Covid-19 is no match for Tobago’s annual Heritage Festival and its ten candidates vying for the ultimate title of Miss Tobago Heritage Personality 2020.

The 33-year-old festival has adapted quickly to the changing environment and has been one of the first large-scale local cultural programmes to go 100 per cent digital, as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.

It runs over a four-week period on social media and mainstream media. The third instalment is today.

The contestants had a new element this year—a village project, where they documented a selected feature of their home area, using video, audio, literature, performance or entertainment to tell its story, reflecting the theme, “Tracing Legacies”.

Miss Tobago Heritage Personality 2020 is about growth, development and cultural/community connectivity.

The episodes also featured performances on extempo, dance/movement, spoken word and calypso.

Chairman of the Festivals Commission Dr Denyse Tsoiafatt-Angus said: “This pushed us to think outside the traditional box. Our team reacted quickly, in light of today’s events. We have not compromised on quality, and there were savings as we went digital.”

Tsoiafatt-Angus also pointed out that the engagement with younger viewers was also satisfying to see this year.

She added: “The benefits of social media and the feedback from the younger viewers was a signal that we are going in the right direction. Who knows where all the Covid-19 challenges will take us?

“This virtual format also allows the commission to share Heritage offerings with global viewers—a more diverse live audience for future events.

“Hopefully, through the development and capacity training offered in the preparation for this event, we would have assisted the contestants for a future that is unpredictable, as it is full of opportunities.

“As we celebrate the power and determination of our next generation of Tobago women, we can do anything—and that’s a key message for all young women. No profession or skill is closed to women today; we can do anything.

“Look at Tobago now, where the highest elected political offices on the island are held by women.”

The ten Miss Tobago Heritage Personality 2020 hopefuls are Aleah Holder of Roxborough; Alliyah Sandy of Scarborough/De Kulture Klub Ensemble; Davina Nelson of Les Coteaux; Jeri-Ann Sterling of Argyle; Karicia Morrison of Delicia’s Dance Agency; Kezia Sandy of Mt Grace; Khandelle Smith of Rhythmic Vibrations; Maiah Craig-Charles of Carnbee/Mt Pleasant; Shaquan Alleyne of Mt St George Police Youth Club; and Tiffany Quashie-Williams of Mason Hall Village Council Folk Performers.

Judges for the talent segment included cultural practitioners Karen Berkley-Charles and Ameika Louis, musician Carryl Warner, cultural icon Miriam Scott and Miss Tobago Heritage Personality 2009 Kimmi Potts. The categories for judging included performance/skill, communication/content, costuming, creativity and relevance to theme.

The digital four-episode journey continues tonight, where viewers can look forward to the evening gown presentation. It premieres at 8 p.m., and airs on social media on the Tobago Festivals Commission Ltd page, as well as TTT Live Online. The episode will also air on Tobago Channel 5—both on social media and television.

The final episode, where the Miss Tobago Heritage Personality 2020 will be crowned, will premiere on September 19. This episode will be shown on all three social media pages previously mentioned, as well as on Tobago Channel 5 at 8 p.m. and on national television, via TTT, at 8.35 p.m.

More information on all Heritage 2020 activities can be found on the commission’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube social pages, via the handle @tobagofestivals.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Gift for life Foundation (GFLF) continues to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic. Christmas 2020 and January 2021 thus far were no different.

Even though there was a drop in donations, there was a dramatic increase in demands. The foundation’s finances were very uncertain, but sincere gratitude goes out to loyal supporters of the foundation. The generosity of supporters and corporate sponsors has been heartwarming and has given the group hope that it will always be able to reach out to many needy families and children.

“Longevity is not about a hit; longevity is about the act of putting out something with substance and then you don’t need to say much after.”

So said soca stalwart Shurwayne Winchester to thousands of eager fans logged on to his live virtual concert stream on Sunday.

D Piano Girl Johanna is best known for her soca piano instrumentals—which she continues to create. But fans of the classically trained pianist are revelling in her latest original composition, “Stargaze”, which is a mix of classical and contemporary with some trap music elements. The music video is unlike anything that has been done previously. It was filmed on location at the historic Chaguaramas Tracking Station.