. After three years of strategic activity, each category could attract an additional 2,500 students per year and increase the total exports of commercial services by seven per cent. The importance of the services sector is tremendous, as it contributed 51 per cent of GDP and 86 per cent of employment in 2012. However, despite its importance, it plays a marginal role in the generation of foreign exchange and services accounted for only 7 per cent of export earnings in 2010. Nevertheless, there are a number of well-established public and private institutions and a range of study offerings in an attractive location. By building on these strengths, T&T could develop a viable education export industry capable of providing significant foreign exchange earnings. The country has the potential to become a destination for students interested in university degree programmes, specialized professional and vocational training, and English Language Training (ELT). 07
By Ryan De Souza & Tori Ann Haywood, TTCSI The T he Tr Trin i id in dad ad and d Tobag a o Co Coa alittio on of S rv Se rvic vic i es Ind ndus dus strie ttrrie i s (T (TTC TC CSI SI)) wiillll hos o t itts in nau augu gura rall St ra Stre reet re ett Art rts s Fe Fest stiv ival (SA SAF) F),, fr F) from m Ju une ne 20--22 2 , 20 2 14 14.. Th he ai a m of the he SAF is to hig hi ghlliiigh gh ghli gh ht the th he im mport po ort rtan rtan nce e of th the e cr crea eati ea tive ti e se sect ect c orr an nd d th he e rol ole e cu cult ltur lt u e pl ur play ays ay s in n susttaina su nabl ble bl e de deve v lo ve opm men entt. T in Tr nid dad and d Tob obag obag ago o derive es mo ost of its s reve re venu ve nue nu e fr from om its wel ell-es ell esta ta abl blishe he ed en energy gy sect se c orr. This ct Th his s has led ed d to th t e Government purs pu rsui rs uing ui ng eco ono n mic c dive v rsifica ve ca ation str trateg gies r co re c gn gniz izin ing in g th t at a the here re e was a nee ed to mov ve away fro aw away rom en ener e gy dep er epen ep e de en ence. nc ce. e The no on-en en ener ner ergy gy man anuf nuf ufac actu ac actu turi riing ng and nd d servi v ce vi e se s ecttor ors sh ha ave been specificall llly ta targ rg get eted ed and n th he cr crea ea eat ati tive ive v ind dus stry trry is s see een n as as one ne suc uch h a en av e ue ue. Th herre ex xis ists ts s much po otential for econ ec con o om mic c gro rowt owt wth as a our ur son ons ns an a d da aug u htter ers s have have ha e been achiev e in ng inte tern rn rnat national su ucc ccess s and fame an fame fa me. Ia me. an Allva are rez bett be etter ttter kno nown n as Bu Bunj njii nj Ga Garl arl r in won the Bes est Inte ern r at atio ional io Pe errffor o ma manc nce nc e ca c tego g ry go r award r witth hi h s hit sing si ng gle l “Di Diff ffer ff eren er ento en t lo to logy gy” in the e 201 013 So S ull Tra rain Aw war ards in La L s Ve Vega g s.. Fa ga Fash shio sh on designerr, Anya Anya An ya Ayo oun ng Ch hee was s cro rown wned ed winner of Proj Pr oje ect Ru ec Runw nway nw ay in 20 2011 1. Re Rece cent ntly nt ly, th he newlly f rm fo rmed ed d Cre eativ attiv iveT eTT eT T Co C mp mpan any an y ho host sted st ted d a Vog gue e Ittal a ia a fas shiion on sho h w " Masq Masq Ma s ue era rade de". de " Our u gro rowt wh in n the e cre eat a iiv ve in indu ust s ry ry is no ot go goin ing un nno nottiice ced! ed! d The Th eT TT TCS TCS CSII is is a maj ajor or bel elie elie eve er in n the h pot o en enti t al ti a off the he cre eat ativ ive e in indu dust stry st ry and d see es gr g ea eat bene be efit in ho host host stin in ng T& T&T’ T&T’ TsF Fiirs rstt St Stre Stre eet et Artts F st Fe stival iv va all. Stre trree ee Ar eet Arts ts Fes sti t vals s hav ve prov oven en su s ucc cces ess sful sf u wor o ld ldwi wide wi d in th de he de deve velo ve lopm lo p en pm e t of o crre ea attiive e ind ndus str trie trie ies, s, and d its for or this s re reas ason as on T&T T& T is s dev vel elo opin opin op ing g th this s pla atf tfor orm or m fo or lo loca call ta ca ale lent n. nt
The e pu purp rpose e of the SAF F is to o des sign an in nte tern rn rnat nat atio ion io nal plat attfo form rm for o the Arts, including ng g visu ual a and n performing arts, fashion, film,, festivals, music, and heriita t ge ge. It I is in i te t nd n ed thatt the SAF will beco ome e an an a nual event co ons n ta tant n ly eng ngag agin ag ing in g an a d sh shar arin ar i g ou in o r cu cult ltur lt u al ur a he h eritage and nd bringing g community y aw war aren enes en ess, s, appre ppre pp eci ciat atio at ion io n and insp sp pir irat atio at ion io n fo forr the arts and nd cul ulltu t re. Thee TTC T SI-led d SAF A committee alsso comp prises Rikk Ri kk k ki Ja ai, Rec e or ordi ding di n /P ng /Per errfo orm rman an nce Artis ste t , Mahindra Satramm Ma Mahara r j, President, National Car a nival Develo lo opm pment Founda ation on,, Gail Guy, President, Art Socie iety of T& ie &T, T Trrevor Jadunath, President, National Drama Association of T&T, Gloria Cyn ynthia Hay yn a es e , President, Pro oje ect Managem men e t Institute SC CC, Derrick i Lewis s, Managing Director, Unlimi m ted Events, Nirad Tewarie,, CEO, Kitran Ch harle es, s Dir i ector,r,r Hig i h Design, Rub bid dari V cttor, President, Vi t Artistes Coalit ittio i n of T&T, Z idee Walke Za k r, Art r is ste te,, Ja azz All llia ianc ia nce nc e of T& &T. T A d th An t e Po P rt of Spain n City ty Corporation o . on There are also plans for a follow up Th prog pr ogra og ram ramm ra mm me fo forr up upco co comi omi ming ng artis i te t s partticip pa patin ng in the SAF A where e the hey y wi w lll u de un derg rg go ment me enttor o sh ship ip, an ip and gu g id dan a ce in maki ma k ng the next step ki e s in ep n their i caree eer. The SA T AF wi will lll be ne n st stle led le d betwee en French h and Carlos Ca rllos Str tree eets ee ts on Ar A ia i pi p ta Avenue e an and d this sp pac ace e wi w ll ll bec com ome e a hu h b off cre reat attiiv ve en ner ergy g gy with wi th h art rtis isttts is s ra an nging giing g fro r m va vari riou ri ous ou s ar artiisttic form form fo rms s in incllud udi din ing mu ing mus sic, sic, si c spo pok ken word ken rd, d, an nd d gi di g ta al ar artt to nam ame e bu butt a fe few w.
