Feature Address – Mentoring by the Masters Awards Ceremony

Presented by:

Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly

Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts


Six wonderful weeks of learning and participation culminates here, this evening, at the 5th Awards Ceremony of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme.

This signature event where we at the Ministry recognize and celebrate the achievements of our local pioneers in culture and the arts who are also mentors of this programme.

Please join with me in acknowledging the 2017 Mentors:

  • Lionel Jagessar Snr. – Fancy Indian Mas;
  • Rosalind Gabriel – Children’s Mas;
  • Patricia Mc Leod – Ifa/Orisa Traditions;
  • Simeon Sandiford – Aspects of Music Production and the Business of Music;
  • Sharon Pitt – Professional Development in Broadcasting

Let us give them a round of applause.

The Mentoring by the Masters Programme is one of the initiatives that seamlessly fits into the Ministry’s objective to use the creative sector to enhance the development of communities and nurture the emerging artists of Trinidad and Tobago. It neatly aligns with Government’s vision for culture and the arts by:

  • enhancing commercial viability in creative enterprises and cultural practitioners
  • professionalizing the cultural sector, and
  • Promoting and encouraging world-class standards in culture and the arts.

In order to be successful globally in the Creative and Cultural Industries, there must be a combination of abilities and skills for effective operation within the sector. Therefore, specialised training, skills enhancement and the creation of mentoring and networking opportunities, through programmes such as Mentoring by the Masters, are critical in aiding new entrepreneurs and cultural workers in the industry.  Additionally, it ensures that our legacy as a people will live on for future generations.

To this end, the Ministry is pursuing actively initiatives and programmes which can bolster our creative industries. Some examples include creating and maintaining a comprehensive cultural and creative database via the Artist Registry, the hosting of CARIFESTA 14 (XIV) in Trinidad and Tobago in 2019, the revitalization of the craft industry, building our cultural heritage through the enhancement of the well known and loved Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition and the annual cultural and technical camps to name a few.

The combination of cultural and technical skills acquired through these programmes represent a holistic approach to community and cultural development.

For this year’s programme, the participants through the various workshops were able to obtain the experience of hands-on transfer of knowledge from their Mentors. The discussions and practical experience in the workshop sessions resulted in several exhibitions which you may have been privy to.

After these enriching experiences I am sure our mentees have now discovered a range of skill sets within themselves which they can now use to greater advantage.

Mentees, I am certain you realized during the programme that you were being mentored by a crop of our best, local cultural entrepreneurs. I am sure that they would given you the benefit of practical advice gleaned over many years of experience- information that you could have never learnt in a textbook. We know you will utilize the seeds of knowledge gained from this experience and add to it the water of commitment, the fertilizer of tenacity, and the sunlight of hard work to yield a beautiful fruit- a bountiful cultural harvest; well worth the Government’s and your own personal investment.

For those mentees who are now discovering your innate talent, always remember that the creativity you have been blessed with is a powerful tool that many would have liked to possess. Cherish it and nurture it.

So to all mentees, I commend you for taking this journey with us. I am sure it would have contributed significantly to not only the enhancement of your technical capacity, but the awareness of the valuable contribution you can make to your nation and by extension the region.

To the mentors and guest practitioners, I thank you for partnering with the Ministry and sharing your knowledge, expertise and time with the future generation. Your efforts will reverberate through the local creative and cultural industry as we continue to build culturally rich, resilient communities.

I thank you.