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Winston Peters, Chairman of the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago (NCC).

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On the eve of Carnival Monday, also Valentine’s Day, the National Carnival Commission (NCC), virtually launched yesterday the website: www.tntcarnivalworld.com—a virtual interactive platform of all things T&T Carnival.

Of the historic digital venture, in delivering his address, NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said the website was NCC’s “gift of love” to T&T and the world.

“We love Carnival so much that we are each committed to not sit idly by as a golden opportunity awaited. That opportunity, ladies and gentleman is tntcarnivalworld.com. It’s our gift to the nation and to the world. It is our gift of love,” Peters said.

Giving an illustration of what the streets of T&T would normally look like during the two-day Carnival Band Parade and the cultural events that would usher in the greatest show on earth, Peters said that cultural feast of expression that made T&T the envy of the world was now in a time of the past, but also in a time of hope for the immediate future.

“Sadly we deal with that time now, but just like a time of the past and a time to come. The time of now has to be about love. Because it is love that has brought us here today,” Peters noted.

A multimedia demonstration of what the website looked like and what it encompassed was done by technologist Akhenaton La Borde, who walked those in attendance through its digital experience presented to its users in virtual and standard forms.

On the website, traditional Carnival characters—a Fancy Sailor and Pierrot Grenade, greet users and guides them through its experiential offerings—The Carnival Museum, Events, and Attractions. It was explained; the Events realm was created for live performances inclusive of a live stream for Dimanche Gras.

Users of the website will also have the chance to learn all about T&T’s Carnival history from the pre to post-emancipation period. Pioneering culturists in the form of calypsonians, pannists, and mas maskers would also be among the historical journey found on the website.

All of what the website would entail was not revealed yesterday as La Borde said the content was quite a lot.

However, he said the website will practice updating its virtual material every two to three days. It was also revealed a private sharing of the full website would be hosted for the media.

Peters, who congratulated the 2021 International Soca Monarch winner, Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry, and hailed both the International Chutney Soca and Extempo competitions, thanked the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and all Carnival stakeholders for their signature efforts for making Carnival a success even during the pandemic.

“We have managed to work together, aligned our efforts and resources to give the people of this nation and around the world another way to show their love,” said Peters.

Listing some of the venture’s sponsors, he said the effort was not one that could have been endured by any one organisation or group in particular, but one successful only through collaborative means.

Peters said when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that Carnival 2021 would be canceled, even though it was a bitter pill for many to swallow, it was and will always be the right decision and history would testify to that.

Speaking on the historical virtual endeavour, he said NCC could not in good conscience present something to the people that would contravene the collective effort to keep the nation’s people safe in a dangerous time, as this would have been sheer irresponsibility.

“Tntcarnivalworld.com is part of our collective step today, to secure a future for Carnival that we all want to see. It forms part of the future that we can all share safely, healthily, and responsibly,” Peters said..

He said while the country missed the traditional environment of Carnival celebrations, its ‘Trinbago’ spirit and rhythm in the hearts of the nation’s people could not be diminished nor extinguished by any pandemic.

Peter’s disclosed the digital platform’s archives and reflections were not one-off events to entertain and dull the pain of missing Carnival 2021. Rather they form part of the future; NCC was proud and privileged to lead.

“Together with our sponsors, supporters, and advocates, this 2021, we are giving the people something they can look at as they look back and as they look ahead, “he said.

Peters said NCC was also in the planning stage for Carnival 2022.

“I can assure you that from NCC’s standpoint, we are going to have one of the best carnivals that you have ever seen in Trinidad and Tobago.”

He said in 2020, the NCC spoke of increasing the visitor-ship to the island during Carnival by ten per cent but in 2022, should all go well placing a handle on the pandemic, it has all the intentions of increasing that visitor-ship by 20 per cent.