Plans to commemorate the 50th season of the Calypso Revue next year were announced at a breakfast/media launch at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Chairman of the tent's management committee Michael Osouna (Sugar Aloes) said a permanent home was being sought for the iconic calypso tent. He said: "We are not just looking for a building or land to build a building. "We are trying to establish a space where we can create the Revue into a tourist attraction, a place where researchers can find information on the Grand Master (the late Kitchener), on Dr Calliste, on the Mighty Bomber, on Lord Cristo, and on all members of the Revue. "Within that space, we will operate our annual calypso shows but throughout the year we will use the space to create revenue to have a functional, operating venue seven days a week, 12 months of the year where we can also offer full-time employment opportunities to our cast and members of the wider community. "In other words, we will be trying to diversify the functional capabilities of the Calypso Revue tent."
To realise this "ambitious dream," Osouna said he was pleading with Government agencies, the financial sector, and cultural activists to lend their support. He said: "Let us approach this project as a national agenda item. "Let us work to achieve a goal that will certainly redound to the benefit of all citizens of this nation. Let us preserve and globalise the national icon that is the Revue tent, a status it so richly deserves." Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal, a special guest at the event, in his remarks endorsed the idea, promising to talk with the Commissioner of State Lands and the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism to ensure the goal was achieved and "the Revue would have a year-round home." Observing that the tent's golden anniversary coincided with the nation's celebration of its 50th anniversary, the minister said it was a significant milestone in the lives of both entities, and given the important watchdog role the calypsonian had always played in the society, encouraged one to ponder on "what would have been the history of Trinidad and Tobago without the Revue."
The Revue's celebratory activities are scheduled to begin with an inter-faith service in October, followed by a black-tie dinner to pay tribute to all who had been associated with the tent over the past 50 years. Also planned are an anniversary magazine, radio programmes that begin next month, four regional concerts, a car raffle, retro night concert next February 1, and a three-year scholarship to be awarded to a young person for accessing at the start of the school year in September 2014. Calypsonian and chair of the Academy of Arts, Letters and Public Affairs at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) Dr Hollis Liverpool (Chalkdust) gave an historical account of the Calypso Revue, its founders and managers. Councillor Diane Boucaud, of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation, brought greetings on behalf of Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing. President of Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Lutalo Masimba (Brother Resistance) delivered a brief address and Relator (Willard Harris) provided entertainment. The event was hosted by the Revue's marketing manager Rudolph Ottley. Also present were Laventille/Morvant MP Donna Cox and Carib Brewery's Colin Murray.