Formal Address by Dr. the Hon Nyan Gadsby-Dolly at Launch of 32nd Music Festival


Stand-up straighter! Run that Again! Lift your chin! From the Belly, not the throat!

Oh yes-all over the nation musicians as being whipped into shape much like batter, with the hope that in the heat of the moment they will rise to the occasion.

This grand hall and stage holds so many wonderful memories, stories and life changing moments for many performers whose lives have been impacted through their participation in this bi-annual music festival.

The Music Festival has provided fertile soil in which the careers of many distinguished artiste, have blossomed such as: Natalia Dopwell, Nigel Floyd, Edward Cumberbatch who just graced the stage, Anthony Woodroffe, Richard Pierre, Machel Montano, Mungal Patasar, Brother Resistance so many of us have benefited from what is presented here at the Music Festival.

As I considered the festival’s motto I found it so profound and I quote: “The object is not to gain a prize or defeat a rival but to pace one another on the road to excellence” what a noble, selfless and simply wonderful sentiment, existing in a world, and unfortunately a country, where duty to fellow man, is often castigated, vilified and worse than that simply ignored.

Providing the stage for expression, passion and excellence, this festival has proven its-self over and over again to be one of the incubators for exceptional talent, and I hope to see, if it is not already happening, that formal linkages are developed with our tertiary level institutions which will see their students fully involved and immersed in service during both the planning and the implementation stages of this festival.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts is pleased that this festival is yet another example of Public Private Partnership; join me in applauding Scotia Bank for its continued support of the arts and its work with young people in particular in Trinidad and Tobago (applaud).

Let me encourage and challenge other members of the corporate sector to support all aspects of the arts. When I refer to support I am not just speaking about financial – it can be as simple as providing transport for children to and from the hall, being a chaperon during the long days of the festival, or just your very presence to encourage them in their presentations. We have so much good news in this country to tell. We need to use your platforms and whatever influence we have to introduce into the national narrative positives that programmes such as Music Festival and the like provide. If I may be permitted to quote a 2018 calypso – Let this make front page.

To the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts will remain your partner, and will continue to provide support and the space needed to challenge those in the performing arts to discover, to create, and to realize dreams. It is through music that our imagination is captured, our spirit soars, and our souls find healing.

And if ever our souls needed healing, we need it now; out of the swamp blooms the Lilly; across the battle field swells a piercing trill and all wars cease as the heart of man stands still.

All the best for this season, as we pace one another on the road to excellence.

Thank you.