Entertainment News

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Canadian High Commission celebrates solidarity

Lifestyle - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 02:02

Celebrating Solidarity was the theme when Canadian High Commissioner Carla Hogan Rufelds hosted a Coffee and Conversation event on the occasion of International Women’s Day at the official residence of the Canadian High Commissioner, Club Room, Renaissance at Shorelands on May 8.

Among speakers at the event was Dr Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Central in the Parliament of Canada.

Dr Fry was born in T&T and immigrated to Canada in 1970. She was first elected to Parliament for Vancouver Central in 1993, becoming the first rookie to defeat a sitting Prime Minister.

She has been re-elected for seven terms between 1997-2015.

“Men of influence in T&T,” Marc Loquan, Ronald Harford, Richard Young, Gregory Sloane-Seale, Raymond Ramnarine, Gerry Brooks, Ian Alvarez, Emille Elias, Paul Richards and Nikolai Edwards, were also invited to celebrate with the women.

Categories: Entertainment News

Melissa Mc Allister

Lifestyle - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 01:59

New York-based swimwear designer Elizabeth Arthur will be showcasing her latest line at Tobago Fashion Coda 2018 at the Magdelena Grand Resort on April 26. Arthur who hails from Scarborough, Tobago would be showing off 12 pieces.

She gave the Guardian a taste of her swimwear over the weekend when Tobagonian model Karielle Ramsden donned three pieces from a special collection that Arthur did for the Los Angeles Fashion Week. Arthur said she does swimwear for the high-end market and also caters to plus-size clients.

Arthur, 42, made the move to the United States in 1993 and began her career in 2003 at Weight Clothing, a men’s collection founded by her brother. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College and started the Maia Venae t-shirt collection. In 2013, she founded Kimimi LLC. Arthur designs Kimimi swimsuits with the objective of showcasing the beauty in all women. Her collection of one-piece bathing suits, bikinis and monokinis are inspired by the by the movements and wing patterns of butterflies.

Arthur said, like the butterfly, the mission of her swimwear collection is to generate a metamorphosis whereby a woman slips into her swimsuit and sheds the confines of her regular attire and everyday life. Arthur said swimwear allows a woman the freedom to reveal new facets of herself while embracing the extraordinary.

Arthur said she plans to become involved in projects that aim to inspire and assist women. One of her deepest desires is to prove by example that women should never give up on what they want to accomplish, despite hardships and challenges. Instead, Arthur hopes that she can teach people that those challenges and dark places should be seen as a cocoon, where one grows, gains strength and struggles to emerge transformed like the butterfly that inspires her.

The sixth offering of Tobago Fashion Coda would also feature local designers Ecliff Elie and Dale Angus and two designers from Europe, as well as local artistes, including KI, Five Star Akeil, Adanna and SuperBlue.

Categories: Entertainment News

Women.Everywhere ...party hearty

Lifestyle - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 01:58

There were “women everywhere” at Euphoric Lounge, Dundonald Street, Portof- Spain, last Friday evening for the celebration of the second edition of the W.E. Party, in observance of International Women’s Week. This was one of seven events hosted by the Women.Everywhere organisation (W.E), and was part of week of events and activities, commemorating the global event.

Other events hosted by the organisation included Her Stories, W.E. Talk, W.E. Resist & W.E. Rise, Solidarity Walk and Wellness Morning & Brunch.

W.E. partied the night away to music by a cast of female DJs including Delesse “DJ Del” Francis, Charlotte “DJ Charlotte” Chadee and Melissa “DJ Mel- T” Mc Allister. Even Adeline Gregorie, W.E. founder and director, aka DJ Addi, took a couple spins on the turntables before introducing DJ Del.

The W.E. mission statement is Share. Inspire. Empower.

By sharing individual stories and experiences it is believed they would have a chance to inspire, help, heal and open doors to collective empowerment as no step is too small to attain a culture of respect, gender parity, social accountability and systems that promote economic development.

The organisation believes each person has a part to play in contributing to the best quality of life for women and girls today, not just in T&T, but for “women everywhere.”

More info

For more about the W.E. movement and what it represents, visit www. women-everywhere.com

Categories: Entertainment News

42 years— From then to now...

Lifestyle - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 00:29

The history of the Todd’s Road Community Centre goes way back to 1958 when the Village Council was first formed and, back then, meetings were held at the Todd’s Road RC School. After the abolition of the Trinidad Government Railway, the Village Council of the day acquired the land on which the current centre rests. Construction of the original building began in November 1971 and was finally completed in 1976 and opened by then Community Development Minister C. Clarke-Allen.

From then to now, the original building temporarily housed the health centre, the Nesta Patrick Nursery School, which still exists today, and a computer literacy centre. Over the years, the community benefitted from this space through the various courses and training programmes conducted by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, YTEPP and other agencies. Some of the skills imparted included tiling, cake making and decorating, grow box, draperies, chinese cooking, bread and pastries among others. To date, many persons have gone on to make a career in the different areas as a result of the training they received at the Community Centre.

Unfortunately, with little or no maintenance the building gradually deteriorated and by the year 1993 the structure was in such a deplorable condition that it was rendered unsafe for further use and the Village Council meetings made a full circle back to the Todd’s Road RC School. But the Todd’s Road community proved that there spirit was stronger than brick and mortar.

As avid participants in Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition, the community is embedded in a rich cultural history of music, drummology and drama. It is therefore not surprising that the Todd’s Road Community Centre re-opened its doors on Tuesday, March 6 to the rhythmic sounds of African drums. The Todd’s Road RC School, demonstrated that their community’s rich legacy was weaved into these young drummers who set the tone for the formal rededication of the Centre.