The st The stre re eet ets s wi willl com ome e al a iv ve! e Ima magi ma gin gi ne n e goi oing oing from fr om boo oo oth to bo oot oth h, see h, ein ing ar a tw wor ork fr ork from from o loca call pa ca painte te ers rs,, sc scul scu ul ures ulptur es, cari es rica ri c tu ca urre e art rtis ists is ts s ha ard at pllay ay. He H ar the h sou ound ou nd of mu nd musi sic, si c, of po poet oet etry ry,, of pro ry ose as yo y ur ears ars tw twit itch ch in deli de ligh li ght. gh t Now w let e you ourr mo mout utth wa wate terr as te as you u savo vour vo ur the h aro oma a of ou o r co oun untr try tr y’s lo y’ loca ca al cu c uis isin in ne. e The he chi h ldre ld drre en wi en will not be ffo org rgot otte ot ten te en. n. Thei eir ac cti tiv vities willl in incl cllud ude e bo boun uncy un cy y cas stles s, face fa ce e pai aint nter nt ers an nd pu pupp ppet pp etee et eers ee r . At dus rs usk, k,, k dance arou ou und d mok ko ju umb mbie ies ie s in i the h ir co olo l urfu ful ga fu g rb rb,, me m mo morries ries of Ca arn rniv ival a al liing ger e in ng no mor ore e, wha h t a si s ghtt to t be eh hold! d! To kick k off th t is i marqu quee qu e eve ent, ntt th the e TT TTCS CSI wi will illl host an official media a la l un unch h on Marc rch 20 2 , 2 14 20 4. Th hos ose e in n att tten tten enda da anc nce wi w llll be e gr g ee eete te ed wi with tth h a ta ast s e off art r on di disp spla sp lay la y an nd a ja jazz zz perfo fo form orm man ance nce su ure e to re ema main in n emb mbed ed edde dde ded d in n mem mor ory. y. y. Bene Be nefit ne fitts to o be de deri deri rive ved ve d fr f om o th he e SAF F are re two-fold tw d. Itt is meant to o tarrge et fa f mily ly and n frie fr end ds com co oming g tog get e he h r;; and d se ee eks s to educ ed u at uc ate, e, ins nspi pire, an a d re esha sh hap ape pe the wa ay ar a ti t st sts s in the he cre reat attive in ndu d stry ry y thi hink nks nk s, mar arke ke ets ts,, an and d prom pr om mot otes es the heiir ir servi viice es.. T e TT Th TTCS CS C SI wi wish ish hes e to e ex xpr pres ess es s it i s grat grat gr atit tiittud tud de to to Kitrran Cha Ki harl r es, on rl one e of o the Ex Exec ecut ec u iv ut ve Comm Co mmit mm mit itte ee memb me m emb mber ers er s, who s, ho des esig sig gne ned d th the he SA SAF F lo ogo o. Cha harl rles is th the e Di Dire rect re c or ct o of Hi High gh Des gh esig esig gn, n, a lo oca al sttud u io o-a adv verrti t si sing ng g fi firm rm foc rm cusin us sin ng on o ra ais sin ng th he ba barr of gra aph phic ic c des sig gn in Tri rini rini nida da ad an nd To Toba Toba bago go.. go
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Secret OUT! Tourism is
is open for Business
hat better way to promote our twin island Republic than through our natural gifts. Firstly, we are blessed with two beautiful islands offering separate products for any visitor to enjoy. As a people, we are vivacious and energetic, livening up most occasions with our laughter and quick wit. These all add to the entertainment package that is Trinidad and Tobago. We may be better known for our culture. ur infectious calypso, our musical gift Our to the world-the steel pan and the still em emerging artform of the classical cr crossover – chutney music, where the Afro-- Indian rhythms A yyt ms are merged in a special way to create a unique Trinbago sound sound. Through all of this, sport has always figured high on our entertainment package. Without specifically identifying sport as a product, it has quietly provided market presence for Trinidad and Tobago. The world is very aware of names like Lara, Yorke, Crawford,
By Baldath Mahabir Board Director TTCB
Gibbon, Walcott and Bovell. In recent times the exploits of the Trinidad T-20 team, affectionately dubbed the RED FORCE, has provided quality international exposure, for Trinidad and Tobago. In cricketing circles, the names Pollard, Bravo and Narine conjure up positive images of our country and our region. But it’s not the quality of our sportsmen alone that attracts attention. It’s the way we play our sport, the way we support our sport – filling stadia not only with our physical presence, but with the exhilarating atmosphere of fun and excitement, the throbbing party scene that accompanies our sporting events. The world has seen this and tourists from far and wide are willing to visit Trinidad and Tobago to live the experience. A typical example, which is still embedded in my mind, is the Sea of Red that looked so beautiful on November 19, 1989 and the usual overflow of infectious enthusiasm of the people when the Red Force takes the
field and the well-known “Trini Posse” group-who no doubt keeps the patrotic spirit alive all through the game-when Red Force took the field. It is each of these elements that have brought the attention to our country in an unprecedented way. We have to build on these natural gifts. The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board(TTCB) has realised that the world is watching and we have made strong moves to capitalize on our sporting impact. In India, on three occasions, while our cricketers captured the attention of the world with their skilful displays, our small band of travelling supporters attracted unbelievable attention by their exuberant support. On the streets, at the malls and at the airports, they were recognized and constantly bombarded for more information on Trinidad and Tobago. It is with these experiences that the TTCB has stepped up to encourage Sport Tourism as a viable economic divestment plank for Trinidad and Tobago.
TTCB HITTING FOR SIX
D CRICKET CARNIVAL VILLAGE In 2010, T&T hosted one leg of the Caribbean T-20 and attracted sold out crowds, repeating this performance in 2013, with creative additions. In conjunction with the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, we introduced the concept of a Carnival Village. This was a stunning success, exposing our beautiful people, clad in even more beautiful costumes, to a worldwide audience. The positive effects of this reverberated so loudly that during the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, the concept was repeated, to rave reviews. When India and Sri Lanka toured the Caribbean in mid-2013, Trinidad and Tobago, once again put on a great show. This time, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, spectacular scenes from Trinidad and Tobago, inside and outside the stadium, were transmitted to living rooms around the world displaying the virulent spirit and beauty of our country, attracting much positive attention. It is no secret that “plane loads” of cricket fans from the USA descended upon T&T for this event, excited to be here for a taste of Caribbean fun and flavour.
Nagicor Super 50 is here until 2016! The Nagico Super 50 is a tremendous Sport Tourism opportunity for our country and the TTCB has inked a three year deal with the WICB to host this event for the period 2014-2016, each year ending approximately two weeks before Carnival. While InvesTT leads the business brigade, we are aware too, of the various spin-off benefits for our island. Hotels, airlines, transport providers, caterers and ground authorities, to name a few, all benefit. It is also a platform for businesses with a regional and international presence to showcase their brand. To this end, Nagico, First Citizens, Wendy’s and the National Gas Co. Ltd are all onboard. Trinidad and Tobago is well poised to become a Sports Tourism destination of choice. All National Sporting Organisations should be encouraged by the action of the TTCB, to utilise their connections to promote T&T as a preferred playing field. The sporting infrastructure is constantly being upgraded and our support services: communications, air linkages, hotel accommodation and transport to name a few, have always proven to be capable and competent.
NAGICO SUPER 50 We have once more been able to bring quality cricket to Trinidad and Tobago, creating greater value for sports tourism by using cricket as a conduit for business investments. As the government focuses on diversifying the economy, cricket can be used as a platform for growth. Through its aggressive business arm, InvesTT, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments has partnered with the the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and TTCB to showcase our menu of investment options to the world at the Nagico Super 50. For fifteen days ESPN will be highlighting Trinidad and Tobago to the world, with Tobago being a focal point. Two marquee matches will be played in our scenic sister-isle, better known for her idyllic beaches and breathtaking scenery. The watching world will be made more aware of the second string to our sport tourism bow- Tranquil Tobago.
The Secret is out. The Trinidad and Tobago Sport Tourism sector is open for business and we are waiting to welcome you, players or spectators, to one of the world’s most exciting and exuberant sporting destinations! 11
By Trinidad Hotels Restaurants and Tourism Association
estination branding is a complicated process particularly
Stakeholders can positively affect branding, even though it’s a
since it requires input from all involved in a destination. The fact that
national responsibility due to the cost and the fact that it involves all
all elements of a destination are not owned or controlled by a single
marketable resources of a country. The Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants
entity means that collaboration is paramount to its success. In a
and Tourism Association (THRTA) have always strived to make key
resource rich nation such as ours, it can appear that building a
contributions toward developing a strong tourism brand. The THRTA
destination tourism brand seems more of a romantic notion than a
for many years has selected and trained the Trinidad and Tobago
pillar for economic sustainability and diversity.
National Culinary Team, which is the most successful regional team at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) annual
While Trinidad and Tobago has continued to compete on a global
food and beverage competition, “Taste of the Caribbean.”
scale for tourism dollars, we have done so at a disadvantage- no destination branding campaign. During this time countries like St.
The national competition and training of culinary professionals has
Lucia, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica to name
resulted in a marked increase of talented food and beverage
few, have all successfully launched campaigns and boasted of
professionals adding tangible value in the fast growing field of
increased arrivals and earnings. Interestingly enough in 2012 the
United States launched Brand USA, which was the country’s first ever-collective branding campaign aimed at international tourists. It is
In 2013 the THRTA, through grant funding from the Caribbean
rather telling that the one country with the most rigorous entry
Export Development Agency, part funded a small group of accommo-
requirements sees the need to compete globally and attract more
dation and tour providers to attend the CHTA Marketplace, which is
the region’s leading travel trade show. This was the first time in the history of the trade show that the Trinidad tourism sector had a
The tourism product of Trinidad and Tobago continues to be very
presence (Tobago usually attends). The THRTA also utilized grant
strong and diverse, but relatively low-key in the marketplace. The
funding to create high definition promotional videos for 10 accommo-
pristine and relatively untouched sites of Tobago and the natural
dation providers to be used at tradeshows, for direct marketing and
wonders like the Bird Sanctuary and the Gasparee Caves of Trinidad
on travel related websites.
leave visitors and tour operators on familiarization trips awestruck. The multicultural society creates a melting pot of culture, festivals
The THRTA and its members continue to work closely with the
and culinary delights that can rival any other destination worldwide.
Ministry of Tourism and the TDC to deliver services at an interna-
Tourism stakeholders are committed and ready to support the long
tional standard that allows our product to compete on an internation-
awaited branding campaign and firmly believe the time is right to
al level. A number of independently owned properties have taken
change the status of the destination from the best kept secret, to the
advantage of the room stock upgrade incentive project administered
best travelled destination in the southern Caribbean.
by the TDC, which gives properties added incentive to provide higher standards of accommodation that can stand up to international
At this point it is critical to understand that the concept of branding is
scrutiny. The new THRTA website www.tnthotels.com scheduled for
not about having logos, mascots or island style tag lines. Destination
launch in March 2014 offers a more interactive interface for visitors
branding strives to answer two basic questions: Why should visitors
and members alike. The site also has a booking engine that gives all
come to these shores? And why should investors set up shop with us?
the members an opportunity to have their rooms available for
This is where, as a nation, we should have major appeal. On a global
level most nations and destinations compete by trying to be the best at offering a very similar basket of services. Trinidad and Tobago has
The dynamic and innovative membership of the THRTA continues to
a very unique grouping of attractions and business opportunities for
offer packages that create unique visitor experiences that can only be
tourists and investors alike. Being a commercial hub of activity, Port
found on our twin islands. Coupled with branding, the tourism
of Spain offers a more varied range of culinary and night life activity
industry can provide much needed diversification of the economy,
not offered in other Caribbean destinations, while the many unspoilt
create jobs and provide a sustainable source of income.
attractions in Tobago offer a more genuine and less commercial feel
However, if branding does not exist to direct the right type of
than more travelled territories.
message it is all left to chance.
