Joey Harrynanan, director of the Sanfest National Junior Arts Festival, has made a clarion call for physical and financial assistance with the junior arts festival.
This year marks the 53rd edition of the festival which is open to primary and secondary school students across T&T.
In his address at the recent Young Stars Talent Competition finals at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, Harrynanan appealed for volunteers for the annual junior arts production.
“The future is safe and strong and in good hands with these young and upcoming stars. I want to beg a lot, Sanfest is a labour of love for the arts and it would be remiss of me not to try to secure some help,” he said.
“We are in need of volunteers. You can reach out to us and let us recover from where we are to where we are supposed to be. We are indeed serious about sponsorship, it is money that makes things happen often times. There is room for improvement, it is underfunded. NGC continues to invest and we want to encourage our sponsors to put a little more. Be a little more generous.
“As we recover from COVID-19 we have seen an increase in participation this year by 200 per cent.”
Chief judge Sheldon Scope applauded the festival committee and the young competitors for being brave and stepping up to the challenge of the competition.
He said, like most things, training is the secret to perfection. Scope said for most participants the Q&A segment can be intimidating but with training, it all comes together.
From a field of 15 primary and secondary school finalists, 11-year-old Jaevan Harrington, of Avocat Vedic School, emerged as this year’s young star winner.
In the Q&A segment, Harrington said the message he hopes to convey during his performances is happiness and joy as he experiences when he is on stage.
Harrington was a crowd favourite from the moment he sang the first line of Never Enough from the musical The Greatest Showman.
Placing second and third were Avery Seepersad, also of Avocat Vedic School, who did a monologue, Ole Ways, and Arisa Rajan, of Naparima Girls’ High School, with her rendition of Climb Every Mountain.
In the special award category for social media presence, Seepersad and Jennika George shared the accolades.
The prize giving for the festival will be held at the Creative Arts Centre, San Fernando, on December 1.