Monday, October 14, 2013

THA aims to increase economic opportunities with ‘Tobago Weekend’

In the face of what it considers to be a paltry budget allocation, the Tobago House of Assembly has to find ways and means of continuing the development thrust of the people, Secretary of Community Development and Culture, Councillor Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus has said. Community tourism through creation of sustainable community initiatives is one such attempt through the staging of the 2013 Folk Fiesta, “From Black Rock to Blue Food”. 

It was all part of the Tobago Weekend which began Friday and ended yesterday with the annual Blue Food Festival at the Bloody Bay Recreation Ground. 

Tsoiafatt-Angus told the Express yesterday the idea of Black Rock to Blue Food is about creating a Tobago Weekend experience for tourists that takes them to two communities on the island where residents can maximise on those economic opportunities presented. In her opening remarks, at the new expression of Folk Fiesta, she reminded those gathered that celebrating and expressing our heritage should not be once a year but throughout and that the event was a step in that direction.

“The evening is about collaboration, inclusion and participation that created an environment of fun, entertainment and learning for all; and economic empowerment for the village vendors,” Tsoiafatt-Angus said. She said our ancestors often were not observers but were participants in the culture, and she therefore encouraged the audience to participate in any area of interest since this year’s folk fiesta was transformed from a competition into an interactive performing workshop.

The afternoon was a collaboration between the Division of Community Development and Culture, the Tobago Festival Commission, the Black Rock Village Council and Katzenjammers Pan Theatre where their ‘pan yard’ was the meeting place for the excitement that included authentic foods. 

The audience followed the lead of Tsoiafatt-Angus who was part of the opening wedding procession dancing the brush back. 

The Secretary of Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke delivered a warm welcome to the audience extempo style. Assistant Secretary Ancil Dennis joined in the nursery rhymes and there were others who tried the bamboo dance and storytelling. The programme ended with Katzenjammers steelband.


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