T&T will host a culture fest in London during the 2012 Olympic games. The event will be held at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London, and will be open to the public one day before the July 27 opening of the Olympics. It will be facilitated by T&T High Commissioner to London Garvin Nicholas. In a phone interview with the T&T Guardian last week, Nicholas said the event was causing a lot of excitement within diplomatic circles. 'For four and a half weeks we will be promoting T&T from 10 am to 11 pm daily, and the venue is only 20 minutes from the Olympic Village by train,” Nicholas said. The festival will include a number of children’s workshops. “We will have elements of eco mas-making, where we will be making costumes from recycled material. There will be workshops on preparation of local foods with a focus on proper nutrition, drumming and a variety of other activities for children,” he said.
Nicholas said the festival will put the spotlight on T&T’s culture and talent and cuisine. There will be booths with local foods such as bake and shark, curry, sada roti, local soups and a Creole kitchen. “We also have a bar sponsored by Angostura and we will be promoting Angostura and Carib products. Deanston Distillery, owned by CL Financial, will be our official whisky. We are hoping other sponsors come on board,” said Nicholas. Only T&T-produced products will be highlighted throughout the festival. Exhibitions will feature talk tents and poetry, as well as featuring art through the five decades of T&T’s Independence. Artists and artwork have not yet been selected, although the opening is only three weeks away. The cultural displays will also show local films, theatre and a variety of locally-produced music, including classical, jazz and the indigenous musical genres of soca and calypso. Orange Sky, Machel Montano, Ella Andall and Sheldon Blackman are just a few of the artistes who may be performing, but Nicholas said the list of performers had not yet been finalised. “We want to showcase all aspects of our culture. It is not going to be the traditional fete and calypso,” he said.
Nicholas described the Tricycle Theatre as the ideal location for the culture fest, as the Olympic Village was only accessible by public transport. He said some of the Olympic events are carded to take place at Wembley stadium, just ten minutes away from Kilburn. “London has three Olympic councils and we have been working with one of them, Brent Council, to make sure we have a successful event.” Nicholas said since athletes will be housed at the Olympic Village, once they are finished with events they will be invited to come over to T&T’s cultural village and hang out and sign autographs for spectators. He said the event will be aggressively advertised in London. “We are going to advertise this in the metro, buses, trains and newspapers to get people talking about T&T,” Nicholas said. Minister of Tourism Stephen Cadiz said the High Commission in London will be handling all T&T’s Olympic activities. “We are just waiting for a final proposal from London and then we will announce it,” Cadiz said.