TOBAGO TOURISM AND HOTEL OUTLOOK 2014 By Christopher James, President of the Tobago Hotel & Tourism Association 14
In terms of international arrivals, the island has started the year well. In terms of having a sustainable tourism industry in Tobago, we still have a long way to go. Our problems started back in February 2007, when the government introduced a requirement for foreign investors to obtain a licence before they could invest in land. Not only was the procedure a challenge, but also the requirement was not implemented until October 2010. During that period, property values began to drop at some 8% per annum, including the value of hotels. The banks became nervous about the ability of existing hotels to raise money to maintain the quality standards required because their original borrowings were now a much larger proportion of their equity. International visitor arrivals dropped by 75% between 2006 and 2012, and then began to increase again. Naturally confidence in the tourism industry disappeared and investment both local and foreign came to a standstill. In 2008, the world economy collapsed, further exacerbating the situation in Tobago.
The government has introduced a guarantee process to overcome
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) states that the direct
the lack of confidence that investors still feel, and this needs to be
contribution of tourism to GDP in T&T was TT $6.817.7mn (4.4%
streamlined and with the full support of the major banks. To be a
total GDP) for 2012. It was forecasted to rise by 2.6% in 2013 and
sustainable destination we need to be branded and marketed
by a further 3.2% per annum from 2013-2023.
locally, regionally and internationally. The Tobago Hotel & Tourism Association (THTA) has worked with the Tobago House of
In T&T, tourism directly employed 38,000 in 2012. This figure rose
Assembly on these initiatives and a company has been selected
to 11.2 %, which is equivalent to 68,000 persons if we consider
to re-brand Tobago and launch in the near future. An excellent
both direct and indirect employment. These figures are for Trinidad
marketing plan has also been put into operation and the public –
and Tobago as current disaggregate figures from WTTC are not
private partnership has been significantly strengthened over the
available. However, it is certain that percentages for Tobago alone
past few years.
would show clearly just how important tourism is to the island.
It is understood that Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) has never taken
To compensate for the downturn in international arrivals, the
tourism seriously. This is a strange situation for a country with so
THTA will continue to do its road shows in Trinidad to boost
much to offer tourism and when tourism has so much to offer us.
domestic tourism. These road shows have been a great success
Not only does tourism provide thousands of jobs both directly and
and the Trinidad market has helped us survive the downturn.
indirectly, but also we retain more of the tourist dollars spend,
Domestic tourism also allows us to have a year-round tourism
than any other Caribbean country because so much of what we
industry, as Trinidadians come during the July- August period
supply to build and maintain the tourism industry is made locally.
when our international arrivals are few. We promote Tobago’s
This is an enormous economic advantage to us. Internationally,
festivals and activities and attend wedding shows in Trinidad,
tourism is exploited not only to satisfy visitors to the country,
which is a growing niche market for us. Public holidays and
provide jobs across a wide spectrum and so on, but it is used to
festivals in Trinidad also generate business for Tobago since not
showcase the country, its culture, products and services. Tourism
everyone enjoys Carnival for example and they escape to
properly developed would act as a shop window to promote what
T&T has to offer to the world. Even the revelers often come across to Tobago to rest and The THTA aspires to make Tobago a sustainable tourism
rehydrate themselves from Ash Wednesday. 2014 will see the
destination. To do this we need an additional 1,500 quality rooms
publication of the second edition of our Directory and Island
with a wide range of offerings and an upgrade to the existing
Guide ‘TOBAGO Naturally’, which has been a great success locally
(1000) rooms on the island. There are many airlines interested in
and internationally. We will also continue to promote our Tobago
Tobago as a destination, but our lack of quality rooms restricts
Travel App and website, which are state of the art, and help when
our ability to satisfy their needs. Most airlines have to fly into a
we travel to international shows around the world. In Canada we
destination twice a week for their own economies of scale, and to
are fully on board with the island co-insurer program, which is a
allow for fares at the best possible price. High-end travelers are
great promotion for someone to win an opportunity to come to
crucial to the airlines’ profitability; therefore, the upgrade of our
Tobago for two months and experience everything we have to
existing rooms and adding more rooms are critical to achieving a
offer using social media to provide an ongoing commentary. This
sustainable tourism industry.
has worked remarkably well in other countries.
While a major component of a successful tourism destination is
Of course this is just a taste of what is planned for 2014 and
the airlift, more important is the airport itself. The ANR Robinson
beyond. We have a very strong Board and an active membership,
International Airport can no longer satisfy the needs of either the
plus a whole host of ideas and tasks we have to undertake. The
domestic or the international traveler. It no longer reflects what
THTA will continue to lobby government and the Tobago House of
we want Tobago to stand for. Although promised for many years,
Assembly and strengthen that partnership to ensure that Tobago
another urgent and pressing need is a Tobago airport its citizens
reaches its potential as a world-class tourism destination - whilst
could be proud of- one capable of handling increased demand, as
retaining the culture and protecting the environment that makes
hotels’ capacity is increased.
Tobago the unique destination that it is. www.tobagohoteltourism.com
This year 2014 will be a better year for Tobago tourism because we have definitely started the long road to recovery. More than 23 million visitors came to the Caribbean last year and T&T only attracted 2 % of that number. We can and must do better.
With qualifying proprietors from a database of over 600 registered Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), each vying for government contracts of up to $1 million, the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, was tasked with the responsibility to offer just 100 of them the opportunity to showcase their goods at its recently concluded FairShare Exposition! According to the Administrative Co-ordinator for the FairShare Programme, Marlon Bascombe, “the event was over-subscribed.” He explained that the process of selecting the 100 MSEs involved “a kind of proportional system” as there were 27 business sectors within the Programme that needed to be “adequately represented”. “Everyone wanted to be a part of the Expo. They were all very eager, but we had to choose 100 persons who can adequately represent the variety of services being offered by clients of the FairShare Programme at the Expo,” he said.
MSEs Get a of Government’s Procurement Pie By Ministry of Labour and Micro & Small Enterprise Development The FairShare Programme, geared towards addressing the limitations posed by the size, structure and available resources of MSEs, has the specific task of levelling the economic playing field, to allow mini-micro, micro and small enterprises to receive opportunities by increasing the accessibility to public sector contracts up to $1 million for qualifying MSEs.
ONLINE ACCESS TO GOODS AND SERVICES The business exposition – which took place on Friday 10th January, 2014, at the Guillermo Canedo Hall of the Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in Macoya – sought to provide certified MSEs with the opportunity to advertise their products and services. Further, it sought to stimulate an awareness of the Fair Share Programme to both Ministries and State Agencies as well as encourage new MSEs to register into the Programme. Additionally, the Ministry launched its FairShare web-portal, which added further impetus to this programme through the facilitation of communication and dissemination of information between MSEs and Ministries and State Agencies.
ALL CATERERS AREN’T CREATED EQUAL Endorsing the presumption that in each Ministry or state agency, there may be a ‘favoured pool’ of persons who may be contracted from time to time, to perform a range of services, based on previous loyalties and / or quality of services, Bascombe agreed that “one of the biggest challenges” faced by the programme has been “customer confidence in the clients”. “What I have noticed is that there may be an inherent mistrust of small businesses and that is probably why some may be reluctant to solicit their services. “We trust that the recently concluded FairShare Expo would have worked favourably towards alleviating or changing that perception. What we envision is that persons would have been so impressed by the small businesses exhibited on January 10th that we will be flooded with requests to use them, and the FairShare programme will be utilized more than it is currently being accessed and that every Ministry will feel confident to give them a chance,” he added. Bascombe noted that while negative perceptions existed as to the competence of MSEs, it was up to them, as individual entities, to improve the quality of services offered if they are to operate at a competitive level.
MISCONCEPTIONS… Bascombe admitted that there were FairShare clients, who have expressed concern over the fact that they have not gotten a ‘fair’ share of government procurement opportunities even though they may have either consistently or in the past, submitted proposals upon request, and have not been contracted for goods and / services. He reminded clients that the programme was intended to offer micro and small enterprises, access to bid for contracts and there was no entitlement that each registered client will actually provide a contracted service, especially since they may be competing with several service providers within their respective field of specialization. As Bascombe confirmed, it could very well be that the services offered by those clients were either not in demand, not competitive or attractive, or not specifically tailored to meet the needs of the public sector market. “While we will try to ensure that persons are not being discriminated against, we also say to clients repeatedly that the programme presents a business opportunity and not a guarantee, but there are those who continue to be of the opinion that they should get work regularly, forgetting that they are competing with their FairShare counterparts as well as everybody else.” For further information on the Ministry’s FairShare Programme, please call 299-0300 Ext. 2166/2157 or visit either www.fairshare.gov.tt or www.molsmed.gov.tt
The FairShare web-portal comprises an online database of all certified MSE’s (i.e. FairShare clients) across all business sectors, which can be accessed and considered by any Ministry / state entity in its procurement of goods and services. Bascombe said it will be one of the key components of the programme that would create a more efficient mechanism for ministries and MSE’s to communicate. With this programme, Ministries can search for MSEs, communicate the availability of procurement opportunities and award contracts. MSEs can view opportunities available, submit bids and be privy to the outcome of their submissions. Another important part of this programme, Bascombe noted, was the training of MSEs in entrepreneurship, business skills and eventually technical skills, so as to enable them to provide the highest quality services to their respective customers. 16
Mr. Errol Mc Leod, Minister of Labour and Micro and Small Enterprise Development at the Ministry's FairShare Exposition on January 10 at Centre of Excellence.