The community came out to celebrate the rededication of the building and in his remarks, Frank Matthews, president to the Village Council, said, “the executive and members of the Todd’s Road Village Council have recommitted ourselves to the care, use and maintenance of this building as we recognise the need for the continued development and enrichment of the residents of Todd’s Road and environs and by extension the entire country.”

Also present was Ryan Mohammed, Councillor for Longdenville/Talparo, Couva/Tabaquite, who represented the MP, Tim Gopeesingh. The occasion was very personal to him, being a home grown member of community, as expressed gratitude to the Ministry for not only doing the renovation works but for using a contractor from the community and completing it in a record time. Also coming in for high praise was the MP for La Horquetta/Talparo, Maxie Cuffie, who was influential not only for lobbying to get the refurbishment project done but also the upgrading of the Todd’s Road Recreation Ground.

During her address, the Community Development Minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said, “opening or rededicating a centre is a celebration for the Ministry, in light of all the challenges and finding the solutions around those challenges, we are in celebratory mood because everyone at the Ministry is happy and proud that we have gotten to this stage.” She went on further to state that “this building, once again forms part of the iconic landscape to the community of Todd’s Road; and speaks directly to the role the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts plays in creating an enabling environment, a space, a hub to ignite the community spirit.”

Four members of the community were also recognised for their contributions to community and culture.

Categories: Entertainment News

Avoid the shock of returning to your homeland

Lifestyle - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 02:21

Remember when you left Trinidad to go to another country—whether for educational purposes, or you were just relocating due to a job offer or better living opportunities? But the day came when you decided to return home, and returning home can be extremely difficult.

As you drive from the airport, you look around only to realise that you have stepped into a time warp because nothing has changed. The road to your family’s home has the same amount or more potholes than when you left. The houses looked the same and there is a woman walking along the road with buckets of water in her hands. The sight of the woman takes you back to the days of when there was no water in the tap and electricity would go every other night.

After a couple of days home reacquainting yourself with family members who have changed dramatically, you realise that you had lost touch with your friends as you would have left the country before social media.

Some people experience feelings that can be difficult to come to terms with, but there are ways to help make the transition smoother.

Here are 8 ways to help avoid the initial shock of returning home.

1. Before returning, talk to family members about what life is like. Ask questions about things that have become a way of life in the foreign country ie, what is the water situation like? Are there good Internet and cable providers? What are food prices like? Is it easy to get organic foods? Price of transportation and what is the school system like?

2. Read the newspapers online to get a feel of what is going on in the country.

3. Writing in a journal is a great way to deal with one’s feelings and frustrations. Talking about one’s foreign experiences can alienate those around you and make you feel alone.

4. Eating foods that you have not had in years can cause weight gain, so it is important to exercise. Join a gym which is a great place to make new friends. Where possible, take regular walks as the power of exercise will help to boost your mood.

5. Join organisations that allow you to meet new people with the same interests as you. One such organisation is InterNations. You can connect with international people and locals. Build a network of global minds and get in touch with people who share your interests and experience. In the event you decide to move back overseas, there are lots of tips and information about everything you need to know about moving aboard, read about other expats experience and share your own.

6. Returning home can feel like a large step backwards especially if you had lead an exciting life filled with adventure. Staying busy is crucial to avoid boredom which can lead you into a depression. There are lots of activities that you can get involved with ie, hashing, hiking club, visit the turtles and the historical places in T&T etc. Do all the things that you dreamed of doing upon returning home. Rediscover your surroundings with fresh eyes.

7. Last but not least, make a goal to go back to the country that you lived in to re-establish yourself and enjoy your old surroundings.

8. Forms of ID are important. Renew passport, national ID and driver’s licence. You will need to have two forms of ID in order to open bank accounts and one form of ID to create utilities accounts. Proof of address is also critical in establishing the accounts mentioned.

Try not to slip back into old routines. Rediscover your surroundings and look for new experiences you can have and enjoy them.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pretty mas killing ancestral mas in Carnival

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:56

What traditions are we losing in our Carnival, how can we bring them back and what have we not yet explored? This was the main theme of mas band Vulgar Fraction’s Carnival post-mortem session, Independent Mas Speaks, held at Granderson Lab, Belmont. The panelists were political and social critic Rhoda Bharath, cultural researcher Arielle John and cultural activist Amanda T. McIntyre, and the panel moderated by Robert Young of the Cloth.

Bharath, who views Carnival through the lens of ancestor veneration, said she was shaken when two regional visitors said T&T’s Carnival was very commercialised and had no cultural elements, based on their observations. She said the ancestral mas and cultural mas felt like they were being subsumed by pretty mas, although these were all valid ways in which to experience mas, depending on the personality of the masquerader.

Bharath said Carnival comes out of yards, and it is essential for yards to take themselves to another level in educating people about mas. She said they should be continuing the work outside of the season and there is now no excuse for not recording, storing, archiving, representing and re-presenting themselves.

Bharath called on the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to put more effort into having a separate route for ancestral mas and traditional mas because there was an audience for them. She said she was not advocating for handouts but better organisation. Bharath said she didn’t believe that Carnival is dead or dying, but it can be floundering and directionless, and this could be remedied by thinking about the underpinning of the Festival.

John said in her research on the divine impulses that we celebrate within the mas, she has begun the establishment of a counter-Trinity in Carnival of the Mother, Maiden and Crone as evidenced by the Virgin Mary, the Orisha deity Oshun and the Hindu goddess Kali. She said the Virgin Mary represented the oppression wrought by European Christianity and the history of subjection and subjugation which came with it.

John said Oshun, who embodies sensuality and love, is the easiest entity to find in the Carnival. She is represented by women in their costumes, the flag women and the jammettes who were some of the earliest originators of the Carnival rebellion. She said Kali is the great destroyer, the goddess of death and rebirth, and she is evident in the stick-fighting rituals and the warring factions of the steel bands as they fought for recognition. John said while there is violence in Carnival, it is part of ritual and can be viewed in a positive light. She said we need to interrogate who the onlooker is who denounces it as barbaric.

