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Updated: 2 hours 22 min ago

Elegant fashion struts at Radisson

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 03:17

Guests attending an Evening of Tea, Fashion and Entertainment hosted by The Ladies of the District Grand Lodge of T&T and Grenada were treated to a display of fashion by top names in the industry, including The House of Jaipur and designer Heather Jones.

The event was hosted on April 28 at the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

Models turned the aisles of the hotel’s ballroom into their catwalk as guests were given the opportunity to view the pieces up close.

Categories: Entertainment News

Tea and fashion for the needy

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 03:15

The Ladies of the District Grand Lodge of T&T and Grenada hosted an Evening of Tea, Fashion and Entertainment on April 29.

The event was held at the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

Guests were treated to tasty hors d’oeuvres, tea and a fashion show by top names in the industry, including the House of Jaipur and designer Heather Jones.

There were also performances by vocalists Maria and Graeme Gillezeau, dancer Shreya Maraj and pannists Jessie Gajadhar and Sabrina Motie.

The event was hosted to raise funds for a few children’s homes which included the Couva Children’s Home and Crisis Centre, Izekiel Home in Preysal and Goodwill Industries of the West Indies.

Proceeds from the evening will also be donated to some deserving families in need.


Categories: Entertainment News

Student writers feature in theatre workshop series

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:06

This evening, Wednesday, May 2, the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago’s Monthly Readers Theatre Series 2018 will feature excerpts from the work of student playwrights enrolled in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at the UWI. This will be the Playwrights Workshop’s offering for the month of May in its on-going Readers Theatre Series, which occurs on the first Wednesday of every month.

These students, in a course guided by Tony Hall, have been engaged for the semester, in studying different approaches to play writing and play construction mainly for the stage. Their course of study, which embraces the writing of short play scripts, is aimed at entry level even though some have more experience in the craft than others. A small but exciting selection of their work has been chosen for these readings.

Come out to support the student playwrights in our midst. There will be discussions with all the playwrights right after the readings.

The Playwrights Workshop Trinbago, in partnership with the T&T Performing Arts Network, is inviting actors, playwrights, directors, producers and the general public to the reading to provide the playwrights with feedback, to further develop their scripts. The event will be held today at 7 pm, at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, 6 Newbold Street, St Clair. Admission is free but space is limited. RSVP is required.

For further information email [email protected] or call (868) 351-6293. You can also find the event at or find them on Facebook and Instagram @playwrightsworkshoptt

Categories: Entertainment News

Food galore at Lions

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:04

For yet another year, the Port-of-Spain Central Lions staged a successful all-inclusive gourmet event.

Held on Sunday at Lions Cultural Centre in Woodbrook, the cookout, billed as Karibbean Kravings Plus, was attended by a smaller than usual crowd, perhaps because the annual event was held on Sunday rather than on its traditional Saturday in May.

Nonetheless, the chefs—including nine from the Lions fold—were out in their numbers and they all treated guests to some delectable dishes.

Not to be left out were the dessert specialists and some of the cooks who came up with some unique names like Fish Hijacked in Venezuelan Waters, Vanessa Mendez’s Wine Fuh You Lover and Conrad Chin Fatt’s Shots for Curry Oink Oink.

The evening was graced by the presence of South Africa High Commissioner Thami XN Ngwevela and her staff.

Also in attendance were Port-of-Spain Central Lions Club president Dave Gibson; past International Director Terence Boswell Inniss and Father Harold Imamshah.

The High Commission also continued the tradition of having two of its indigenous dishes—Dumplings and Chakalaka, and Tangine Lamb Stew—on offer.

Also preparing dishes were alumni from Queen’s Royal, Fatima and St Mary’s Colleges, and Belmont Intermediate (Belex).

Judges for the evening included Angela Pidduck, Myrna Hosford, Irma Hannays and Peter Ray Blood.

Live entertainment was also provided by multitalented musician Arthur Marcial and St James Tripolians, plus DJ Wayne Rochard.

Categories: Entertainment News

Police and the mentally ill: Are they or aren’t they trained?

