Saturday 28 November, 2020

Port-of-Spain Mayor seeks to have city declared Unesco City of Music

Efforts are currently being taken to have Port-of-Spain declared a Unesco City of Music.

Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez revealed this on Friday night as he spoke at Phase II Panyard for the reveal of their 2019 song selection for Panorama.

Martinez said while efforts were made years ago, he has decided to push it again.

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He said he met Carla Foderingham, former Chief Executive Officer of the Film Company of Trinidad and Tobago, who told him that the process was started some time ago but stalled.

"She said Trinidad has not had a designation from Unesco as a City of Music. Jamaica got it for reggae and I went to a function in Jamaica, the Mayor of Kingston invited me and they were so proud of their designation and they were spouting it so I felt when Carla brought it up to me I said let's get it done," he said. 

Martinez said we have lost out on so many things because we have not pushed it and having that designation would be an acknowledgment of our contribution to the world. 

"We are a talented nation, full of music, full of culture. We have invented the steelband, we have invented soca, we have invented calypso, we have invented chutney, so what are we waiting on?" he asked.

He said the process for the application has begun with Foderingham spearheading the project and he is hopeful it will be completed in time for the designation to be applied before the end of 2019.

To be approved as a City of Music, the following criteria need to be met according to Wikipedia: 

  • A city must be  a recognised centre of musical creation and activity
  • Experienced in hosting musical festivals and events at a national or international level
  • Engage in promotion of the music industry in all its forms;
  • Contain music schools, conservatories, academies and higher education institutions specialised in music
  • Have informal structures for music education, including amateur choirs and orchestras;
  • Have domestic or international platforms dedicated to particular genres of music and/or music from other countries;
  • Have cultural spaces suited for practicing and listening to music, e.g. open-air auditoriums.


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