MEETING THE TRAINING NEEDS OF THE CARNIVAL SECTOR By Dr. Jo-anne Tull and Kenwyn Murray, Carnival Studies Unit, UWI and Lesley-Ann Noel and Kenwyn Crichow, Visual Arts Unit 18
rowth of the Carnival masquerade sector across the globe has reinforced the constant need for artistic and entrepreneurial professionals within the Carnival landscape. For some two decades, the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) has given focus to developing the human resource capacity within the masquerade sector and the wider Carnival industry. This thrust took root in the Visual Arts Unit, and has since been expanded under the Carnival Studies Unit through its BA degree in Carnival Studies, and the masquerade design training programme Practitioners’ Certificate in Carnival Arts.
In creating the course Mas: History Development and Meaning, internationally regarded artists and Senior Lecturers Kenwyn Crichlow and Rawle Gibbons recognized the need for an academic programme that considered and investigated the meaning of Mas within Caribbean societies, with particular attention to understanding Mas within Trinidad and Tobago’s development. Early methods of teaching saw university students being exposed to the history of the Trinidad Carnival masquerade; field trips to mas-camps and occasional workshops on mas design. While these interventions have continued, mas training has taken on a more comprehensive focus under the Department. Since its start in the late 1980s, the Visual Arts Unit continues to engage its students in Carnival at both Certificate and Degree Levels. Co-ordinator Lesley-Ann Noel shares: “In the Visual Arts Unit, Carnival is understood as a spectacle characterized by a range of performance traditions, music styles, business practices and cultural politics and this spectacle is created with a range of visual arts practices that are fundamental to the Curriculum”. The study of art and design theory, the practice of carnival design, traditional techniques of fabrication, technical methods of its kinetic three-dimensional structures, material use and cooperative methods of costume innovation and production have been skillfully woven into the BA Visual Arts degree and Certificate in Visual Arts.
offers a certified qualification in mas design and entrepreneurship. The programme has since been used as the foundation for the design and development of the National Training Agency’s recently approved Occupational Standards II and III in masquerade design. These standards will serve as an accepted industry guide to best practice and in so doing, impact on the development and expansion of mas services in the export arena. Practitioner-based teaching and learning is key. Mas Designer and Lecturer Paulette Alfred introduces students to fabrication of Carnival costumes in a commercial context, and under her tutelage students are taught to cost and develop costumes for production on a larger scale. This thrust successfully redounded in an exciting collaboration between design students and PanTrinbago, under Noel's supervision, in the development of floats for all steelbands in the 2013 SteelFesTT Republic Day parade. Complementary, is the work of Master Craftsman and Lecturer Lari Richardson, who has been mentoring students through the fabrication of traditional Carnival costumes for display every year, including his contribution to DCFA’s award winning Jouvert band “Jouvay Ayiti”. Mas designer and Lecturer Kenwyn Murray allows students to journey through the design aesthetic of mas as art through practical workshops and critical discourse in the revised Mas: History, Development and Meaning, to culminate in student produced mas showcases. It has further influenced student independent work-in-the-community, evidenced in their final year work for the course Festival Project, as well as in their entrepreneurial initiatives beyond graduation. Dr. Jo-anne Tull, Co-ordinator of the Carnival Studies Unit summates: “One can say that the Department’s continued interest rests in training and professional development that would allow for improvement and expansion in artistic, professional and entrepreneurial capabilities of the Carnival sector.”
With an expanded focus, the Carnival Studies Unit set out to widen the pedagogical platform on Carnival arts, artist and performance practices to include interrogation, research, and discourse on Carnival and the wider Caribbean creative economy. Through this degree, students are equipped with the requisite skills in creative entrepreneurship, innovation, festival management, mas’ arts and design aesthetic to create a wider service-driven industry. Out of direct consultation with stakeholders, DCFA has responded with the development of the Practitioner’s Certificate in Carnival Arts, which
Kiddies Mas Love… is more than a business it’s a
By Dixie-Ann Dickson, TTCSI’s Communication & Marketing Officer
It is the love and passion that drives the creativity of Rosalind Gabriel’s mas designs. Year after year her designs gain the nod of approval from parents and leave the kiddies coming back for more. “It’s a joy and a love to create Children’s mas costumes for Junior Carnival,” she says. Gabriel, who has more than 36 years of experience, innovation and expertise, has become a household name in the production of mas designs. She has won band of the year 15 times with four consecutive hat tricks, 2013 being the last. This is just one of the many achievements as they are too numerous to mention. One wonders how she does it, as each year she consistently raises bar. No doubt her 2014 Carnival portrayal- “Colour My Culture” was a spectacle to see. Her King Gyasi Philbert who portrayed "Promise of the Rainbow" took the Junior King of the year and her Queen-Cyan Lue Sue copped the Junior Queen title with "Angel of the Buccoo".
So how does she do it? While her costumes are attractively priced and ranged from $1,500-$2,200, Gabriel says, “It’s more than just a business, it’s the love. I don’t produce my costumes with money in mind.” As a matter of fact, she notes that her masqueraders get more than they bargain for because her band participates in several events after the Carnival season locally and her “costumes last for years because they are like pieces of artwork.” She adds, “For the juniors’ mas, I usually dig deep and pray to God to give me the inspiration.” Her prayer is usually- “Lord, I’m ready, inspire me to choose the right theme.” Gabriel says it is important for her to choose the right theme because costume designs are about maintaining the “Trinbagonian“ cultural heritage and history, so the knowledge can be passed on to the children. “For me it’s about educating the young ones.” But it has not always been easy for Gabriel. She says, “It took me a few years to understand how to please the children. When I first started, I didn’t know that a child wearing a slim fitted pants on the stage made him/her look like a toothpick (she laughs). Then I decided to design full pants that created movement.”
strategy to make her band a family band where both children and parents can play is a total success. She says the band continues to grow and evolve. Gabriel’s brand has also become regionally and internationally known, so much so that she is the premier producer of children’s Carnival costumes throughout the Caribbean. With her committed team of seven, she has produced both adult and children’s costumes for Grenada, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Curacao, St. Kitts, Anguilla, Miami, Washington D.C., New York and Texas. According to her website these bands have won their national titles repeatedly. Having encountered some financial losses from clients regionally and internationally, this has dampened her spirits from producing Mas costumes globally. On the local front, Gabriel says there is much more work to be done to improve the Carnival product. She outlined that Carnival is poorly administered, moving through the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday feels like a warzone and for Kiddies Carnival-the prizes are still the same from 2006. • First prize is approximately $20,000 • Second prize is 15,000 • Third prize is $10,000
Gabriel says she is also guided by what the children want. “They don’t like small costumes. They must have backpacks, big skirts, trousers with fancy frill and a beautiful headpiece,” she adds.
Gabriel says she is also concerned that the real art form is dying out with veteran mas men, therefore, there is a need to preserve the country’s culture and identity. She recommends that the idea of a Mas Academy should start in schools, especially for those who are not academically inclined.
But what really motivated Gabriel to start this long successful journey in mas designs?
She adds that more workshops in schools should be encouraged including the teaching of Carnival’s history and craft, design, dressmaking and appropriate use of colours and materials, etc.
“The first thing that encouraged me to begin designing mas costumes, was the lack of quality costumes seen on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, except for a few mas bands.” Actually she says there was not much to see and dating back to the 1970’s,Gabriel decided to try her hand at it. Ever since, Gabriel has set very high precedents by producing the most creative and original costumes ever seen for Children’s Carnival.
One of her dreams, she says is to see the Mas community, those who are business oriented giving back to the culture in a meaningful way. She says Carnival has become a quick fix for some, whereby the focus is just having a good time. “We have lost the discipline.” She says most people have become greedy and lazy, so they resort to importing their costumes from China.
‘My mas represents what I remembered seeing as a child, one that is full in costume and has an identity. I like to create a spectacle that has meaning and a story behind it so the children, parents and patrons can relate.” As most of you would know, in 1994, Gabriel broke new grounds and participated in the adult Carnival and to date she continues her winning streak. Her concept and marketing
“This is just a cop out for not administering over a mas camp or even producing locally.” Gabriel believes that those bands should not be considered for a band of the year title. She also recommends that new incentives should be given to encourage mas producers to be more innovative. For example, incentives for new young designer/ band, best masquerade, best innovation in mas design. “Something new that would encourage mas producers to create better quality designs.” 21
TO THE WORLD...
but maintaining its birthplace. By Jean Michel Gibert, Founder and director of Caribbean Music Group and Maturity Productions & Kim Johnson, UWI Senior Research Fellow
PAN! We Are the World, is a trans-media steelband project based on a film aimed at globally promoting our steelband movement and branding Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) as its home.
Written by Kim Johnson and directed by Belgium director Jerome Guiot and French director Thierry Teston, the 90-minute docu-drama is aimed at local and regional markets, as well as international theatres and film festivals.
The time is ripe for the production of such a high-quality film on the national instrument. The need for economic diversification into the field of cultural exports, the international promotion of brand T&T, the development of a tourism industry, the development of a film industry and the marketing of our steelband movement all make this a timely project.
The project involves: • The production of a 90-minute cinematic docu-drama on steelband in T&T, climaxing with the 2013 Panorama Competition; • The production of several 52-minute television documentary films on steelband specific to TV networks in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, combining footage of pan in those countries with excerpts from the 90-minute docu-drama; • Production of ancillary items, including CDs, DVDs, coffee-table books on pan, a dedicated interactive website, online MIDI steelpan competition, social networking and blogs, phone apps; and • A global marketing thrust combining international broadcasters, distributors and touring agents to release the film and the ancillary items at main film and music festival worldwide. This is a people-centered, sustainable development approach involving the disregarded segments of the population: the thousands of pannists in T&T outnumber practitioners of any other art form. Pan beats at the heart of the nation along with live performances by T&T steelbands.
