Patrick Arnold -
President of Pan Trinbago
When Steel Talks
(WST) caught up with Patrick
Arnold, the president of Pan
Trinbago - the governing organization of all maters
related to steelpan in Trinidad and Tobago - as he discussed
the special plans for the 2007 panorama and carnival.
In addition, Mr. Arnold shares his views on the recent
removal of the steelpan image from the soon-to-be-launched
air carrier, Caribbean
2007 steelband panorama semi-finals will be held at the
Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) in Port-of-Spain
and the finals, at
Skinner Park, San Fernando.
The latter was the venue for the
2006 National finals for steel orchestras in the small
The western end of the QPS, near the
paved paddock area is the venue set for construction of the
staging area for the 2007
National Panorama semi-finals. Construction is expected to
get underway shortly to erect the temporary
stage and seating structures. Arnold said that seating
accommodation would probably not match the capacity of the
Grand Stand and North Stand, and there would be a lot of
people 'on the grounds.'
UDeCOTT (Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and
Tobago Limited) plays a role in pulling the entire plan
Exclusive Interview with the president of Pan Trinbago
Arnold indicated that with the
semi-finals of the national panorama competition fielding
some sixty-odd steel orchestras combined, in the small, medium and
large categories, it also draws the largest crowd of pan
enthusiasts, and the Jean Pierre Complex would not be able
to handle the tens of thousands who always attend. The same
would hold true if they attempted to hold the competition
'in the streets.' The stage is being set at Skinner
Park in San Fernando, south Trinidad, for the grand finale
celebration of the National Panorama Finals.
The decision by the
Trinidad and Tobago government to proceed with the
demolition of the Grand Stand at the QPS also means that the
carnival parade of bands and other related events of the
season usually held at 'the Big Yard,' will now be outside the savannah
facilities. The carnival pre-shows such as the calypso
competitions, etc. will most probably take place at
the Jean Pierre Complex.
Asked about the prize purses up for
grabs in the 2007 National Panorama competition, Arnold said
that Pan Trinbago had not yet received a response to the
budget submitted by the organization, but anticipates that some news
would be forthcoming as early as 'next week.' He
explained that the NCC (National Carnival Commission) usually
receives the funds, and from those then the allocation set
aside for Panorama activities is
known. "We never get what we ask for" said Arnold,
adding that usually it is a 'fight' to get sufficient
is an ongoing controversy about the non-appearance of the
steelpan logo on the new carrier, Caribbean Airlines.
The pan took pride of place
on the underbelly and tail on the fleet of the outgoing
national carrier, BWIA. Arnold said that Pan Trinbago
only saw the [new Caribbean Airlines] plane when it came in,
and they immediately contacted the government, which,
according to Arnold is the major - if not the only -
shareholder in Caribbean Airlines.
Trinidad and Tobago government is
pumping a lot of money into Caribbean Airlines"
Arnold continued. He noted
as examples, that other countries, such as Jamaica had their
airline called Air Jamaica, and Japan- Japan Airlines, but
that previously the country's airline was afflicted with
improper branding, and called BWIA - British West Indian
Airways, which did not represent Trinidad and Tobago, and
now 'they are Caribbean Airlines.' He explained that
with other countries, it was apparent where the
major interests lay with their air carriers.
"The humming bird [the new logo
on Caribbean Airlines] is not peculiar to
Trinidad & Tobago, or the Caribbean" said Arnold; [there are
at least sixteen species of humming birds
North America alone, and
many more in other countries].
He believes that the pan should be
included on the new Caribbean Airlines, but says that Pan
Trinbago does not know if the other aircraft in the fleet
still to be delivered, will sport the steelpan. "They
need to put the pan back on the plane." Arnold declared.
"The pan would be more suitable for representing the
Caribbean countries, especially Trinidad and Tobago; not
only the other Caribbean islands, but the whole world, in
fact, have adopted the steelpan instrument," so Arnold 'does
not see how the humming bird can take the place of the pan
[as a logo for Caribbean Airlines]."
made reference to Invaders Steel Orchestra in Trinidad,
formerly BWIA Invaders Steel Orchestra, now known as
Caribbean Airlines Invaders Steel Orchestra. Arnold feels
that the government should continue in this vein, and as
they kept the sponsorship for Invaders, should also keep the
pan on their planes.
Plans are also in motion for the
upcoming World Steelband Music Festival (WSMF). The
was held at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2005. Pan
Trinbago's president said that the next WSMF is scheduled for
June 17, 2007 in Miami, Florida, USA.
will keep abreast of steelpan matters
in the land of the steelpan, Trinidad & Tobago, including
the 2007 panorama, and the WSMF.