Trinidad and Tobago and UDeCOTT Officially Unveil The National Academy of the Performing Arts

Contact: Corporate Communications Unit, 627-0083

Novemebr 10, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago and UDECOTT Officially Unveil The National Academy Of The Performing Arts As Part Of A Continuing Effort To Meet The Goals Of The Vision 2020 National Strategic Plan

Port of Spain, Trinidad – Yesterday, in a handover ceremony showcasing the innovative spirit and the diverse culture of Trinidad and Tobago, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (UDeCOTT) officially unveiled the Port of Spain National Academy of Performing Arts (North Campus) on the Princes Building Grounds, Queens Park East.  The Academy, a significant part of the Government’s broader Vision 2020 National Strategic Plan for reaching first world standards of development by the year 2020, is the first major effort specifically focused on the development of the cultural sector.  Eye-catching architectural features and state-of-the-art facilities set this center for excellence apart from other structures of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago and the larger CARICOM region.

The inaugural ceremony featured performances by the Eastern Youth Choral, the Shiv Shakti Dance Company and the Malick Folk Performing Company; as well as remarks by:

  • Hon. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Dr. the Hon. Emily Dick-Forde, Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • H.E. Yang Youming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Mr. Calder Hart, Executive Chairman of UDeCOTT

The Academy, which will be the site for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in late November, was constructed under the supervision of UDeCOTT, while Montreal-based Genivar Consultants served as the project managers.  Additionally China-based Shanghai Construction Group served as the prime contractors.  Almost 30 sub-contractors from Trinidad and Tobago contributed nearly TT$100 million worth of goods and services during the completion of the Academy.

“The Academy was a remarkable team effort on the part of the developer, the project manager, prime contractor and the sub-contractors to complete construction on a condensed time schedule and on budget,” said Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment, Dr. Emily Dick-Forde.  “I am proud that Trinidad and Tobago will be able to showcase a global centre of excellence to visiting dignitaries and leaders during CHOGM.  To me the Academy stands synonymous for many of our best qualities as a people, beautiful, full of life, rich in culture, but also determined, innovative and ambitious.”

Under the auspices of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, students of the performing arts will be able to develop their talents in a world-class learning environment, complete with practice facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms. To audiences and aficionados of the performing arts, a modern 1200 plus seat auditorium provides an engaging venue to showcase the best local and international artists and performers.

“The Academy is a true architectural achievement, inspired by our national flower, the Chaconia,” said Calder Hart, Executive Chairman of UDeCOTT. “From a design perspective I believe we have done the artistic process that lies at the heart of this academy justice and we have added a gem to the physical landscape of the city. There are very few facilities of this quality and beauty in the world, much less in the region. UDeCOTT is proud to be executing the Government’s vision brick by brick.”

The Port of Spain National Academy for the Performing Arts (North Campus) is one of two such facilities built as part of a Government-to-Government, two per cent concessional loan from the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The second facility, The National Academy of the Performing Arts (South Campus) will be located in San Fernando, is scheduled to be completed in Q4 2010. Both facilities are performance and teaching academies and will feature a vast array of open vistas for the enjoyment of the performance arts as well as contemporary classrooms, teaching halls and other practice spaces for the cultivation of the performance artists.

Vision 2020 is to ensure that by the year 2020, Trinidad and Tobago will be a united, resilient, productive, innovative and prosperous nation with a disciplined, caring, fun-loving society, comprising healthy, happy and well-educated people and built on the enduring attributes of self-reliance, respect, equity and integrity. UDeCOTT is developing the structures that form part of Vision 2020, the national strategic development plan of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. UDeCOTT has over 60 projects, under construction and is launching future construction to include: The Port of Port of Spain expansion, the Development of Invaders Bay and the Urban Development Project. UDeCOTT and its leadership remain committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, the implementation of the government’s Vision 2020 plan and the development of the country as a regional and global leader. For more information about UDeCOTT, its leadership, or its projects, please visit http://www.udecott.com/.

UDeCOTT is developing the structures that form part of the innovation for lasting
prosperity; the development plan of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.