It intertwines, re-enacted vignettes of pivotal moments in the pre-history and history of pan from 1820 to 1963, from the banning of slave drum dances, to the first Panorama, with today’s “reality” narrative of the competition, in which various pan players from T&T and abroad join the bands to prepare for the big stage. Will they get on the team? If they do, will their team win? This story of the adventure and passion of pan derives its momentum and drama from the intersecting lives and ambitions of these and other characters, as they prepare for battle in Panorama: the Olympics of music. Their stories are interlaced with re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence, but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance without losing its life-or-death urgency.
The potential of this approach is demonstrated by the documentary Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle. The broadcast of that film on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to over 150 United States television stations immediately led to a dramatic revival of the calypsonian’s career to the extent that she is the most toured T&T artist today, moving far beyond the diaspora audience. PAN! We Are the World builds on this experience to carry pan much further, leveraging the thousands of passionate pan-lovers scattered throughout the globe. This way, the project will bring the world to the home of pan.
The audience at home and abroad will experience the struggles of the earlier pioneers of the steelband movement up to the Panorama- the Olympics of music, and understand how it creates such passion and redemption through music.
BENEFITS Diversify the economy: A 2010 T&T Chamber of Commerce report, repeated last year by Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group in a visit to T&T, recommended a vigorous international promotion of our culture industry, especially those related to Carnival. PAN! We Are The World is the most realistic approach to the Ministry of Planning’s target of doubling the number of tourists to T&T by promoting the best of our culture to a world beyond the Caribbean diaspora. Network pan globally: The international steelband movement comprises a network of educated, articulate pan-lovers scattered throughout the world. Reggae and brand Jamaica’s global spread began in the 1970s through the Jamaican community in the UK and the release there of “The Harder They Come” and live performances of Bob Marley in 1973. Today we shall tread a similar path, using modern digital technology and leveraging the international pan community through PAN! We Are the World, its ancillary products and live performances. Add value to pan: As the global pan community internationalizes pan, our project will: • Provide marketing opportunities for steelbands abroad (as Lioness of the Jungle did for Calypso Rose) and at home through out-of-season tourism. • Document the history and achievements of pan at home and abroad, and present it internationally, thus elevating pan to its rightful place alongside the great creations of popular music. • Brand T&T as the home of pan, where the best instruments, music and instruction are all to be had. • Build national pride and offer an alternative source of self-esteem and achievement to the youth.
BRANDING T&T Based on this global marketing approach and the genius of our people, it will ensure that the steelband and Trinidad and Tobago secures a significant place in the world entertainment industry.
Internationally, France Television has confirmed its interest in acquiring PAN! A Modern Odyssey, and we have received positive feedback for pre-acquisition or acquisition from TV networks such as Arte (France, Germany), PBS (US), RTBP (Belgium) and TV Tokyo (Japan).
As Pan is poised to become a truly global movement, now is the time to brand it Trinidad and Tobago. Now is the time for the world to discover the home of Pan, this new musical instrument fashioned from industrial waste.
During the next Cannes Film Festival in France in May 2014, we are working towards including a steelband and subsequently film launch events, and to send local panmen combined with an equal number of foreign-based panmen to perform music from the film.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY?
The local premiere is targeted for September 2014.
Jean Michel Gibert (of Maturity Productions /CMG), Kim Johnson (of Eshu mediaworks) and Barthelemy Fougea (of Winds/France) have developed the project over the past three years.
Transfer knowledge: The international film industry is opening up to newcomers as digital technology dissolves the Hollywood monopoly. However, the only way for T&T to develop the skills, experience and contacts, which allows one to compete internationally, is by working with top international producers, directors, videographers and scriptwriters, etc. Knowledge will be transferred in disciplines including film directing, editing, acting, videography, sound engineering for film, makeup, costume and set design, scriptwriting, marketing and distribution.
The documentary section of the film was shot in January and February 2013, during which French director Thierry Teston and English sound engineer Dominic Hutton were hired to work with a local crew in recording characters in Phase II, Trinidad All Stars, Desperadoes and Birdsong throughout the Carnival season leading up to Panorama finals. Out of this, a high quality trailer and website have been produced (see http://pan.tt/). Then the historical reenactment scenes closer to standard narrative feature films than to documentary film has been filmed in September 2013 by a talented young Belgium director Jerome Guiot, with the participation of Ray Holman, Meiling, and many more.
PAN! We Are the World has already begun to achieve some of the above value offerings, with our script consultant Fernanda Rossi having been invited to work with the T&T Film Company.
The next phase of the project entails the post-production and the marketing of the various aspects of the project. The 90 minutes international version is planned for an April 2014 completion date.
Thanks to our main supporters the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, Ministry of Tourism, The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, Tourism Development Company, and all the crew and sponsors for their enthusiasm, as we were able to achieve these phases. However, we are still looking for further financing to maximize on our international marketing drive. Please visit www.pan.tt and contact us if you wish to support this unique qualitative vision to put our national instrument and Trinidad and Tobago on the world map.
Contact: Jean Michel Gibert c/o Caribbean Music Group firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: 1 868 681 5363
“I was brought up in church and grew up in a Christian home. We were not allowed to be a part of anything pertaining to Carnival, Soca or any music in the world,” - Bunji revealed on growing up
Bunji a story about
From Arima to the International Arena
By Dixie-Ann Dickson, TTCSI’s Communication & Marketing Officer
an “Bunji Garlin” Alavarez, a man who has defied all odds to launch his successful career in Soca is set to take it higher. He is determined to break the mould that has so far contained Soca music to a seasonal, sort of Carnival - oriented offering, to win the appeal of a wider international audience that will gravitate to its vibrant, energetic rhythms. The former church boy from the country who was admonished at one time by his mother to stay far from the Carnival-related activity, used his determination, “I can do it” attitude, yet humble demeanour, to propel him from his humble home in Arima to the international arena. “I was brought up in church and grew up in a Christian home. We were not allowed to be a part of anything pertaining to Carnival, Soca or any music in the world,” Bunji revealed in a telephone interview.
Now basking in the recent crowning moment of a Soul Train Award for best International Performance for the song Differentology, featuring Nigel Rojas on guitar, ironically, Bunji said, it is that same spiritual base that he has used as a foundation to push himself further “by the power and the will of God” to endure much challenges. During his teenage years, Jamaican dancehall music was the rave at the time. Bunji, with the natural raspy bass voice and Rasta hairstyle, fell in with the crowd and made it his own after a few school dancehall competitions. As he grew in his ability to perform dancehall music and free styling, he was encouraged by a family friend, Daryl Braxton to mix it with Soca. While a few other artistes were out there infusing that mix already, which became known as Ragga Soca, “Bunji Garlin de girls dem darlin” soon after was dubbed the King of Ragga Soca.
Garlin This is where it all began!
While his professional career started in 1998 at the age of 19, Bunji said his career took off in 2001.
By 2008 Bunji was dubbed a four-time winner of International Soca Monarch competition.
By this time he had signed up with IP International label, headed by Ian Pantin and Daryl Braxton. He had two Ragga Soca titles to his name with Chant down Babylon and Licks (2000, 2001).
With his ability to send a crowd crazy with his unique free styling talent, he hit the ground running. But Bunji said his journey of success did not come easy.
He placed second in the 2001 Soca Monarch Competition with his smash hit Fete is Fete and gave us other popular hits- Blessings and Party Start- a duet he did with Soca Legend Super Blue.
“I was told I could not make a career singing ragga soca, I was asked, why am I singing that? Both friends and family discouraged me, but I knew I could do it because God put me here to do it; just the same way God has put each one of us to do something. “
By this time he was a fixture at Soca Monarch competition and performing at regional and international diaspora Carnivals. He was called the Black Spaniard after releasing the very popular album by the same name in 2003.
So Bunji stuck to his guns. As a result of believing in his unique ability, he has been able to turn Ragga Soca into his musical kingdom. 27
The New Bunji After a few years of the hardcore Ragga Soca tracks, it was evident that Bunji and his music began to evolve. He began to creatively mix Ragga Soca with varying melodies and songs like the internationally acclaimed Differentology were born. This year, Red Light District and Carnival Tabanca ( one he claims as his favourite), have also infused this newly evolved melody. The changes in his music came with a new look, what we might call the new Bunji brand, as the Ragga Soca bard is now often seen performing in soft pants and jackets and in some cases west coats. It was a shock to most people when he appeared with all his dreadlocks gone, replaced by a low Mohawk trim. But, Bunji said, the new look, feel and image “was in the making, but the people were not ready for it.” He waited on the right moment to reveal this brand of Bunji, one which transformed him into “the Viking.” Asked if he felt that the market dictated this move, Garlin said no. “I don’t give in to market demands because I know what I am comfortable and capable of doing. If every artiste gives in to every demand the market dictates, then some of us might not be existing today.” Bunji said at one time he tried giving into the market and was nearly put out of business.
Looking for new markets The Viking said the Asylum Band, which includes wife Fay-Ann, is focused now on breaking into new markets and building on the success of its last album. “The idea is not to do the markets that are already flooded, but focus on places that do not know us as a people and our culture.” For the past seven years they have been working on the European market. He explained that one of the two labels that is assigned to his brand-Playon recordsallows them access to continental Europe excluding United Kingdom. Thus far, he said they have been to places such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and the prospect of playing at other European festivals for 2014 is in the making. While Differentology was already making waves across the United States, the other label VP records gave it an extra boost, when it found placement in the popular TV show Grey’s Anatomy. 28
The songs is now on full primetime rotation on several radio stations throughout the US, as well as Clear channel Communications, MTV1 & 2, Centric and VH1 cable stations, as well as others in the United Kingdom and France. He said since his recent award he had many offers and several labels have approached him, but he will reveal his decision soon. “Now that these doors are open, I am looking to propel my international career even further. This is also an opportunity for other artistes as well, who are ready.” Asked what are other plans the group has for the rest of the year, Bunji said they did the familiar places in December like Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn in New York, as well as Washington DC, so now they will be heading to Seattle, Chicago, and Texas. Asked if his local career is more successful than the international, he said they are on par.