Bharath said there are traditions in dance to be explored, especially as they relate to the various deities. She said more research and discussion need to take place on the traditions which both enslaved and bonded Africans would have brought to T&T.

McIntyre spoke about the Culture of Consent campaign and the uproar about the police warning against assault, linking it to Vulgar Fraction’s presentation Playing White in We Sh##hole Country. She said there was a sense of entitlement, or ‘playing white’, in how those with more power related to those with less, for example between rich people and poor people, men and women, and adults and children.

Bharath said we have lost sight of our culture, which has always had non-verbal cues for asking and giving consent. She said we are failing to teach young people the codes which used to exist in households, like the look which brought instant obedience. John questioned why men only respected women’s agency and right to say no when the law was watching them.

Categories: Entertainment News

Rotary International celebrates 113th year

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:53

The Trinidad East Cluster Rotary Clubs recently held a joint meeting to commemorate the 113th Anniversary of the founding of Rotary at Phillip’s Gourmet Restaurant located in Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

In addition to the members of the five east cluster clubs which comprise: Rotary Clubs of St Augustine West, St Augustine, Piarco, Arima and Sangre Grande; Representatives from other Clubs attended, including:

Rotary Clubs of San Fernando, San Fernando South, Chaguanas, Felicity/Charlieville, Penal, Princes Town and the Rotaract Club of St Augustine.

Past District Governors, Roger Bose, Dr Stephen Ramroop and Joe Ramkissoon were also in attendance.

At 19:05 Chicago, USA time (21:05 local time), the group assembled in the car park to release a sky lantern as they toasted to Rotary International. This lantern launch was supervised by Past District Governor Dr Stephen Ramroop.

Categories: Entertainment News

Drawing is part of Wendy Nanan’s DNA

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:50

Artist Wendy Nanan is mounting an exhibition of recent work at Medulla Art Gallery, 37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook Thursday, March 22, at 7 pm.

It is said that drawing, and knowing how to draw the human figure, is one of the basic tenets of the artist’s craft. It teaches an understanding of perspective, proportion, light and shade, the use of line, and how to render mass and volume with a basic knowledge of human anatomy. Reference the master drawings of Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Goya and Degas.

In this age of preserved sharks, veils of obscuring snow, unmade beds and overblown metallic fabrications, is drawing really still essential? Some art institutions have stopped offering life drawing classes. But that is over there in the contemporary art world. Here in the Caribbean, viewers and buyers still respond to the literal figurative, to humans in a landscape, to the beauty of the body in its tropical surround. Bad drawing is immediately obvious, it just looks wrong. Continuous practice, artists have learnt, is the only way to master this skill.

Drawing is part of Nanan’s DNA and she has been drawing from the nude since her days in the Sixth Form art class at Bishop Anstey, under the tutelage of Judith Laird, who was seen as provocatively modern to introduce male nude models for Sixth Formers to draw. Nanan is still drawing, and drawing from life, continuing the training and practice, the discipline of looking and understanding; of engaging that part of the brain that transcribes what is seen on to the blank paper. It is a muscle that never forgets, but must be continually exercised until the intuitive takes over.

We are familiar with the brush and ink cricket drawings of Nanan. In our art world there is nothing quite like them. They are singular in their depiction of cricket, but not of cricket. Deft, calligraphic strokes of the brush, austere little black and white drawings, they are as if a Buddhist monk has sat in the Oval drawing cricket in play. There have been many imitations of their visual grammar but without understanding the meditative process in their making, they fall short as only decorative. Why there is no public repository of a collection of these cricket drawings, where they can be viewed by anyone, anytime, is beyond understanding.

This exhibition showcases some of the work done over the past three years at these sessions. No pose has lasted longer than 25 minutes, some as short as one. Here too, some of the drawings have been extended into narratives, suggested, perhaps, by the poses, the expressions, and the attitude of the models. We sense that Nanan is having a bit of fun, executing a bit of magic realism. Yet beneath it, the love of pure drawing is apparent, and of wanting to show us what she has seen.

Giving artists the opportunity to draw the life model, Medulla Art Gallery and The Trinidad Art Society have been staging life drawing sessions, once a month, for all interested persons, not only professionals, but students and amateurs alike. For a small fee, the sessions are two hours of quiet, intense concentration—where looking is more important than the finished product. It is in this atmosphere of serious communal effort where encouragement to dig deeper, to go further, is found. To look and look again. And, make decisions quickly.

Nanan’s exhibition runs until Saturday, April 14 and gallery hours are 10 am-6 pm (Monday-Friday); and, 11 am-2 pm (Saturday).

On Thursday, April 5, a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Marsha Pearce on the relevance of drawing in today’s art world, will be held at Medulla at 7 pm.

Categories: Entertainment News

Abeer rains at Phagwa celebrations

Lifestyle - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 00:19

Last Sunday, a line of thunder storms moving across north Trinidad caused serious damage to may homes along the East West Corridor and Central Trinidad but participants in Phagwa (Holi) celebrations were soaked to the bone with abeer. Communities revelling in the Hindu spring festival included Enterprise and Aranjuez.

The National Phagwa Council of T&T shifted its Phagwa fun from its traditional location in Aranjuez Savannah to Aranjuez Park, close to Under the Peepal Tree Ashram. This was the 50th year that the Council has been been holding Phagwa celebrations in Aranjuez.

Lack of funding was one of the main factors that has led to the move, Pundit Satyanan Gosein told the T&T Guardian.

UNC Senator Khadijah Ameen was one of the familiar faces seen being bathed in abeer at the Curepe Phagwa Council’s Phagwa celebrations.

