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TOT Revving Up for 40th Anniversary Year

Big Opening Show Slated for Saturday

TOT Manager, Cecil Charles
TOT Manager, Cecil Charles

As the Kaiso Train prepares to roll out for another season, the Take Over Tent [TOT] took the lead to provide an update on their schedule of events for the year.

At a media launch, last Wednesday, TOT Manager Cecil Charles said the artistes are all revved up and rearing to go as TOT gets set to observe its 40th anniversary year.

Since its inception in 1983, TOT has grown by leaps and bounds with the membership now including some junior artistes in its fold.

He noted that apart from being a front-line calypso tent and top contender in the ranks – TOT is also cognizant of its social corporate responsibility to the community.

In that context, TOT has been in a long-standing partnership with the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre and intends to continue along that path.

One of TOT’s biggest undertakings this year, is to solicit funds to assist the FRC with its rebuilding project. The FRC building, located at Mt. Pleasant, in Castries, was gutted down by fire a few years ago.

Interestingly, the two entities – FRC and TOT, both observe milestone anniversary celebrations this year.

Charles disclosed that part of the funds from the gate receipts will be donated to the FRC. He appealed to the public to help support this worthy cause in the rebuilding process to allow the institution to continue making strides with its work in the preservation and documentation of Saint Lucia’s thriving cultural heritage.

Over the years, the FRC has been instrumental with the publication of an annual Lucian Kaiso Magazine at the completion of each season.

Charles said TOT has gone all the way to ensure their participation for the season is on target, “so that persons who are with us, when they set their foot on stage, come our first shows that they are well prepared”.

“This year …we have focused on our theme: Blending Youth with Experience 2023 and beyond,” he added.

Charles said, though some people may perceive that “calypso is dying”, nonetheless, due to the number of “young persons that have come forward, it tells us that calypso will never die.”

He noted that several young people had entered the calypso arena lately, and last year’s Kaiso Monarch is one of the youngest artistes to win the crown.

Interestingly, emcee for the event, media practitioner and communications officer at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Miguel Fevrier is a newcomer to the TOT unit and will be competing under the sobriquet “Mighty Bootoo”.

FRC Chairman, Embert Charles
FRC Chairman, Embert Charles

FRC Chairman Embert Charles also had a say in laying the foundation for the calypso art form to develop and thrive.

He acknowledged the collaboration between the FRC and TOT, which he says, is important to allow for the documentation of calypso music for posterity. The FRC chairman urged young artistes and other enthusiasts in the calypso arena to take the business of calypso writing and singing seriously, since there may be rewards down the line.

Embert Charles disclosed that the FRC is in a rebuilding mode, as the entity creates design plans for the new structure.

He said the plan entails creating an area at Mt Pleasant, where “other than for research, library and documentation and our production studio that we can have shows there, tents can be held there” and to accommodate that kind of cultural and entertainment atmosphere.

And as the FRC prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Charles stated: “We will be producing a version of Lucian Kaiso…and this has become a highly quoted publication, because of the significance of the information in there.”

[By Reginald Andrew]

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