On June 8th Carnival groups joined us at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts to celebrate their achievements and reward artistic individuality and learning through carnival arts. Everyone was welcomed to the event by Tola Dabiri, MD of UKCCA who spoke about the importance of carnival and carnival arts in promoting community cohesion, celebrating diversity and encouraging learning amongst the young people of Luton.
Learning Through Carnival
Jo Hudson-Lett then took to the stage to present the Awards - the first being Outstanding Learning Through Carnival. The schools in this category are leading the way in carnival arts in education. Their dedication to the arts form is above and beyond expectations so it was a pleasure to present this award to Denbeigh Primary School, Southfields Primary School and Whitfield & Chantry Primary Academies for their efforts.
This was followed by the award for the Best Schools Performance. Denbeigh Primary School won this award. Their theme for this year was celebrating of elements - Earth, wind, fire and water.
Best Children’s Performance was presented to the children who took part in the Visually Impaired Peoples Social Club (V.I.P) parade group - many of them appearing as munchkins with hand made lollipops!
The Best Youth Performance award was given to Warriorz dance troup for their amazing moves. The group also entertained everyone at the Awards event with an on stage performance which got the crowd partying!
The final children's award - First Steps In Carnival - was awarded to three of the smallest carnival participants this year. Casey Spencer from Lost in Paradise, Mya McNeil of the Visually Impaired People Social Club (V.I.P’s) group and Ariah Barnett from Scandalous.
Best Newcomer Award
First place for the best newcomer award was Clouds Of Blessings, who took part in Carnival for the first time this year. Group leader Sarah Salim wanted to demonstrate that Luton International Carnival is for everyone. The group delivered both creative and performing arts, in a beautiful dance performance and dreamy costumes.
Best Adult Performance Award went to St Kitts, Nevis & Friends Carnival group for their imaginative and gravity defying costumes under the themes "Hat's Off to the Windrush Generation", which sought to celebrate both the Windrush generation and Luton's Hat industry. Best Float Award was won by the Visually Impaired People Social Club (V.I.P’s) for their over the rainbow themed vehicle. Outstanding Spirit of Carnival, presented by Artistic Director Clary Salandy, went to Amell Lee-Lewis of Scandalous. Outstanding Contribution to Carnival Award was presented jointly to Reka Patyi of Made in Hungary and Raj Palmer from OM Group.
Crystals Reflecting Life
The Most Outstanding Costume in Carnival Award was presented by Tola Dabiri, and awarded to Maureen Scarlett of the Luton Sickle Cell & Thalassemia mas group. Sickle Cell & Thalassemia Care Forum are celebrating their 15 year anniversary which is Crystal. Her Queen Costume was named "Reflection of Life". Crystals are not only lovely to look at but reflect many colours. The costume represented Sickle Cell and Thalassemia patients at their best when well. The many colours also reflect the diverse nature of the patient group. However crystals can also be sharp and jagged and this in turn represents patients or indeed any of us when we feel ill.
Most Outstanding Float Award was presented to Scandalous, Achievement of Excellence Award was given out to Maureen Drummond, Klaudia Kulakiewicz, Sarah Salim, Revaldo Walters, Rampage MAS CIC and Kaydean Forbes for their commitment to excellence in carnival.
Vinod Taylor presented the Expression of Culture Award to Made in Hungry, Lost in Paradise and the United Nations Association Luton.
The Achievement Of Excellence Award - presented for the nurturing of Carnival Arts and Music was awarded to Revellers Steel Band.
The Overall Best In Carnival Award was presented to Scandalous Mas Band for their costumes and performance. One of the band members Amara Lee-Thompson was also awarded The Noel Nanten Award for Exceptional commitment and contribution to the development of the carnival arts skills.