Stop hustling Soca! “The work now start,” Bunji said, and he is making a call for more dedicated artistes to appreciate the art form, and provide good content. He is also advocating for everyone to stop cutting the life of soca music short, stop treating Soca like a hustle, and treat it like a business, so the international hits would not be few and far between. He advised that these are the main factors required to build an international presence and a sustainable soca industry locally. Bunji said one of the main challenges he faces internationally is the perception that soca artistes are substandard. “Therefore, until we behave, treat and think of ourselves differently then outside there will not change their perception about us.” Not forgetting the young and up coming artistes, his advice to them was first to “learn you craft, its history, and understand it.” “Don’t,” he added assertively, “get into the market with “a let me try a thing attitude” because you will be doomed to failure. As much as it’s a chance you’re taking, you need to go in like there is nothing to lose and don’t take no for an answer. Go into it to win!”
EUROPEAN MARKET IDEAL FOR T&T’S SOCA/CHUTNEY 30
My career has been going great since I entered the Chutney Soca scene in 1996 with my first Chutney Album “ Chutney Vibrations”. I have gone on to win six Chutney Soca Monarch titles, the first 50th Anniversary Independence Chutney Soca Monarch competition in 2012 and two traditional Chutney Monarch titles as well. I placed 2nd in the 2014 Chutney Soca Monarch.
The Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) hosted a trade mission to Europe in 2011. Among several service providers Samraj Jaimungal aka Rikki Jai was one of the beneficiaries. These service providers were taken to five countries in the EU (United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, France and Malta). The purpose of the mission was to provide assistance to these various service providers namely architects, engineers and cultural providers of Trinidad and Tobago to facilitate their penetration into the EU market. During the Carnival season TTCSI caught up with Rikki Jai to get feedback on the European Trade Mission and to find out how his Soca/Chutney Soca career was shaping up.
Q A Q A
You were a beneficiary of TTCSI’s European Trade Mission: What is your opinion of the Mission? The mission was a great opportunity for me as a musician, producer and music entrepreneur. I visited many places in Europe, where I was able to meet with promoters directly with a view of establishing and forming contacts for future promotions of my music and also to offer my services as a performer.
Q A Q A Q A
Do you think the European market is a good market for Chutney Soca? I do believe so, due to several World Music Festivals in Europe that Chutney Soca can fit into very easily. How can T&T improve on its Carnival brand to attract more tourists beyond the diaspora? I think that we need to promote our Carnival in Europe a lot more. Europeans are more friendly and open to world music and will gravitate in large numbers to where fun, frolic, food and good times all come together in one big “Trinbagonian” Carnival experience. How successful is your career outside of T&T? I would say very. LOL (He laughs) I perform in countries like the US, Canada, Guyana and Suriname to name a few and many other places where the Caribbean diaspora has a large presence.
Q A Q A
What are some of the challenges in trying to break into the foreign markets? Funding is a big setback for any artiste. I am an independent artiste and so I have budgetary constraints, which can be a major impediment when it comes to the level of marketing that I would like to apply to my music, in order to break into the foreign markets. What are some of your challenges you face as an artiste locally? Challenges will always present itself and as a local artiste, one of them is stereotyping. Another is the “You are as good as your last hit” syndrome. Our industry does not lend itself to being good to an artiste purely based on repertoire, but rather on a perceived notion that you must have a hit song every year. Consequently, this can be a challenge for any artiste to have to bring a new song every year that the public perceives or expects to be a hit song. The lack of controls, where music is concerned, is also a big challenge, since local music is not given the right amount of airtime on stations. This is something that the Government needs to address. I recommend that legislation should be passed mandating all stations to play more local music (this does not mean Soca and chutney only).
As a result of the Mission, I was invited to perform at Belgium’s Antillean Festival and the Ipswich Music Festival in England. My management company is in dialogue with a few record labels for the marketing and digital distribution of my music.
Malta, Germany, France, Holland and England
Chutney definitely has the capacity to reach mainstream and in many ways is almost there since the Chutney artistes are now in constant demand locally and internationally for shows. Its only a matter of time before the Chutney Soca genre comes of age and runs on par with the more established Soca tunes.
Did you manage to secure any contracts or deals, or did any other avenues opened up for you during the Mission?
Which countries did you visit during the Mission?
Do you think Chutney Soca has the capacity to reach mainstream in a sustainable way like Soca?
What is the next step for Rikki Jai? The world stage is my next step, as this has always been my dream. I am currently exploring all my musical options and dabbling in different genres outside of Soca and Chutney.
Like most local artistes, K.I (Kris Veeshal Persad,) 2014 Soca Chutney King has his eyes and heart set on building his international career and breaking into new markets. KI is no stranger to the international stage as he has performed along side Machel Montano in Manhattan, USA and other countries. However, seen as one of the most promising crossover artistes, KI’s dream is to take Soca, Chutney Soca and T&T’s culture as a whole beyond the diaspora audience. For the 27 year-old, he has countries in the Caribbean such as Guyana already eating out of his hands. Actually, KI’ & JMC 3Veni’s first major gig for
2014 was at a mega concert- “A Night of Love” in Guyana, where he performed alongside John Legend and Beres Hammond. “I am usually in Guyana six to seven times a year performing to crowds from10, 000 to 30,000 people.” Looking further afield, KI says there is huge Soca Chutney following in Suriname and Holland and Asia is definitely opening up. KI’s major goal, however, is to break into the commercial American market, which he believes will expose him to the wider world.
Q A Q A
Q A Q A
How is the season going for K.I? It’s been a wonderful season thus far. We are fully booked for the remainder of the Carnival season including several soca fetes, all inclusive events like Jamboree, Fuad Khan and Friends, Mania, Ultra Cooler Party, Naps All inclusive and Green All-Inclusive-to name a few, Chutney Soca events, and on the Road with Trini Revellers Carnival Monday and Tuesday. How has your Soca career been going? My career has grown rapidly I must say. Since my singing debut four and a half years ago, I became the youngest artist in history to win the Chutney Soca Monarch in 2012. I performed almost every weekend of the year worldwide representing Trinidad & Tobago, and I have partnered with many corporate sponsors including B-mobile. What happens after Carnival? After Carnival we start touring extensively for the remainder of the year. Some of these tours include Toronto Carnival (Caribana), Labour Day in NY, Miami Carnival, Barbados and Guyana.
How successful is your Soca Chutney career outside of T&T? We have a huge following worldwide, hence the reason for touring so much after the Trinidad Carnival season. The average Chutney Soca show featuring my band in Guyana would have no less than 10,000 patrons, sometimes reaching close to 30,000. We perform six to seven times a year in Guyana. Chutney is the biggest thing in Guyana. There is also huge chutney following in Holland and Suriname. Actually the traditional Chutney from the 1900’s was imported from Holland. I think the world is opening up to our Caribbean flavours.
Why the commercial American market? I believe if we get into that market, it will open up the door to the rest of the world and a chance at a Grammy… perhaps (his laughter indicated that the idea of a Grammy was a bit far fetched). I would like to spread my wings and get my hands dirty with all genres of music. We have been networking and making a lot of contact with promoters and record labels. The band is in the process of developing a marketable sound, one that the world would enjoy regardless of the genre of music.
A main challenge for me is to sacrifice spending time with my loved ones; family, friends, etc. We spend most of our time in the sky and it’s difficult to really get long periods of quality time at home.
What are some of the international markets that K.I & JMC 3 Veni broken into and what are some of the potential ones? We’ve been able to attract crowds of different ethnic backgrounds from all around the world: Asia, Europe and the Americas. The goal is to find a way into the commercial American market with a sound that heavily incorporates a Caribbean influence.
What are some of your challenges internationally and locally?
Q A Q A
What can T&T/artistes do to market and brand Soca Chutney music as something more meaningful and sustainable for foreign markets? I think an important aspect for marketing a genre such as Chutney Soca is the topic of what we sing. Topics that listeners can relate to would give them an opportunity to connect with what they’re hearing, even if that means they want to remain “Single Forever.” The sound of your product is extremely important, and just as music evolves, you have to evolve with it in order to remain successful. A sound that was popular and loved five years ago most likely won’t be the preferred one now. I balance this by maintaining elements of my foundation sound and fusing it with the music of today. Tell me something about K.I that no one knows? I love to cook! Once I’m not on Stage or in the Studio, I’m at home or at a friend’s place cooking. What's next for K.I? I look forward to a successful Carnival Season with my band JMC 3Veni. I’m a bit more excited about the Chutney Soca Monarch this year. My release Runaway is definitely a favourite, and I’m looking forward to bringing home the title once again. And he did it! 33
Calypso The Future of
By George Sambrano TUCO’s Education & Research Officer
The Calypso art form is supported by several institutions and key stakeholders including the calypso tents, calypso aficionados, calypso musicians themselves and Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO), which is at the helm of all calyspo institutions. On that premise this article aims to explore TUCO and its operations. As of 2013, TUCO's mission is: “To grow TUCO into a caring viable organisation providing for the artistic, social and economic welfare of its members and increasing the exposure of calypso to the people of the World.” In order to fulfil this mandate, new strategies have been implemented by TUCO’s governing body- The General Council, which comprises of the executive, zonal representatives and trustees. These strategies are spearheaded by departments- Accounting, Public Relations, Education and Research, Marketing, Operations and Welfare-which form the executive, under the guidance of the President and General Secretary. This article zones in on the present and future plans of three of these departments namely the Public Relations, Education and Research and Welfare Departments.
