Only seven Carnival band designers have ever scored a hat-trick in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival and “Big Mike” Antoine has the distinction of being one of the them. The others are the late George Bailey, Harold Saldenah and Wayne Berkeley, Stephen Lee Heung, Peter Minshall and Brian Mac Farlane.
Antoine was very much in his element last Saturday night when he launched his Carnival 2013 presentation, From Trinbago to Rio, at Katalyst in St Clair. In a special showing of the mas, Antoine presented 15 sections to specially invited guests in the VIP room of the Gray Street venue, prior to a midnight public launch downstairs.
Before this showing, emcee for the evening NCDF Chairman Mahindra Satram Maharaj spoke volumes of Antoine’s artistic prowess and successes in mas, at home and internationally. The gathering was also addressed by Minister of Works Emmanuel George, a former disc jockey (DJ Hurricane George) who spoke of the many years he’d known Antoine, alluding to the designer’s skills on the dance floor during the disco era.
Among the dignitaries at the preview were Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister & Head of the Public Service Reynold Cooper; Consul to the Philippines Marie Advani, and her husband Kishore Advani; Charge d'Affaires French Embassy Alain Galaup; Member of Parliament Donna Cox; former Chief Justice Michael de la Bastide; Spice director Jean Pierre Pouchet; Showtime Trinidad bandleader Godfrey Enile; and, former International Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester. Arts & Muliculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas, and his wife, Dr Diane Douglas, attended the showing downstairs.
Of the 15 sections of From Trinbago to Rio, the one which created the biggest buzz among guests was Tobago Wedding, a beautiful red and white, lacy number. Other sections unveiled were True Trini, Amazonia, Copacabana Blue, Mocha & Cream, Pink Clover, Galo da Madrugada, Girl from Ipanema, Olympia, Cariocas, Yawanawah Dancers, Gypsy, Carnavale, Samba Rhythms and the special Strong Men & Rude Girls section named Spirit of the Sambadrum.