Remarks by Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly at the Launch of Tobago’s CARIFESTA Village

It is indeed an honour and a pleasure to be present here at the Launch of CARIFESTA XIV in Tobago. On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I bring greetings to the Chief Secretary and the members of the Council of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). It can be easily misconstrued for visitors to Trinidad and Tobago, that because of the twinning of our names, the culture of both islands is the same. But that indeed is not so… Anyone who would have visited the Tobago Heritage Festival and all that is manifested there, would understand when Tobagonians say that they have their unique culture and heritage that they hold very dear in Tobago. Any visitor from Trinidad, as I have been, feels so proud to be a part of this twin-island state where you can have a totally different experience in one island to the other. Thus any CARIFESTA taking place in Trinidad and Tobago would never be complete unless there is a definite representation in Tobago. Those delegations that Councillor Stewart-Phillip mentioned, who have the privilege and the opportunity to be here in Tobago, really are the envy of all others. They are going to come to experience something that others will miss out on. They are very excited and look forward to being here as I am, to experience some of Tobago’s heritage and unique culture, and we are happy to give this experience to them. It enhances our CARIFESTA, it adds depth, diversity and value to CARIFESTA, so that we have what we can present, what we intend to present, and what we have worked hard and long to present- the best CARIFESTA that ever happened in this region. I wish to salute the planning committee and the Tobago representatives for ensuring that what was programmed for Tobago gives us a snapshot of the representative culture, and presents the best to our delegations that are here. We are here for a short three days to experience all that Tobago has and I want to thank them for their hard work. CARIFESTA started in Trinidad on Friday, and we are off to a bumper start. So, I encourage you to come down to the Grand Market at the Esplanade, enjoy what has been programmed for you with love, care, and dedication. I want to salute all the vendors who have come out to add to that experience, and to ensure that this Grand Market is successful, interesting and buzzing. I think that we are off to a very good start this morning, seeing the number of persons out here, ensuring that Tobago’s version of the CARIFESTA really is enjoyable to the entire population. I congratulate you Councillor for ensuring that this part of CARIFESTA is well organized and ready to rumble. We look forward to the enjoyment of our delegation, and we will try to manage the expectations of the others who weren’t able to come to Tobago because we know that they may have missed out on a wonderful experience. We thank you for facilitating those that will be able to make it and we thank you for putting forward your best effort on this CARIFESTA XIV- Tobago Edition. God Bless you.