In Central, the Hindu Prachaar Kendra held its Phagwa celebrations at the Kendra grounds, located at Gilibia Trace, off Raghunanan Road, Enterprise. Despite the inclement weather, the Kendra successfully held its “retro” Pichakaaree song show, as well as traditional features like the Chowtaal Recital, Bachon Ka Khel, Maakhan Chor and Ranga Barase. (Peter Ray Blood — [email protected])

Categories: Entertainment News

Everybody Loves Raymond to go pay-per-view

Lifestyle - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 02:00

Local singing sensation Raymond Ramnarine is considering the possibility of making his future Everybody Loves Raymond (ELR) concerts a pay-per-view event. Ramnarine spoke with T&T Guardian on Saturday during the interval of the 2018 ELR concert at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Ramnarine said this move would allow his global fans who may not be able to travel to T&T to at least witness the mega event.

Mega indeed was Saturday night’s production and Ramnarine was over the moon, which was actually full that night, with joy, especially with the large crowd turn out and his ever increasing fan base.

The show opened with Dil-e-Nadan band members Renuka Mahabir and Rennie Ramnarine performing Mujhko Rana/Ai Mere Den and Hawayyan/Tere Akon and Tujese Naraz respectively. Also hitting the stage were Amish and Arvind Ramnarine the sons of Richard Ramnarine. Arvind joined his uncle Rennie to perform the 1975 playback hit Di Kyar Kare that was originally performed by Kishore Kumar from the movie Julie.

Show-stopper Raymond Ramnarine entered from the western end of the stage dressed in a gold embossed jacket and was greeted with overwhelming applause as he dished out Humay aur Jene, Aja Aja and Gerua. He was then joined by Renuka Mahabir to sing the timeless classic Gapuchi Gapuchi Gam Gam from the movie Trishul which featured the voices of Nitin Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar on the original recording.

More young Ramnarines joined Raymond, this time his sons Vinesh and Varun who dished out a list of hits for adoring fans.

India’s newest emerging song star Amit Mishra and Bollywood singer/actress Avanie Joshi hit the stage to a much appreciative audience and rendered a torrent of contemporary songs. Joshi even won applause for a cover version of Adele’s Rolling in the deep. Mishra is currently riding high on the success of his film song, Bulleya from the epic film, Aye Dil Hai Mushkil.

It was way past midnight when the show reached its climax and nary a patron had departed, the majority of them seemingly willing to remain at the venue until the sun rose on Sunday.

PICTURES SHASTRI BOODAN

Categories: Entertainment News

Celebrating Alta 25

Lifestyle - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:58

In celebration of Alta’s 25th anniversary, the Association will host a series of events in the month of March. Since 1992, Alta has provided free reading and writing classes to adults around the country. This has resulted in an Association of over 250 tutors, thousands of students and over 50 venues around Trinidad. Due to the size of the organisation, Alta operates in regions with a coordinator spearheading all Alta programmes and decision making in the different regions. The regions have decided to celebrate the 25th anniversary in their own way.

Alta’s first event will be a Sports Day, to be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 9 am-6 pm, at the Lopinot Historic Complex. This event will be hosted by the East and Mid-East Regions and will cater specifically to Alta students and tutors in this region. It will be a day of competitive and non-competitive fun among both tutors and students from Alta’s East Trinidad classes.

The Alta programme encourages at least one outing per academic year which should stimulate a writing lesson for students. As the East region has often done this as a regional event, their sports day was welcomed by students and tutors alike.

The Sports Day will be followed by an afternoon of Readings Under the Trees. This event will be hosted by Alta’s North region on Saturday, March 17, from 2 pm – 5:30 pm at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Port-of-Spain. Well known authors such as Michael Anthony, Lisa Allen Agostini and Judy Raymond will be joined by newly published writers such as Kevin Jared Hosein, Breanne McIvor and Judith Theodore.

Members of the public are invited to come listen to readings by these authors, as well as Alta tutors and students. Children are also welcomed as there will be a special area for them with appropriate readings from authors and literacy games. Alta asks that all attendees walk with drinks, eats and mats or blankets as we celebrate.

The final event will be hosted by Alta’s South and Central regions and will take the form of a Fun, Food and Frolic Day. The event which is also open to the public will be held on Saturday, March 24, at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre from 10 am-4 pm. The event will be partly sponsored by Mario’s Pizzeria Limited who will be there with giveaways, games, their mascot and prizes for winners of the various games! The different Alta venues in South and Central Trinidad will be distributing samples of food and playing literacy-centred games, all with a literacy theme.

Alta is looking forward to the celebration of the organisation in the coming weeks and encourages members of the public to join Alta tutors and students at Readings Under the Trees in Port-of-Spain on March 17 and the Fun, Food and Frolic Day in Pointe-a-Pierre on March 24.

•Volunteer, Donate or Sponsor-a-student. Call 621-5708 or email [email protected] for more info. Keep up to date with ALTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ALTA TT

Categories: Entertainment News

Theatre professionals to speak at Design for Performance TT

Lifestyle - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 01:04

Noted costume designer Loyce Arthur will deliver the keynote speech at Design for Performance TT 2018 (DPTT).

Arthur is an associate Professor of Design at the University of Iowa who has designed costumes for productions in the US, UK and Greece.

She has studied design in Italy, Ghana, Bali and West Africa, and researched carnival in Trinidad, Brazil, the Netherlands and Toronto, Canada.

Arthur will also deliver a presentation titled Intersections between Carnival and Theatre Design on the first day of the three-day event.

She will join a host of theatre professionals, including Wendell Manwarren, Tony Hall, Margaret Sheppard and Mervyn de Goeas who will participate in a series of panels which will take place between March 8 and 10 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain.