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:02

Minister Dillon: Yes, they are

In April 2017, following the death of Raymond Joseph who was shot three times by municipal officers inside the Point Fortin Area Hospital, Fyzabad MP Lackram Bodoe had put forward an urgent question to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon about police training to treat with the mentally ill.

Dillon reportedly said officers do receive training in the matter. He was reported as saying, “Police go through different types of training at the police barracks including how to treat a mentally ill patient.”

Joseph, a 51-year-old ex-soldier from Mahaica Road, Point Fortin, was said to be well-respected within the community and relatives said he was being treated for a mental illness when a confrontation with police ended in his death.

Jennings-Smith: No, they aren’t

On May 17, 2017, the T&T Guardian carried a story by Geisha Kowlessar headlined, Cops not trained to deal with mental patients, in which Kowlessar referred to a comment from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Glenda Jennings-Smith.

The story read as follows, “Faced with perennial criticism for using excessive force in handling the mentally ill, MP for Toco/Sangre Grande, Glenda Jennings-Smith, said the police however, are not properly trained to deal with mental patients and called on the various health bodies to stop neglecting their responsibility.

“This,” the story said, “as the family of a 24-year-old man, who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer during an altercation near a Moruga bar… has called for an investigation.”

TTPS: We do not have mechanisms

On June 7, 2017, police shot and killed another mentally-ill man.

Inspector Lester Kerr was speaking at the TTPS weekly news conference following the police shooting of Damien Paul in Ste Madeleine when he reportedly announced that “the Police Service does not have the mechanisms in place to train police officers on how persons who are suffering from mental health problems in T&T, ought to be handled.”

This was less than a month after MP Glenda Jennings-Smith publicly said, “Police are not properly trained to deal with mental patients.”

Inspector Kerr was responding to media reports that told of how Paul was throwing stones at the police when he was shot and killed.

Kerr admitted that “law enforcement officers did not have the requisite skill set to treat with such cases.”

He was quoted as saying: “Well, we don’t have people trained to deal with mentally ill persons, what we would do is to contact the relevant authority if it becomes necessary but if a police officer is on any scene and they feel that their life or any other person’s life is in danger then they would act accordingly. But we are indeed saddened by any loss of life because it is not one that we really look forward to.”

Minister Moses: Police trained for all confrontations

On June 8, 2017, Power 102FM reported acting National Security Minister Dennis Moses as “assuring citizens that police officers are trained to treat with confrontation by all categories of persons including the mental ill.”

Moses, while acting as National Security Minister, responded to a question in the Senate and said, “The police are trained to treat with all categories of persons including confrontation by mentally ill persons.

Minister Moses explained that “the Police Service Academy Induction Training Programme offers training to recruits with respect to treating with mentally ill persons.”

PCA to acting CoP: Are they trained?

The PCA, in April 2018, described the killing of Colin Roopchand, 26, at his home in La Romaine, as “unfortunate” and indicated they were currently investigating the matter. Police shot and killed the man who lived with bipolar disorder and who “was acting violent and abusive towards his mother” and according to police, “he attacked them.”

The PCA called on acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to provide the public with information as it relates to the level of training provided to its members in this regard. It further called on him to give an account of the failure, if any, to provide training on treating with those who are mentally ill and who pose a threat to the public.

‘Call Tyrone’?

Following Roopchand’s killing, when contacted for comment, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams reportedly said “he did not want to speak freely on the matter. He suggested that all questions be sent to his office’s communications department.

Thereafter, he promised to respond by providing full details “as it relates to training and all other matters raised so that total clarity would be brought on the matter” (Newsday, April 7, 2018).

More to follow

—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). Write to: [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

LeShae is Caribbean’s Next Top Model

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:01

Flow Trinidad, hosted a commercial-free viewing of the season finale of Caribbean’s Next Top Model Season 4 on Wednesday, April 25. The event which was held at the Savannah Terrace, Hilton Trinidad revealed the winner of the competition to specially invited guests.