The mandate of the Public Relations Department is to promote the activities of the organisation and assist in positionining TUCO locally and internationally. This department has revived TUCO’s website with an exciting look that includes: updated calypsonian biographies; lyrical content of calypsoes; audio and video clips; calypso news updates and a calendar of events. For the 2014 Carnival season, the intent is to offer customers online ticket purchasing for events and reviews of literature related to calypso (documents, film and theatre production) along with works of researchers of calypso. The Public Relations Department has already strengthened the gap between the organisation and the media. This change was noticeable on Thursday 23rd February 2013, at the organisation's Media Launch at Jaffa Restaurant at the Oval, Port-of-Spain. The hope is to work alongside the media providing biographic and statistical data to aid in the coverage of calypso events for 2014. 34
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
The Education and Research Department’s main function is to assist in the development of curriculum for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary students, TUCO members and the general public. The department will also research and archive music, literature and artefacts on calypso and develop a database of calypsonians’ biographies, calypsoes, audio and video clips, competition results etc., where a library service would be made available to all. In order to achieve this feat the department has already begun dialogue with the Ministry of Education and the leading tertiary institutions in Trinidad and Tobago. The hope is to include calypso and its history into the schools’ curriculum and to partner with tertiary institutions to develop programs in calypso studies, adjudicating and composing up to the level of a Bachelor's Degree. By year’s end (2014), the vision is to have organised several workshops in the area of welfare and healthy living, entrepreneurship, financial investments and saving for TUCO’s membership.
The Welfare Department is responsible for the personal/social welfare activity of the organisation. This includes visiting and assisting members, who have been identified as “at risk” or “in need”. The department also acts as the liaison between the head organisation and national programmers; government ministries, state agencies and international organisations. It collaborates with the Education and Research Department to establish basic education programmes for the empowerment of all members and is the process of creating a Welfare Plan to include health insurance and optical assistance. It is the hope of TUCO to increase and improve on these services. With these goals in mind, the future looks bright for this organisation and the millions who stand to benefit not only locally, but internationally. All is well with the organisation and the improvements to the calypso art form can be heralded using the famous saying "Long Live calypso !"
CRISIS Planning Part II
By Peter Neptune BSc MBA CMI Executive Director, Change Management Inc.
What are the features of a crisis plan? 1. For the plan to work, we must first identify the problems and risks. What will you consider to be a crisis for your organization or department? For the marketing department a crisis would be products not reaching to market on time, for the IT department a crisis would be a denial of service or cyber attack, and for the PR department their crisis would be a breakdown of the email system just before your press deadline. 2. Now that your crisis can be properly identified and defined, the next step is to identify the resources or procedures needed to resolve the potential crisis. This will include: a. Identifying and updating the relevant stakeholders that both your crisis and solution will affect b. Identify the relevant persons whose approval will be needed to access additional resources or personnel needed to avert the crisis. 3. Develop an action plan that clearly identifies the types of crises you will encounter and write down action items that will have to be completed to minimise the impact of the crisis or to divert it. This will include getting emergency numbers for persons who will have to be advised of the situation, contact numbers for people who will need to approve the release of resources, etc. Be aware of key personnel with special skills or authority who will have an active role to play during the crisis. 4. Engage in stakeholder management, so all persons and interest groups that will be affected by the crisis will be aware of the 36
risks and what their role will be in crisis mitigation. This includes identifying persons who will be in a position to provide early warnings when situations are getting out of control and you should seek to establish communications procedures or collaborative relationships that will allow you to prepare and provide support before or during the crisis. To manage a business crisis often requires thinking quickly about solutions, and using all the available resources at your disposal to keep a key customer, prevent a shutdown of the production or even worse prevent loss of life. To be an effective crisis planner I recommend the following: 1. Keep all your options open 2. Gather the widest knowledge and
1. Clearly identify the problems and business risks?
2. Where are the resources to address the risk and how quickly can you access it?
information about your crisis situation Expect the unexpected Have flexibility built into your plan Plan meticulously (Donâ€™t fail to plan) Collaborate and keep stakeholders informed 7. Decide what are your priorities and what can be dismissed or addressed at a later time 8. Understand your customers and what they expect 9. Underestimate the positives and over estimate the negatives so you can handle a wider range of unexpected scenarios you may face. 10. Determine the weakest link in your plan or process and reinforce it. Itâ€™s always better to divert the crisis early rather than attempt to solve the problem when it happens.. 3. 4. 5. 6.
4. Review the plan frequently to ensure everyone knows their role in the crisis and to raise awareness of the risks
3. Develop and action plan that includes early warning and procedures for quickly accessing critical resources
ABOUT THE WRITER: Peter D Neptune is an Accredited Change Manager (ACM) with more than 20 yearsâ€™ experience as a Change Manager and International Communications Consultant. He has an MBA (with distinction) in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration at Angli Ruskin University, UK, where he is researching the role of Communications on successful Change Management and Organization Transformation Projects in the Caribbean.
CARNIVAL TRAINING AND INJURY PREVENTION By Dr Terence Babwah, Sports Medicine Physician
any persons get injured while engaging in a rushed work out in preparation for the Carnival season every year. Some injuries are so severe that persons are unable to partake in many of the season’s festivities. I have observed that there is a spike in the exercise related injuries from January to March quarter of each year. For example, rotator cuff injuries, muscle tears and pinched nerves are among the common ones. Some of these are gym related injuries, whilst some are related to outdoor exercises. The major cause of these injuries seems to be the timing of the Carnival season, which follows the festive season of Christmas. Many persons reduce or even eliminate their exercise habit from December until January. Many gyms close for periods of the festivities. During this time, many people over eat and drink and as a result, the fat, sugar and alcohol content (and hence caloric count) of our food increases and we gain pounds. These products are also not exercise friendly and even if we exercise the full benefits are not realized. In addition fitness levels are lost all too easily for it is estimated that about 30-40 percent of our cardiovascular fitness is lost within one-two weeks of stopping training. Then we make New Year’s resolutions where we resolve to more exercise in order to lose the weight. It then dawns on us that Carnival is “right around the corner”. This is where training injuries start. Many people mistakably believe that after a month of no or reduced training that they can just automatically pick up where they left off and start re-training. This sudden over load to a detrained muscle and tendon could lead to injuries. In addition when our cardiovascular fitness reduces we get fatigued easier and a fatigued muscle is more easily damaged than a well-trained muscle. Injuries also occur when persons who did not train before starts training or restarted training after a long layoff.
TO PREVENT THESE INJURIES ONE NEED TO: 1.
Do some level of fitness training during the Christmas Season.
When restarting ensure a good warm up, which includes activities to raise the heart rate and stretch the major muscle groups.
Start slow and build up slowly. Increasing volume and resistance at 10% per week.
Don’t panic. Persons who panic are more likely to make training errors and get injured.
Avoid fat burners. Some persons use fat burners, which have stimulants in them. These stimulants can cause heart conditions and have a tendency to reduce your exercise capacity.
Avoid steroids, as the side effects like heart problems, strokes, infertility; skin conditions and aggression can result in a decreased quality of life.
Keep hydrated and top up on your carbs when you have to exercise so you have a steady flow of water and energy for your exercise requirements.
Pain tells you that all is not right. If you do have a pain check it out because working through the pain can lead to further injury, some of which are severe.
Realize your limitations-you can only be as muscular as your genes will allow so don’t expect miracles.
You always have next year to play mas and I am sure you could get an inflated price for your costume if you do decide to postpone playing mas to get an injury better.
Making it in
Fashion By Patti Mohan TTCSI’s Project Officer
ver thirty (30) new and emerging designers from local fashion houses took part in the first of its kind Fashion Designer Workshop series, an initiative of the Fashion Industry Development Committee (FIDC), in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI). The series ran from September 9th -10th and November 25th and concluded on November 26th, 2013 with extraordinary presentations from local designers to New York-based fashion designer and instructor at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Babatu Sparrow. The acting chairman of Fashion Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Christopher Nathan was also present. “It was intimidating, but I am so grateful for this opportunity to showcase my creativity. There is so much more to be learnt when it comes to producing and marketing a collection, than just my ideas,” sentiments expressed by Ms. Cathy Snaggs of Mitsu Creative Concepts & Designs and echoed by many others who participated in the workshop. The series entitled “Fashion Production Collections Development concept to Sample Process” focused on key elements ranging from sketching, finishing, labelling and production within the fashion sector and provided many opportunities for fashion stakeholders to network and exchange ideas. It was quite evident that this was a first for many participants presenting their collections. Sparrow and Nathan’s inspiring words and supporting demeanour, encouraged participation of all present. But for some participants, it turned out to be more than networking, learning and
exchanging of ideas. One such participant was Charu Lochan Dass. Little did Lochan Dass know that this would have been the beginning of her life long dream! It was just one month after the first part of the Fashion Production Collection series that local designer Lochan Dass launched her “CLD-Ready to Wear 2014” collection at Aria Lounge, Port-of-Spain. Following is an interview with TTCSI’s Patti Mohan and Ms. Charu Lochan who said that the Fashion workshop played an integral part in the development of her collection. In a brief interview, this enthusiastic, young fashion entrepreneur shared how the workshop opened doors for her:
with information on the local industry and to network with other local designers, which was critical to the development of my CLD collection. Following this Charu Lochan Dass also had the opportunity of showcasing her collection at the Fashion Gallery of New York Fashion Week. A link she said was made during her Collection launch.
