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The New Carnival Company (NCC) has been working with Isle of Wight schoolteachers and national carnival organisers to bring the joy of carnival to children, teachers, and families at the end of what has been an extremely difficult and challenging academic year. The National Children’s Carnival Week will replace annual Mardi Gras celebrations this year, and everyone is invited to take part!

As we head towards the summer, many carnivals around the country are being forced to move online for the second year running. The New Carnival Company’s Mardi Gras has also announced it will NOT be taking place on the streets in June.

All is not lost, however. The ever-resourceful company has hatched a scheme to enable not just one Mardi Gras, but many, to pop up all over the Island, in playgrounds, sports fields and outdoor community spaces, as part of a UK wide project to launch a National Children’s Carnival Week, 12-18 July.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director at NCC explains “The idea for a National Children’s Carnival Week arose in conversation with the UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA) in Luton. Like us, they were faced with a re-imagining for their event – Luton International Carnival – usually held in May.  This meant that many schools who would normally engage in costume making and parading were missing out for the second year running. The pandemic has had devastating impacts on our young people, with teachers and parents coming under enormous pressure to keep children learning through the pandemic.”

The idea quickly took off and has now spread across the country, with carnivals in London, Bristol, Hastings, Northampton, Norwich, Derby and Bridgwater all planning to join in.  Each carnival is offering a fully supported arts package to schools and youth organisations to make the process of creating their own carnivals ‘at home’ totally safe and stress free.

Clary Salandy, Artistic Director at UKCCA, who is leading the national programme, said:     “Our dream is to have all the children in the UK celebrate carnival together in their schools. We aim to inspire children and young people through the creation of costumes, music, songs, and dance, in a celebration which will provide uplifting experiences and radiate the warmth and camaraderie that everyone desperately needs”.

The New Carnival Company will be sharing their special theme ‘Colours of the Rainbow’ and are offering all schools and community family groups FREE online workshops, plus supported packages where artists can securely visit school to help out (small charge). There is even an online dance session planned and a specially written children’s carnival song!

For more information on National Children’s Carnival Week and how to get involved contact the New Carnival Company.

Email: frankie@thenewcarnivalcompany.com   Tel: 07794 699558

Schools can also access our PowerPoint presentation here: https://www.thenewcarnivalcompany.com/mardi-gras/event-info/

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