LeShae Riley, a stunning 21-year-old, 5’11” Trinidadian contestant, strutted off with this year’s coveted Caribbean’s Next Top Model (CNTM) title as Season 4 came to a nail-biting finish. The statuesque LeShae edged out 15 other contestants including Suriname’s Daphne Veldkamp in the keenly contested finals.

Flow’s director of marketing Cindy-Ann Gatt, in her address, expressed joy over the following which the show generated across the region. She was also enthusiastic about highlighting CNTM’s contribution to celebrating Caribbean women. Gatt remarked, “Flow’s interest in Caribbean’s Next Top Model was an example of how a made-for-TV-series could reflect key aspects of who we are as Caribbean women while maintaining a connection to popular culture. With unique style and flair, the show celebrates the fact that Caribbean women know how to strike a pose, show attitude and exude confidence that no other part of the world can capture.”

Caribbean’s Next Top Model is produced by Starfish Media Ltd, based on the Next Top Model format licensed by CBS Studios International. Executive producers are Dionyse Fitzwilliam, Wendy Fitzwilliam and Kiran Maharaj.

Categories: Entertainment News

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 premieres

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:52

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 got off to a fashionable start at the Magdelena Grand Resort on Thursday, April 26. Patrons got a taste of fashion from designers as Ecliff Elie, Dale Angus, Elizabeth Arthur and European diesigner Liselore Frowijn.

The evening, attended by fashion experts and guests from around the globe, was also filled with entertainment such as former Chutney Soca Monarch KI. Tobago’s own Buccooneers Steel Orchestra welcomed guests as well with the sweet strains of the steel.

Categories: Entertainment News

Gypsy to the rescue at NCC

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 01:21

For it is described, a gypsy is a “free-spirited” person and so, Mayaro-born, irrefutable Extempore King of the World, calypsonian, former Government Minister of Arts and Multiculturism and, Community

Development, former board member of the National Carnival Committee (NCC) and businessman, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, took another leap, and took-up the mantle on April 23, to serve as chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC).

Given the decades of deafening news of inefficiencies surrounding aspects of the NCC, it is hoped that chairman Gypsy’s rescue mission will see a net thrown-out salvaging what good is left in the sea and reel-in healthier catch.

To consider the post of chairman, came by way of “a call from the Prime Minister,” but “before making the decision, I consulted with my wife and other people,” stated Gypsy on the CNMG’s early-morning talk show on April 24 – a principled act that is testament…integrity, respect and teamwork lie within the chairman’s fold.

Faced with a few slightly intricate politically-mischievous, non-NCC-related questions layered-on by presenter, Rishi Harrynanan—if he’s “still a member of the UNC,” if he “feels demoted having been a Minister and now Chairman of NCC,” and how does he “feel, having served as a minister for the UNC and to be now serving under this government”—the chairman assiduously responded, while too, emphatically beseeched, “to stop politicising everything.”

He continued, “I gave-up my USA citizenship to serve T&T. “Not because one was a government minister…if you are needed as a garbage collector, then do the job.

“It’s not a demotion, it’s serving the people.

“The salary is the only thing that can be considered demoted.”

Citing his self as a “bland” person, Gypsy apprised, “I tend to my garden daily. I do not ascribe to or feed-off titles and positions, but instead, off the ability to get a job done.”

Always assertive, pressing-forward and confident, recovering well from being demeaned proves one of his strengths, as the nation should recall despite the burst and streams of toilet-paper hurled and waved at Gypsy during his rendition of Angry Land at last year’s Calypso Fiesta, he maintained composure, continued delivering with distinction, and advanced to the finals.
Reports claimed that it’s the first time a calypsonian had accomplished such a feat.

To the concerns of what he plans to do as new NCC chair, eventually made its way on the interview ladder very close to the end of the segment.

“Observing what was done, what is being done and what’s on the table to be done, is my initial focus,” says Gypsy, “then I will determine what needs to be done.

“Putting systems in place to ensure operations run smoothly like a good-working car is also priority.”

Apart from sport, the world relies heavily upon arts, entertainment and culture as a means to boost tourism and the economy, create employment, and to jell and give recognition and credence to the uniqueness of a people.