Q What was this experience like for you? was really humbling to be part of such an A Itevent. The opportunity to be able to
showcase on an international platform and have your collection and brand well received and appreciated is simply overwhelming.
do you think our fashion industry ranks in Q How terms of being able to compete in a global
recently launched your first collection. How do environment? Q You you feel? think we have amazing talent in Trinidad & A ITobago It felt amazing to see my dream finally that needs to be showcased on an A became a reality. I’m so elated. international platform. However, it’s not the same for production; we are way behind. kind of feedback did you receive on the Q What collection? suggestions do you have for the development Q What of the industry in Trinidad and Tobago? collection was very well received. I had A The an outpouring of positive feedback from all A Production, Production, Production! the stakeholders in the industry. would you tell young, upcoming local Q What participated in our Fashion Designer designers? Q You Workshop Series in October 2013, how did it assist you in launching your first collection? A Go for it! A The seminar was very informative and at Q Where do you see yourself in the next five years? the same time it refreshed my memory of all I had learnt at Fashion School. It made to take CLD globally, especially in the A IUS,hopeEurope me realize that I was on the right track and and India and establish it as a gave me that extra push to complete my line. Additionally, the workshop provided me
By Caribbean Heart Care Medcorp Ltd
JEHOVAH WITNESSES: how to perform operations without the use of blood
Bleeding is an integral part of any surgery and the control of bleeding is always the concern of any surgeon. Cardiac surgery treats the most important organs that are involved in the blood circulation: the heart and the vessel arising from the heart: the Aorta. The heart works as a pump generating high pressure for blood flow and the Aorta delivers this blood to the whole body through its branches. As is known, the blood pressure reaches values of more than 100 mm Hg in the arterial system, which is the pressure we measure at the arm. We can easily understand that any surgery done at this high pressure could cause excessive blood loss. This is an important consideration for the surgeon. The risk of bleeding is further compounded by the complexity of the surgery. The body can afford some blood lost, but if the bleeding is too much it’s important that blood loss must be replaced. This can be done with blood transfusion where the compatible blood is collected from a donor and transfused into the patient. But there are cases and circumstances where this in not possible, as happens in Jehovah Witnesses. The refusal of blood transfusion is mandatory in the Jehovah teaching to have eternal life. It is estimated that about 1000 Jehovah witnesses globally die every year for refusing a blood transfusion. In literature, the rate of blood transfusion is approximately 60% for all types of cardiac surgery. We can easily understand how complex it becomes to find solutions to perform cardiac surgery in these circumstances. To avoid blood transfusions the techniques of the whole operation has to be planned in detail, with pre-operative, intra operative and postoperative precautions. Although we take precautions there will still be additional risks for the patient, but planning allows us to achieve the best results in terms of risk benefit ratio.
Because we have to give the patient medications to raise the red blood cell level before surgery these cases cannot be treated as an emergency, as it takes time for the red blood cell level to raise before their operation. Another important intra operative precaution taken is the use of the “cell saver” to collect the blood from the chest. Because this machine is continuously connected to the patient, this makes the difference between transfusion and infusion. The cell saver is a great help, but its use is limited to the operation’s time and cannot be used if the patient starts bleeding in the Intensive Care Unit. The most important precaution is the surgical technique of the operation. Surgery needs to be “tailored” for each patient, and every aspect of the surgery is carefully evaluated by the surgeon in the attempt to avoid the risk of possible bleeding. The surgeon will need to juggle his decisions, needing continuous evaluation, not only of the surgery, but also of all the aspects of the operation theatre environment that impact on the patient during the surgery. In order to balance the risk of bleeding with the heart surgery that needs to be done, the surgeon has to continually change his technique according to the demands of the surgery. To summarize it is clear that to operate a Jehovah Witness patient it is imperative to have an experienced surgeon and an experienced assisting team. Using our protocol we successfully operated on more than 30 Jehovah Witness patients without perioperative mortality and transfusions.
Member’s Corner CATT
The Customs Academy of Trinidad & Tobago The Customs Academy of Trinidad & Tobago (CATT) was officially formed in 2004. It was formed based on the need to educate and train its stakeholders in the areas of Customs and related matters, as well as international trade. The Academy also felt that there was a need to raise the bar within the profession, by allowing the Customs Clerks and Brokers to become nationally and internationally certified and recognized. Heading the organization is Kerry Ann Alexander, who is also the second Vice President of the Trinidad & Tobago Customs Clerk & Customs Brokers Association.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES: • To be a non-profit organization that uplifts and furthers the education and business of Customs Clerks, Customs Brokers and their apprentices, as well as other persons involved in the facilitation of trade. • To undertake projects that will improve the quality of life of its members and the wider community including, but not limited to cultural expressions, sporting disciplines, religious and moral education, social and educational activities. • To do all things to secure the well being of CATT by providing affordable cost effective training and retraining opportunities, utilizing modern technological advances and networking strategies. • To promote and encourage debates and research on a wide range of issues pertaining to CATT. • To foster greater awareness and informed contributions to the development of members in the Customs fraternity and persons involved in trade facilitation. • To develop and devise mechanisms for the financial and technical self-sufficiency of CATT. • To utilize CATT’s resources to network with local, regional and international institutions of education, training and other business in the interest of our society and CATT. • To own and dispense with property under mortgage sublet or otherwise. • To engage in business activities including, but not limited to grants, loans acquisition and activities considered in ethical and normal business practices.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE CATT will host several workshops this year including: the Montreal Protocol & Ozone Depleting Substances workshop, as well as a workshop on Understanding New Customs System- “ASYCUDA World” CATT has developed occupational standards with the National Training Agency and has attained Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Custom Services and a National Vocational (NVQ) in Custom Broker Services. CATT was recognized as TTCSI’s 50th Member Association.
THE PRESENT EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT/PRINCIPAL: MS. KERRY ANN ALEXANDER VICE PRESIDENT: MR. PETER BURKE TREASURER: MR. RODRICK SQUIRES ASSISTANT TREASURER: MR. GLENROY ANDREWS SECRETARY: MRS. CHERRY BELFON ASSISTANT SECRETARY: MRS: EDSME FORDE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER: MS. DONNA EDWARDS 42
What’s Going On NOTEWORTHY EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE • Managing Employee Performance March 19, 2014 • Annual Meeting Business Dinner March 26, 2014 ASSOCIATION OF FEMALE EXECUTIVES OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO • International Women’s Day Celebrations-March 12, 2014 ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS OF T&T • Annual General Meeting on April 2014 • Annual Seminar “Best Practices for Real Estate 2014” -May 21, 2014 at Queens Hall PROJECT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CHAPTER • Annual General Meeting on March 2014 Normandie Hotel, Port-of-Spain AIR CONDITIONING & REFRIGERATION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION • Annual Cool Companies Can Cook Fundraiser – April 2014 T&T ASSOCIATION OF MIDWIVES • Helping Babies Breathe Educational Forum on March 21st TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO GREEN BUILDING ASSOCIATION • Leed Green Associate Exam Preparation Course- Mar 13, 20, 27 & Apr 3 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO MANUFACTURES ASSOCIATION • Trade and Investment Convention 2014 – July 2nd-5th – Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF T&T • Finance and Accounting Conference – October 8th-9th- Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain
MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT • Americas Competitive Forum – October 8th-10th – Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COALITION OF SERVICES INDUSTRIES UPCOMING EVENTS • Presentation of Prizes to Secondary School Winners of “I AM” Green Building Competition - March 12 – TTCSI Secretariat • Workshop: Beyond Borders: Through the Lens of an Investor featuring renowned Hollywood Producer – Suzanne Bohnet – April 16 – Capital Plaza, Port of Spain • Media Launch of the Street Arts Festival 2014 – March 20 – Shakers on the Avenue, Ariapita Avenue, POS. • Annual General Meeting – May 1st – 2-5pm – Hilton Hotel, Trinidad • Street Arts Festival 2014 – June 20-22 - Woodbrook, Trinidad • National Services Week 2014 – November 3-7 – Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Trinidad ARTHUR LOK JACK GRADUATE SCHOOL • The National Release of the WEF Global Information and Technology Report will take place as a breakfast event (6.30 am – 7.45 am with the formal programme from 8.00 am – 10.00 am) at Lok Jack GSB on April 22nd 2014
ENERGY CHAMBER OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND EXPORTT • Trinidad and Tobago will be represented at the 10th Getenergy Global 2014 Conference to be held in London, United Kingdom on June 2-4, 2014 by the Energy Chamber and exporTT. The 10th Getenergy Global 2014 is an international conference dedicated to the development of the energy and petroleum sectors. The 10th Getenergy Global 2014 Conference brings together energy and petroleum leaders, IOCs, NOCs, service providers, universities, colleges and private training providers. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper St, Islington, London, BOCAS LIT FEST 2014 • The NGC Bocas Lit Fest, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is an annual celebration of books, writing, and writers. The fourth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest will run from 23rd to 27th April 2014 at the National Library, Port of Spain. It is open and FREE to the public. See website www.bocaslitfest.com for additional details. The Festival will be heading to Tobago in March this year. TRADE EVENTS • The final round of Trinidad and Tobago El Salvador Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) will be held April 7-11th in El Salvador.