The New Carnival Company is set to launch the narrative for the annual Isle of Wight Mardi Gras at a celebration event at Ryde Academy Studio Theatre on Thursday 16th November at 17:30.
The IW Mardi Gras always adopts a relevant and educational theme allowing school and community groups to undertake a programme of research and learning prior to designing, producing and performing spectacular carnival costumes. Themes in recent years have included ‘Shakespeare 400’ commemorating the anniversary of the passing of the Bard and ‘Reflections of India’ celebrating the links between the Island, Queen Victoria and India on the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence.
In 2018 the theme will be ‘Global Biospheres’ and will be produced to support the IW Area of Outstanding Beauty’s application to have the Island recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Richard Grogan, AONB Lead Officer explained “The aim of Biospheres is to showcase on a global stage an area where communities are finding ways to bring together the conservation of the stunning places in which they live with the continuing sustainable use of those areas. If we are successful in our campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognised, the reward is international recognition through the formal UNESCO Biosphere designation which puts us up there with Mount Olympus in Greece, Mata Atlantica Rain Forest in Brazil and Yellowstone National Park, USA. We want to tell the Island about this and working with the New carnival Company on their 2018 Mardi Gras theme seemed an ideal opportunity”
In 2018 the Mardi Gras will be exploring in detail some of the 635 reserves across the globe of which there are only two in England. Then in the following year we will be looking at the Isle of Wight itself for our creative inspiration.
Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director for the NCC added “We are delighted to be working with the AONB on the prestigious project. Groups taking part will be supported to understand what the fantastic opportunities being recognised as a UNESCO Global Biosphere mean and then to work with us in a creative programme to make and showcase spectacular costumes”
Representatives from the AONB and the IW Music Hub, who are supporting Mardi Gras 2018, will also be presenting at the launch event to explain other opportunities to get involved this exciting project.
Any school, youth or community group wanting to take part in the event in 2018 is encouraged to attend the launch meeting or register an interest with the NCC on 01983 716095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras: ‘Global Biospheres’ will take place on Saturday 30th June, 3pm on the streets of Ryde. The project is already attracting international attention.
Notes to Editor
- The New Carnival Company CIC (The NCC) is the leading carnival arts development agency in the south of England. The NCC is proud to be part of Arts Council’s England’s (ACE) National portfolio, a kite mark for Quality and Innovation in the arts.
- The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras was formerly known as the Arts Parade and began in 2003 with the aim of encouraging and supporting more schools and youth organisations to get involved in the creative side of carnival. Today it is the leading young people’s carnival in the south of England.
- Mardi Gras translates as Fat Tuesday from the French and celebrates the last day of feasting and merriment before the traditional Christian period of Lent. The word Carnival is Latin for Farewell to Meat, also referring to festivities held at that time. Many of the famous carnivals in the world including Rio Carnival, Trinidad Carnival, Venice Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras take place in February on Pancake Day.
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