As such, the nation should be looking forward to an enriched NCC, ultimately lending well to an equally enriched and improved culture to help heal this angry land.

This is an angry land, with angry men and women.

And even little children, adding to….

You looking at angry souls, totally out of control.

Taking a dangerous toll….

With the exorbitant spike in lawlessness, it will be foolhardy of NCC to not work wisely and productively, and of adults, to not direct our young ones into healthy performance, to help steady the ship, calm the seas, and show-up worthy enough to give the NCC the impetus to tap-into the “unexplored potential of Carnival,” towards a better T&T.

Categories: Entertainment News

Use My Body on television

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 01:18

Legendary singer Mavis John keeps on winning kudos for T&T through her music. Her latest triumph is the use of her song, Use My Body, in the US TV series The Looming Tower. The song was written for John by Tony Wilson and released in 1980 on the Kalinda label.

John said she’s elated, grateful and shocked that her song has been chosen. “I accept this blessing with God’s grace. I am also very happy for the writer Tony Wilson because of all the songs I had done I never thought this one would do it. It has also taught me that you never know what people like and what their tastes are.”

The Looming Tower is an American web television series which premiered on February 28, 2018 on streaming service Hulu. It’s based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. The series traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11.

The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, DC, the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal of trying to prevent an imminent attack on US soil.

The series consists of ten episodes which aired between February 28 and April 18. The series is available on Hulu.

Use My Body is a funky dance number proclaims “we don’t have to get down just to get it on, you know how to use my body.” Also labeled as house and electronic music, the song is played in many countries worldwide and is now number 10 on the charts in Amsterdam.

John said the selection and use of her song is good for T&T. “It’s also good for the music of the country, because I’ve always had faith in what the writers have produced and the kind of music that we’ve produced.

I’m very cool and calm about it but in its own way it is a blessing. I’ll wait to see what happens with it, because like everything else it comes and it goes and you don’t know what’s going to come out of it.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Maria Nunes launches debut book: In a World of Their Own

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 01:10

In an event that was equal parts performance art presentation and formal book launch, documentary photographer, Maria Nunes celebrated the debut of her first book, In a World of Their Own: Carnival Dreamers and Makers, on Tuesday, April 24, at Big Black Box, Woodbrook.

The event mirrored the book’s veneration of traditional mas with dramatic presentations of traditional Carnival characters, including Blue Devils, a Fancy Sailor, Indian Mas and Moko Jumbies. Guests were also treated to a live performance from 3 Canal, who were accompanied by Nunes on the guitar, in a beautiful rendition of Andre Tanker’s classic tune, Smokey Joe. Smokey Joe is one of Nunes’ favourite Tanker tunes and served as inspiration for the title of her book.

In a World of Their Own features stunning photographs captured over Nunes’ decade-long career as a documentary photographer. The images offer a glimpse into the creation and performance of traditional mas from the perspective of the photographer and are complemented by the inclusion of quotes from the dreamers and makers of Carnival themselves.

Nunes, who is widely respected as a pillar of the local art community, describes the book as, “a journey through the time and place of Carnival,” and explained that the biggest reason behind her desire to publish the book was “to honour the people I have been photographing for the past ten years.”

It would seem that Nunes has succeeded in this goal. In delivering remarks at the launch, Republic Bank’s executive director, Derwin Howell, praised Nunes’ work as a record of both the formative aspects of our cultural heritage and of the immense talent of the person behind the lens.

He added that the bank’s Power to Make A Difference Programme, was “made for projects like this and for leaders like Maria who possess that ability to form powerful connections within communities with the aim of ensuring the sustainable success of our society.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Queen Elizabeth II birthday celebrated in T&T

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 00:55

British High Commissioner Tim Stew, hosted a reception to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on April 24 at his residence, Hillside 15 Beaumont Road, Maraval.

Her Majesty, who recently hosted the largest Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), has entered into her seventh decade as head of the Commonwealth, championing it and its peoples.

Representatives of government, the diplomatic corps and other specially-invited guests gathered on the evening to celebrate the occasion with the British High Commission.