The panels will include Set design. Is there a Trini way?; Sound Design for Theatre in a Trinidadian Context; Lighting the stage: theatre and mas; Production and Technology; a live demonstration of Makeup for Performance; and International Events/PQ 2019. How do we get there?, among others.

Panellists include Benny Gomes, Navid Lancaster, Manwarren and Hall.

Exhibitors at DPTT will include Meiling, Christopher Cozier, Kathryn Chan, Greer Jones-Woodham, de Goeas and others.

An event of this type has not been held since 1990, and industry professionals and practitioners say it is long overdue.

DPTT is being presented by UTT (Napa), in collaboration with the National Drama Association of T&T (NDATT).

The event marks the launch of the PQ2019 Initiative, a concerted effort to present a T&T pavilion at the Prague Quadrennial 2019, the world’s most important exhibition of performance design.

Local artists will be invited to collaborate on the project.

The 2019 instalment of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space will be the 50th anniversary of the event, which brings the best of Performance Design, Scenography and Theatre Architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by the professionals, as well as the public.

Limited space is available for the panels. For further details, find Design for Performance TT 2018 on Facebook and visit the NDATT website at www.thendatt.wordpress.com

Categories: Entertainment News

Three new films premiere at The Big Black Box

Lifestyle - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 01:02

Flow TV and Caribbean Tales Incubator (CTI) premiered three films—Battledream Chronicle, Caribbean Girl NYC and Heat — at The Big Black Box, Woodbrook on Thursday evening.

The CTI programme’s goal is to increase the pool of world class indigenous film and television content by providing a year-round development production hub for Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora producers, aiming to create strong, compelling and sustainable content for a global market.

As Flow continues to commit to the development of the Caribbean filmmaking industry, customers within Flow TV network in partnership with CTWD, Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution, can now have access via Flow on Demand, to Alain Bidard’s Battledream Chronicle, Mariette Monipierre’s Caribbean Girl NYC and Menelik Shabazz’ Heat, recent additions to the existing variety of Caribbean themed content currently available.

Bidard’s Battledream Chronicle, now an animated mini-series, is about young black slave females defeating their Machiavellian master and bringing down his empire, in a futuristic world where the slave plantation is a video game. Monipierre’s Caribbean Girl NYC tells a story of an immigrant girl, Isabelle, from Guadeloupe who moves to New York City, in pursuit of fame, money and love.

Without money or working papers she is still determined to live the American dream from her Crown Heights apartment she shares with roommates Trinidadian Tilly, Jamaican Dana and Barbadian Kate.

Shabazz’ Heat, set in multi-cultural Barbadian society, is a mini series about murder, drama, class and sex. PICTURES DION ROACH

Categories: Entertainment News

Mental health is not the same as mental illness

Lifestyle - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 00:59

Why is it so very easy to immediately think of mental illness once we hear the words mental health?

Much of the conversations people have had about mental health focuses on mental illness. But there’s more to mental health and mental well-being than simply being with or without mental illness. And mental health is not mental illness.

Among those writing and researching mental well-being, which has become more topical globally, are people who understand mental health and who accept that mental health is neither the same nor necessarily the opposite of mental illness.

Mental health is something that every human being has or, as I like to say whenever I engage an audience, “If you have a mind then you have mental health. At any moment in one’s life, you may have good mental health or you may not. You may experience bad mental health for a period and resume your good mental health after. Everyone with a mind, however, has mental health.”

But not everyone has mental illnesses or disorders. Yet everyone with a mind, if they do not maintain good mental health, is susceptible to mental illness, issues, problems, distress, or disorders. And as in many other health situations, some vulnerabilities exist which predisposes some to mental ill health.

It is the exact concept as having a body and having physical health. Some people are physically well; at times a person experiences physical illness, which is treated and they return to good physical health.

Sometimes a person may have a physical illness that is treatable but not curable, but overall they are managing their illness and enjoying good physical well-being, or not.

Recently, I have been looking at a model which may appear over simplified, but nevertheless it makes a good point about teaching that every human being has mental health or experiences varying degrees of mental health and we do so on a continuous basis meandering from periods of good mental health to periods of bad mental health to disorder to recovery, interchangeably, altogether and throughout our lives.

In The Interrelationship of Mental Health States, Dr Stan Kutcher discusses the significance of the relationship of different mental health states and the importance of language in helping us to define and differentiate mental health and its varying stages which could include periods or incidents of mental ill health.

This scholarship teaches that, “A person can be in one or more of these mental health states at the same time. For example: a person can (be diagnosed with) Schizophrenia (a mental disorder), their mother has recently died (a mental health problem), they lost their car keys earlier today (mental distress) and now they are hanging out with a friend and enjoying themselves.

And there are people with on-going mental disorders. The key to good mental health or good well-being has to do with issues such as management of health and recovery from periods of illness. There are people whose mental health is so disordered that they need long-term care. There are others who can manage the disorder and participate actively in their own recovery and care.

Your mental state can impact your ability to enjoy life. A poor state can affect your physical and mental health and interfere with you having a balanced and rewarding life. Everyone can benefit from learning how to enhance and protect their mental health—whether or not they have or are experiencing mental illness.

Mental health is not the same as mental illness.

• Caroline C Ravello is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (The UWI).

Categories: Entertainment News

Trini writer/director resides quietly in Point Fortin

Lifestyle - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 00:57

Trinidad-born superstar Sly Goodridge has returned to his native country and resides quietly in Point Fortin.

Goodridge is the author of Waiting for the Storm, a recently published romance novel in e-book and paperback on Amazon.com Goodridge, who has made a name in the entertainment industry in the US working with such shows as the 1980’s mega hit television series Miami Vice, XFactor, and movies including Step Up Revolution, Band of the Hand and many others, is home to develop local projects for production.

