Trinidad and Tobago
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New Carnival Bands Association board in place


Mark Ayen, designer of Dirty Medics J’Ouvert Band, during the band’s launch for obago Carnival at Johnny Q Pub House, Gulf City Mall, Lowlands on August 13, 2022. – File photo/David Reid

A new TT Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) board of directors was elected on May 5 and Dirty Medics bandleader Mark Ayen, 30, is its new president.

In a phone interview on Monday, Ayen said he is elated and excited. He said he is the youngest to take that role but that was not going to bar him from anything.

Ayen said he welcomed the position with open arms and mind.

“Our Carnival is developing and I believe I can be that…bridge between what we knew Carnival to be (and) the contemporary atmosphere.”

He intends to look at infrastructure, policy and all that falls within his jurisdiction as president to advance the Carnival and meet the needs of the contemporary masquerader.

Ayen said Carnival is a thriving industry and Trinidad and Tobago’s status as the Carnival mecca must be maintained.

“I would be heavily involved and pushing that agenda moving forward,” he added.

Dirty Medics Carnival Group includes a J’Ouvert band and a children’s band.

Ayen said he planned to meet with various Carnival stakeholders because there were things he planned to look at as CBA head, such as route development and competitions the organisation was in charge of in the past.

“We would be able to provide that level of support, guidance and expertise to be able to assist in the development.

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“I am open to working with anyone who is willing to advance or better the TT Carnival product,” he added.

Ayen was elected with unanimous support, a May 19 press release said. He was previously the organisation’s PRO.

The new board is composed of former president Rosalind Gabriel as its vice president, Tribe Group’s creative director Valmiki Maharaj as its PRO and Stefano Marcano, Joanne Thompson, Tara Bishop and Varma Leo Lakhan as elected members.

“The board is currently in stakeholder meetings mapping the way forward and the road toward Carnival 2024,” a release said.