In his address, the High Commissioner delivered warm greetings from the Queen to President Paula-Mae Weekes, the government and people of T&T.

Categories: Entertainment News

Participants show off tiling works at ‘Comm Dev’ classes

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 02:46

Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts recently launched its 2018 Community Education (Skills Training) and Handicraft Programmes throughout the country.

In an effort to promote and encourage continuing learning opportunities for the disadvantaged, the programme provides training in a variety of marketable skills which leads to home-based production of goods and services and employment generation, helps to reduce household expenditures and allow for the more effective use of scarce financial resources.

This programme provides education and training for the generation of sustainable employment opportunities to alleviate poverty, improve standards of living, promote equity and harmony in the society.

“The programme provides training in a variety of marketable skills which provide unemployed and under-employed people with equal opportunities to prepare themselves to compete for jobs or to develop the skills to create a sustainable self-employment initiative,” according to the ministry.

The Skills Training programme from its inception in the 1960s has targeted householders, low-income families, rural and urban poor, dropouts in the school system, the vulnerable and “at risk” in our society.

The programme is accessible to all regardless of age, gender, race, educational background, social or economic status, religion, or political persuasion.

All courses are sponsored by Community Development and are free.

Categories: Entertainment News

8 phone etiquette rules

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 02:44

Administrative Professionals Day was on April 25, but Administrative Professionals Week was observed from April 23 through April 27. One of the issues that require constant reinforcing at seminars for administrative professionals is telephone etiquette.

Too many times I have called organisations and if the receptionist did not answer the phone, a member of staff will take the call and answer with just a “hello.” Or sometimes in an open office environment, you can get distracted by someone yelling into their phone and the whole office has to listen to the conversation while trying to get work done. It is also unprofessional for a receptionist to be constantly on her phone at the front desk or taking a personal cellphone call after putting a company call on hold.

Below are eight modern phone etiquette rules that should be observed:1. Announce your name when answering a phone call. A good example is: “This is Joan Smith speaking.”

2. Speak in a quiet tone of voice. Sometimes you may unconsciously be speaking too loudly. Most importantly, you never know who may be eavesdropping on your call.

3. Be respectful when having a meeting or a meal. Answering a call tells the person you are meeting with that the person who called you is more important. Most phone software allow you to send a text message indicating that you can call them back later or that you are in a meeting. If you have to take the call, then excuse yourself.

4. Place your phone face down when in a meeting so that you are not distracted by incoming phone calls. It is a lack of respect when you have a member of staff waiting on you to finish a call. Another person’s time is just important as yours therefore, don’t waste their time.
5. In seminars and conferences, participants are asked to turn off their phones so as not to disturb the speaker or everyone in the audience. The best way to deal with this is to put one’s phone on silent. Vibrating phones can be a distraction especially if you are in the front of the podium.

6. It is only respectful to let the caller know that you are putting them on speaker phone as you would like the person in the room to join the conversation. It can be embarrassing if the caller talks about confidential information that a third party is not supposed to know.

7. Many times people don’t play their voice messages. If you are going to leave a message make it short and sweet or leave a callback number. When leaving a phone number, say it slowly and twice. It can be annoying to have to keep replaying a message just to get the information.

Be professional when recording voicemail announcements. Recommended announcements are as follows: “You have reached Jane Smith, I am unavailable to take your call, please leave your name, phone number and brief message, and I will respond as soon as I can.”

If you don’t want to give your name: “You have reached 999-9999, I am unavailable to take your call, please leave your name, phone number and brief message, and I will respond as soon as I can.” If you don’t have a professional voice, then have a friend do it for you.

8. Respect organisations’ policy on cellphone use. A lot of organisations have incorporated a cellphone policy into policy documents. The use of cellphones have been abused by some staff and they need to take heed of telephone etiquette. Practising telephone etiquette will make a difference as to how a caller is going to view you and whether they are going to do business with you. Opportunities lost, all because of a lack of telephone etiquette

Categories: Entertainment News

When dogs’ tails lose their wag

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 02:42

Acute caudal myopathy is the scientific term, but other more common slangs for the same syndrome include dead tail, swimmer’s tail, limber tail, cold tail, broken tail, sprained tail, sprung tail and broken wag, amongst others. But, what is it? Limber tail syndrome is when your dog’s tail suddenly goes limp.