A veteran of both the US Army and the US Naval Air Command, Goodridge’s decision to return to his homeland is based purely on his love for his country. He is the owner of Sly’s Pub in the heart of Point Fortin, where he also maintains his production office for his company SGS Studios (Sly Goodridge Studios).

This multi-talented Trini has created a milestone in his career as Lighting Designer for most of America’s top celebrity artistes and actors such as Broadway star Melba Moore, Clarence Carter, The Temptations, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and many more, including now deceased, world renown actor, Sherman Hemsley of The Jefferson’s, television sitcom, and South African music icon Hugh Masekela.

Goodridge has written and directed many film projects including his own music video Body Movur, which can be viewed on YouTube and MTV Artist. He was collaborative songwriter with Sherman Hemsley and was instrumental in bringing the television star to Miami to be the grand Marshall for the Miami Carnival. While working on Miami Vice, he shared his spare time as a judge on the Miami Carnival during its early days of development.

Goodridge has written, arranged and produced many songs including his last EP in 2013 called I Just want to Love Ya.

His use of soca music has maintained a more international quality since he first began recording in 1978. He has always been known to fuse the genre with Jazz, R&B, and a taste of Brazilian instrumentation.

Goodridge’s song Ah Gotta Go, was the theme song for the album recorded in the 1990’s by Canadian based soca artist Ellsworth James. Goodridge also wrote the song Unity in the Community recorded by Blue Ventures around the same time and was one of the album’s Executive Producers.

Goodridge has made Trinidad proud by being the silent force behind the production of the Miami Soca Monarch competition. He provided technical advisement and assistance to the show’s producer, Norris Forde, when he personally designed the show’s lighting and conducted the stage management to create a quality programme that lasted many years. Goodridge is reputed to be the first designer to include robotic lighting and special effects in a soca competition.

A visionary who has brought success to many young artistes as well as behind-the-scenes production crews, Goodridge was and Executive Board member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage employees of the United States and Canada (IATSE) Local 545 of Miami, Florida. He was also a member of Local 500 and Movie Local 477. He was instrumental in creating careers for many young black men desired to work professionally on the stage and in the movie industry.

Goodridge was Department Head for many major productions such as the 2004 and 2005 MTV Music Awards. He served as Lighting Director and advisor for thousands of productions and his designs has graced the stage of every major theatrical facility in the State of Florida.

Goodridge has been duly awarded for his work in an industry that at one point was only privy to sons of its members. He opened doors that were closed and broke down barriers that were only crossed by a selected few. Some of the awards he received for his work include the Miami Gala Award, The T&T Sagaboys Record Producer of the Year Award, The Tri City Community Award for a children’s programme he developed for television and numerous others.

Goodridge pioneered lighting design with the use of projection, creating movement within the background of a dance performance. His work as Lighting Director with many colleges, universities and professional companies has had a lasting impact on the arts globally. His profession has taken him to as far away as West Africa, and throughout the US and the Caribbean. He also served as Technical Director and Production Manager for the Miami-Dade County’s Joseph Caleb Auditorium where he spear-headed the multi milliondollar renovation of the facility. An extremely knowledgeable, highly skilled, ambitious individual, this former military professional has received numerous battle medals and awards for his service. One such Award is the Navy Achievement Medal issued to him by his squadron in Virginia for his continuous involvement in military operations. As class leader in aviation school in New Jersey, unknown to Goodridge, he impressed the base admiral continuously as he marched his class to and from the barracks to the hangar bay every day singing Anchors Aweigh, a popular Navy song. The admiral called the school to find out who was the class leader that forced him to stare through his office window when the class came marching by. At graduation the admiral issued a special award for Goodridge and he was also awarded for best class leader in the entire school.

During early 1970 this former football player got a second call back for the first T&T under seventeen football tryout. He migrated to New York during that time and continued his football career. He played for Miami-Dade College and while in the Navy he was the only Navy personnel selected for the All Marine Corp Championships.

The team won second place and earned them a silver medal.

Goodridge also played for Camp Elmore Devil Dogs and his goal-scoring ability as a striker led the team to win the Third Division league of the Tide Water Soccer Association. The team moved up to Second Division and copped second place in the championship. After a brief move to play for Stihl Soccer Club, Goodridge returned to Camp Elmore as its player/coach and eventually took the team to the First Division league.

Goodridge is currently multi tasking as owner of Sly’s Pub and preparing his other three novels for publication, as well as filming local projects highlighting T&T.

Categories: Entertainment News

Fashion links Tobago and the Netherlands

Lifestyle - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 01:24

It is not far fetched though; after all, Tobago does boast a mine of creative treasure.

With the spotlight currently on the sister isle still basking in the glory and honour brought to the getaway destination by its home-grown Winston Duke, actor and star in the criticallyacclaimed Black Panther film, a world over phenomenon on the big screen, it vows to be consistent in showing the world what Tobago can do with the sixth installment of Tobago Fashion Coda carded for April 26, 2018.

For the first time since its running, the premiere fashion event which heralds the annual Tobago Jazz Experience with a somewhat total local concept diverges to collaborate with an external fashion designer through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Twenty-seven year-old Dutch designer Liselore Frowijn will present a full showcase at Fashion Coda—a collection she opted out of the renowned Paris Fashion Week which began on February 27 savouring it just for Tobago.

Describing it as a secret collection just right for Tobago, in a Skype interview with the media at the Embassy yesterday where the Launchof Fashion Coda took place,  Frowijn expressed her love for the Caribbean and though it would be her first visit, she is anticipating nothing but the best and is excited about exploring this cultural exchange.

“I can promise it will be good,” she says. The bright-eyed Frowijn who has a creative obsession with luminous colours and the use of them in her designs, perhaps influenced by her affinity for Caribbean aesthetics, is a graduate of the ArtEZ Institute of Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where she obtained a BA in Fashion Design, graduating with honours in 2013.

In her short career so far she has been able to work with some of the world’s leading fashion name brands such as Gucci, Prada and Chanel and has won several awards. Her visit to the island might well be overdue, as initially she had planned to come in 2016 after talks with Fashion Coda’s brainchild and DgEvents director Don Grant, but with clashing dates for her then collection showing, plans fell through.

Coding it fate, she says timing is everything and all things happen for a reason.

“When the same question of my participation came again in 2017, I had no doubt because I was sure I could join this year and I really want to do it because I think on both sides what is happening here is something very interesting.”

She continues: “I get to bring my European collection there and it just shows how everything is connected and that is what I really want to show through my work.”

She communicated that a lot of time went into the collection and preparations to come to Tobago and finally launching it made the whole experience very special.

During his feature address Ambassador to Kingdom of the Netherlands Jules Bijl praised Frowijn’s work and said she creates fashion for people who have the guts to be seen.

Of the first time cultural exchange between both countries, Bijl who played a pivotal role in Grant and Frowijn meeting, tells the T&T Guardian, the Netherlands might be known primarily for its maritime and agriculture but there is also a huge and thriving creative industry bearing some of the world’s famous architects and artists. Boasting of the European country being the home of celebrated Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and former head designer for BMW Design Adrian van Hooydonk, he said the creative industry is “hot” in Europe, but now has a special focus upon fashion.

“The Dutch are catching up and we’re spreading out a bit all over the world and to do so you need exceptional talent and Liselore is that exceptional talent,” Bijl boasts.

In his 11 years living in the Caribbean there are a few things that strikes him about the Caribbean like the intensity of the light and the way people wear colour which he says is far more outspoken than what is normally worn back in Europe.

It’s early for Bijl to say whether this could be the genesis of a healthy trade between T&T and the Netherlands, but he does believe there are unique aspects of the Caribbean with unlimited possibilities to explore.

Subsequently a visibly-elated Grant spoke of his desires for this newfound relationship. He believes though a small start; eventually it will encourage trade.

His hope is that Frowijn’s participation in this sixth installment will signal to other international designers that Tobago is open to working with fashion designers from around the globe.

He notes the fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar business and T&T is still very miniscule in the scheme of things. Grant says the European Union (EU), is the mecca of fashion and local designers and the T&T’s fashion industry could learn a lot from these kinds of cultural exchanges.

In fact, he believes an exchange programme for designers should be officially developed between the Caribbean and the EU so that local designers can get a better understanding of what the fashion industry is all about.

“We have a lot to learn and a lot to gain and it is my hope that with this initiative it can only grow and go to the next level,” Grant says.

Tobago Fashion Coda is the face and image of a lifetime experience in Tobago. It fuses fashion, art, entertainment and cuisine. And serves as a platform for seasoned and budding designers alike.

This year it takes on the theme Smile—as it welcomes local designers Ecliffe Elie and Tobago designer Dayle Abeje Angus who will collaborate with another international designer, Austrian Andre Jack Voight.

Tobago’s very own Elizabeth Arthur who has had the good fortune of working alongside esteemed international designers and even the opportunity to present her praised Kimimi Swimwear collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week for two consecutive years (2016/17), will present her 2018 collection at Fashion Coda.

At the transformed Magdalena Grand, home to the prestigious calendar event from inception, multiple International Soca Monarch SuperBlue, no doubt high of his 2018 Road March win, a collaboration with soca superstar Machel Montano, will entertain patrons. Also billed to bring some diversity to the atmosphere is former Chutney Soca Monarch KI and Tobago soca artiste Adana Roberts.

n For more information visit: www.tobagofashioncoda.com and dgevents9.com. You can also check out the Tobago Fashion Facebook page.

Categories: Entertainment News

Boy Toy continues playing

Lifestyle - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 00:21

Having premiered at Central Bank Auditorium on February 16 and running for the past fortnight, RS/RR Productions’ The Boy Toy goes south this weekend to Naparima Bowl.

The Boy Toy is a two-hour hilarious comedy about lies, lies and more lies and features three of Trinidad’s leading ladies of comedy: Nikki Crosby as a dizzy flight attendant from Venezuela, Penelope Spencer playing Joan a nervous and shy woman who seems to be losing out on loving attention from her husband and seeks the affection of a Boy Toy, and Debra Boucaud Mason who plays Sandra who lends out her house to her best friend Joan without her husband knowing for the secret rendezvous.

Confusion heightens as unexpected guests arrive. From there the confusion escalates as husbands and wives lie with comic bravado through the night leading to a hilarious series of events and complications after complications that had audiences in stitches of laughter in the Central Bank run.

The Boy Toy features alongside Crosby, Boucaud Mason and Spencer the likes of Richard Ragoobarsingh, Aaron Schneider and David Serrette. It is directed by Boucaud Mason and Ragoobarsingh.

Categories: Entertainment News

The art of native America and Africa

Lifestyle - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 00:20

Specially invited speaker Khali Kwodwo Keyi Ogunlade, an ‘Afrikan’ artist specialising in unique hand-made leather work, talks about his experiences and inspiration behind his creation I Am with members and guests of Traditional Afrikan Women’s Organization (Tawo) at their Morvant installation of the organisation’s monthly conversation recently.

Ogunlade explains he started working on a “blacknificent” piece entitled I Am when he was given an opportunity to meet with Dakota native people in Wyoming, members of the Sioux Nation and first people of North America. He draws on the similarities between their cultures and his, Orisha, and how the cultures intersect.