Apart from being painful and physically distressing for the dog, this syndrome affects the ability of the dog to move and to communicate. Dogs use their tails for balance when walking, running and turning corners, and they use them as rudders when they are swimming so without a working tail, these simple activities become challenging for the dog. Additionally, dogs speak to us with their tails. We can read that a high, rapid tail wag is a sign of friendliness and wanting to play; an erect, rigid tail is a sign of aggression; a slowly wagging tail is a sign of anxiety or wariness; and a tail tucked between the legs is a sign of fear.

It is hard for the dog to express his emotions to us if his tail no longer wags.

Any dog can be affected by this syndrome, but it is found to be more common in breeds such as Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles, particularly if they are working dogs. Males and females are equally affected. Genetics may be at play, as dogs that suffer from limber tail are more likely to be related to each other, and reputable breeders will take this into account.

The symptoms of limber tail can vary slightly between individuals. In some cases, the tail is completely limp and just droops between the rear legs from the base; in others the first part of the tail sticks out while the rest hangs limply. The fur over the top of the tail may be raised which can be a sign of swelling underneath. Your dog may have difficulty in getting up because he needs his tail for balance. The condition is very painful, and he may whimper, whine, or lick and chew at the tail.

The cause of this condition is a sprain or strain of the muscles used to wag and support the tail. Overuse of the tail causes trauma to the bony vertebrae of the tail and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. It can look as if the tail is broken, but the damage is to the tail muscles, not to the tail bone. Dogs who develop limber tail usually have a history of recent intense physical exertion involving the tail. Swimming appears to be of the biggest risk factors because dogs use their tail in the water more than they usually do when they are on land. Other risk factors include prolonged cage transport and exposure to cold weather or very cold water. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose this syndrome by careful palpation of the tail, radiographs to rule out a fracture, and a detailed history provided by you.

The good news is that the syndrome usually resolves itself within a few days to a week. The most important aspect of treatment is rest, until the tail returns to normal. Your veterinarian may prescribe mild painkillers to ease the soreness in the tail. Never give your pet medication that has not been recommended by a veterinarian!

You can help to prevent limber tail syndrome by ensuring that your dog is not a couch-potato. Get your dog accustomed to some level of physical activity to keep the muscles flexible and toned; the exercise will also be beneficial for you.

Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2018

Categories: Entertainment News

Dance, dance, dance

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 02:40

Dancers all over the world will be celebrating International Dance Day 2018 today.

Here are some highlights from Candace Clarke Academy of Dance’s production GLORY, which was held on April 14.

“Human beings, when in sync with our creator, are the embodiment of the glory of God. We are the crowning act of his creation,” said director Candace Clarke. She said through the testimony of dance the juniors showcased their talent and inspired with their performances.

Categories: Entertainment News

Paying homage to La Divina Pastora

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 01:27

Last Sunday, the Feast of La Divina Pastora was held at the Siparia RC Church. Both venerated by Catholics and Hindus alike, La Divina Pastora  (The Divine Shepherdess), Mother Mary or, for the Hindu faith, is a manifestation of the Goddess Kali, Durga, Lakshmi as Siparee/Supari Mai (Mother of Siparia).

This is the second of the two Black Madonnas in Trinidad, the other being in Tortuga, at Our Lady of Monsterrat. Many devotees, both Catholics and Hindus, attribute miracles to this statue, with many coming with their prayer requests while touching her garments.

After the mass is performed, the statue is taken out for a street procession in the vicinity of the church.

Categories: Entertainment News

Block and Blue in art

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 00:42

How do we relate to the objects around us? Why do we keep some as precious and throw others away? Artist Shane Mohammed explores some of these ideas in the art he will be exhibiting in Block and Blue, his exhibition at the gallery The Frame Shop, A Space Inna Space from April 28 to May 12.

Mohammed uses everyday objects embedded in concrete blocks to reflect on the environment around him. “The objects I collect range from the everyday plastic bottle to the inner workings of an antique clock and everything in between. We all collect and value these objects, whether as heirlooms or the everyday meals we have. It’s a lifetime of collecting objects, using them, displacing them, storing them, putting them on the top shelf or below the sink and just sometimes disposing of them. That to me was quite interesting that we would take this sort of colour and form and texture and dispersed it within the environment, contributing to pollution, etc.”

Saying that he began looking at these objects as substitutes for paints while studying at the UWI, St Augustine, Mohammed said: “I wanted to tackle the ideas of painting itself, what painting meant to the Caribbean and to Trinidad. In a bold move, I just decided to take that object and paint with it and use it as a paint and work with it from there.”

He said he did not initially begin working with concrete, but with a series of different adhesives. “It went from being pigment to being adhered together, first with resin then glass and grout. When testing concrete, it seemed to have this idea that whenever it’s locked into that concrete block you can’t really tell what could be inside and what could be outside.

“I wanted to develop that and build that. The outside of the blocks would have certain things that I allowed to show and certain things on the inside would have this aspect of, the deeper you look into it you still wouldn’t be able to figure out what was really inside. It’s the idea of the unknown, what is really seen and what is unseen and what is not seen.”

Mohammed said the blue collection is a series of 20 pieces which he defines as “constructs based on unconventional and intuitive contemporary practices and guidelines of creating while considering traditional elements and principles of art. It is reliant on process whether it be searching for a specific colour or form, the concept of an unintentional colour, audience and self interaction and connection to the objects.”

Mohammed said he sees the project as a type of recycling in that he’s repurposing them and taking them out of the environment. “In a sense it is me living and working to obtain the objects and then using the very same objects to make a living to then use that living to buy objects or gather objects to make a living to buy more objects.”

Mohammed emphasised that this work is for private showing and not for sale, as many of the objects he uses, although they were disposed of, are examples of intellectual property. He said the work was “not intended to harm or represent any of the individual companies in a bad way but more of a reflection on the objects around me.”

Many of the objects used in the current exhibition were recycled from previous shows, as Mohammed said he was reluctant to get rid of them. “They were first created at a point in time where I had a mental block of knowing what to do with the vast collection of objects I possessed and issues regarding their importance and storage. It stemmed from a sort of mental state of not knowing what to do with the objects, and trying to represent it in a physical state while also not knowing what’s inside of the block or what the block is about. After I took all that down from the museum I didn’t want to dispose of it because I would be not only losing something valuable that I had put a lot of meaning into and that had a lot of meaning built into it, so I decided to build on that and to let the work continue into what it’s going to become next.”

Admission is free. The exhibition begins today from 4 to 7 pm and then runs during normal gallery hours until May 12.

For more info, find Shane Hanson Studios on Facebook.

Categories: Entertainment News

JA students transform Woodford Square into lively marketplace

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 00:35

Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, was transformed into a lively marketplace as hundreds of students attached to Junior Achievement (JA) offered a wide variety of products for sale at the organisation’s 2018 annual Trade Fair on April 13.

Representing 33 companies, the students represented secondary schools from across Trinidad who participated in Junior Achievement, T&T’s after-school JA Company Programme, the organisation’s signature youth development initiative.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance. We faced many challenges in forming our company and getting to the stage where we are offering quality products for sale,” said Delilah Mohammed-Khan, president of Big Money Productions, one of several companies sponsored by platinum sponsor, bpTT.

A student of ASJA Girls High School, Tunapuna, Mohammed-Khan said the experience has given her and her colleagues greater self-confidence and taught them the benefits of business enterprise. “Today is not Black Friday. It is Great Friday,” she added, with a wide smile.

Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations adviser, bpTT, challenged the young entrepreneurs to use the JA experience as a driving force in determining their future.