More of Ogunlade’s works and the inspiration behind them can be found at his site kekiyoarts.com and/or his social media Facebook page ‘Keyiko Afrikan.

Categories: Entertainment News

Hairballs in cats

Lifestyle - Sun, 03/04/2018 - 01:53

A hairball is exactly what it sounds like—a ball of hair or fur. If you’ve ever owned a cat, you will be familiar with this, especially if you’re the one in the family who ended up with the unpleasant task of cleaning it up!

Hairballs occur as a result of your cat grooming herself. She has tiny hook-like structures on her tongue that act as a brush by catching and removing loose and dead hair in her coat which is then swallowed. The majority of this hair passes through the gastrointestinal tract without any problems and is passed out in the stool. Sometimes the hair can accumulate in the stomach, forming into a hairball and blocking the outgoing part of the stomach. Food is unable to pass through and is vomited instead with the hairball. As the semi-digested food and hairball pass through the narrow tubular structure of the oesophagus on the way out, the resulting hairball appears thin and tube-like rather than round.

A cat’s digestive system is designed to process hair—its own as well as the hair and fur attached to the skin of prey animals—and as such, hairballs should not be a regular occurrence in a healthy cat. Hairballs are more common in long-haired breeds such as Persians and Maine Coons. Cats with behavioural problems such as obsessive compulsive disorders are also more likely to have hairballs because they swallow more fur due to excessive grooming. If you notice your cat grooming more than usual, visit your veterinarian to rule out physical issues such as allergies, skin diseases, parasites or infections; as well as behavioural issues such as anxiety, stress, frustration or boredom. Some breeds of long-haired cats may experience additional hair shedding at certain times of the year due to seasonal changes.

It is often distressing for owners to see and hear their cats vomiting a hairball. Common hairball symptoms include: hacking, gagging and retching followed by the vomiting of the hairball. Sometimes hairballs can get “stuck” in the digestive tract causing an impaction. The following symptoms can indicate that a hairball has caused a potentially life-threatening blockage: ongoing vomiting, gagging, retching or hacking without producing a hairball, lack of appetite, constipation or diarrhoea, lethargy, vomiting of undigested food and a swollen abdomen. Immediately contact your veterinarian if your cat is showing any of the above impaction symptoms.
Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2017

The treatment and prevention of hairballs is generally focused on the following:

1. Additional grooming of the cat’s coat with specially designed brushes to remove as much loose and dead hair as possible. The more hair you remove through brushing, the less hair is available for your cat to swallow.
2. Hairball control commercial cat foods and treats which have added fibre to help bind the hair and stimulate the intestine to aid in eliminating hairballs. Cats are carnivores and their natural diet consists of a high protein level and low carbohydrate level. Grain-based foods tend to be higher in carbohydrates, leading to changes in the flora (bacteria) of the cat’s intestinal tract which may reduce the motility in the tract and contribute to the inability of the hair to pass normally through the intestinal tract. A grain-free, high-fibre diet may therefore be more appropriate for a cat who vomits frequently.

3. Petroleum-based laxatives and hairball remedies (which can be flavoured to make them palatable for the cat) help to lubricate and move the hairball through the intestine.

4. Water is important to keep your cat’s digestive system flushed and healthy, so ensure that your cat always has a fresh, clean supply available.

Recurrent hairballs should not be seen as normal in an otherwise healthy cat. It may indicate that there is an underlying problem that needs to be assessed and treated by your veterinarian.

Categories: Entertainment News

Phagwa Back in Times treat in Enterprise

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 00:46

The 27th edition of the Kendra Phagwa Festival takes place tomorrow at 2.30 pm with grand celebrations at the Kendra Grounds, Gilibia Road (off Raghunanan Road), Enterprise. Phagwa celebrations at the Kendra venue are community-based and family oriented with many innovative features, the most popular being the Pichakaaree presentations.

This year attendees will be treated to a special ‘Back in Times’ Pichakaaree segment with presentations that will span across 26 years, from when the artform was introduced in 1992 leading up to last year.

Other features for the afternoon include Chowtaal Recital—the traditional Phagwa genre, Bachon Ka Khel—traditional fun games for children, Maakhan Chor—the thrilling human pyramid team sport and Ranga Barase with vibrant community dancing in abeer showers. All these features re-enact and bring to life ancient traditions and the sacred legends associated with the festival.

President of the Hindu Prachaar Kendra, Geeta Ramsingh Vahini, reiterated the importance of nurturing culture that is uplifting and inspirational. She said: “This festival, like all Hindu festivals, has a sacred centre, a relevant and universal message for all, about the triumph of truth over untruth, good over evil and justice over oppression.

“Prahalad, the child hero of Phagwa reminds us all of the power of faith in God, which is really faith in oneself and the potential in each one of us to become the agent of the changes we wish to see.

“This is the culture we must nurture. This is why the motto of the Kendra Phagwa Festival is ‘creating the difference’.

“The focus of the Kendra’s work is on children and youths so this event is very family oriented. The Kendra is very committed to Phagwa activities where children don’t just get soaked in abeer but they are as though ‘soaked in’ an environment that will motivate and bless them as they play and have fun with their friends and family.”

The singers billed for tomorrow’s Back in Times Pichakaaree concert are Mandeep Poonwassie, Nirmala Ramdass Singh, Mukesh Babooram, Reena Teelucksingh, Mohip Poonwassie, Shanta Ramnath, Ricky Khandoo, Pooja Ramoutar, Akshay Khandoo, Kamaldai Ramkissoon, Jagdeo Phagoo, Marva Mckenzie, Toolsie Ramdass Singh, Rohini Dube, Subhagie Jaikaran, Giselle Ramoutar and Geeta Vahini.

For details on the Kendra Phagwa Festival contact 790-6606, 685-6133, 680-4322

Categories: Entertainment News

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