“We are witnessing hundreds of young people engaged in productive activity this morning. Junior Achievement has done a remarkable job of preparing you for the future and I urge you to grasp it with both hands. I want you to consider a future as an entrepreneur where you are your own boss, directing and charting your own future. Instead of looking for a job, be in a position to offer a job,” Primus told the students.

Recalling that Woodford Square had witnessed many epoch-making events in the country’s history, Primus exhorted the young achievers to make their own mark on its landscape by taking the first steps to become future entrepreneurs.

JA executive director, J Errol Lewis, recounted the history of Junior Achievement in T&T, starting in 1970 with the very first trade fair.

“Who wants to get a job when you can create your own employment? Take this opportunity to consider seriously the option of becoming your own boss and creating employment for others,” he said.

The JA executive thanked bpTT for its long-standing partnership with the organisation in its youth development initiative.

He also lauded the support of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business which facilitated training courses in business operations, and Dawn Richards and Company for giving the students insights in customer service.

Items peddled by the JA young entrepreneurs included hand-crafted products such as printed tee-shirts, wrist and hand bands, earrings, bracelets, chains and necklaces made of beads, souvenir buttons, designer bandanas, mugs and glasses, cushions, pastries and plants.

Categories: Entertainment News

Charli Griffith hosts This is Me on May 6

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 01:33

On May 6, Charlene “Charli” Griffith embarks on her first solo tour—This is Me—which places the spotlight on her compositions and arrangements to music that influenced her style. Griffith was a well-known name in the T&T music circuit in the early 90s.

Under her performance name Charli Griffith, she was part of the sister duet 2Ntrigue, the young, hot R&B singers who created a signature sound fusing soca with their R&B soul. Charli was also a frontline singer with the soca band Traffik Plus and has also represented T&T in the US, France, Spain and Cuba.

“It’s something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I decided to go full speed ahead and just do it,” she said. “It’s a bit scary because I am the one producing the show but at the same time, it’s exciting because I am finally giving my dream life.”

One of the highlights in the first stop of her tour, at Central Bank Auditorium, is the launch of her first composition Blind Faith. The song relates to Griffith’s inner strength to overcome a traumatic period in her life.

The music video, produced by Digital Film Institute will be premiered at the concert.

“Blind Faith is so different from the other songs I have sung. But it’s a chapter in my life that needed to be written and at the same time, needs to be heard. It was an opportunity to create that peaceful space,” said Griffith.

Guest performers for This Is Me include Jamelody and upcoming artiste Donovan Withfield. Tickets are currently available at 212 - West Mall, Westmoorings and its downtown location at Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain.

Categories: Entertainment News

Choka Fest offers taste of Middle East

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 05:59

ASJA Boys’ College, San Fernando, in conjunction with its’ Parent Teacher Association, will be hosting their 14th Annual Choka Fest at the school on Saturday, April 28, at 4 pm.

PTA president Selvon Ramroop said, “This year, our themed event will take you on a Taste of the Middle East where you can enjoy the savoury dishes as well as tempting Arabian desserts like the Basbousa, while sitting in a transformed setting.”

A group of dedicated and committed parents, who constitute the PTA, takes the time from their busy schedules to support the teachers and the school’s administration led by principal Alim Ali.

Ramroop said, “This is the flagship fundraising venture of the PTA and proceeds are used to assist the school in pursuing and acquiring additional resources aimed at ensuring the development of the school.”

As one of the school’s major fund-raising events, Choka Fest was introduced in 2004 by Ramroop. It consists of a variety of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes such as aloo,  tomatoes, bhaigan, eddoes, dasheen bhagi, salt fish buljol and the ever popular fish choka prepared in various culinary styles.

Over the years, the Choka Fest has evolved by adding a variety of desserts to choose from, an enhanced ambience where one can sit and enjoy their meal while being entertained by live entertainment or simply enjoying a cup of tea or coffee in a friendly atmosphere.

Ramroop extended thanks to the sponsors who over the yearshave continued to support Choka Fest and other events at ASJA Boys’ College.


For additional information or to assist, contact ASJA Boys’ College (657- 8373) and, or PTA Secretary (390-7368).

Categories: Entertainment News


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