Welcome to the New Carnival Company’s Virtual Carnival Club.

This is a digital ‘how to’ library which we put together during the summer of 2020, when COVID-19 changed the face of carnival and street parades all over the country. With our own Mardi Gras parade being forced to cancel, the Virtual Carnival Club become important for our company, our artists and for everyone stuck at home, home schooling and missing out on all the fun and creativity. Enjoy!


NOTE: First posted April 2020.

Our talented artists have devised a weekly carnival club, which you can enjoy at home or at school, using everyday materials and simple tools like scissors, staplers and sticky tape.  Different topics and activities will be posted here every Tuesday at 10am from 21 April 2020 until mid June. And it doesn’t matter if you miss one because  you can view and collect them all here.

Young people can even get a nationally accredited award for completing the whole scheme. It’s called Arts Award ‘Discover’, and you don’t need any previous knowledge or skills to take part. But you will need to register upfront for this option.

So, start saving up those empty milk cartons and yoghurt pots, sort out your old jumble, and check out what you might need ready to join our Virtual Carnival Club!

At the end of these sessions we hope you will have some fantastic handmade costumes and groovy dance moves to make a brilliant carnival parade – at home, at school, in your garden or on the playground. Why not post your mini carnival show on our Facebook page to share with us and other Club members?!

Meet your workshop leaders

Gina Dyer

Gina Dyer

Gina is the Lead Artist and creative producer for the New Carnival Company. She has been taking part in carnival since she was a young child with family and friends, enjoying all aspects of carnival – dressing up, performance, dance, music and being part of the crowd.

Gina enjoys passing on her skills and knowledge to others so that they can develop their own artistic talents. She is currently developing new carnival costume designs using natural and reusable materials to ensure carnival in the future is a more sustainable practice which is accessible to everyone.

Hannah Ray

Hannah Ray

Hannah has been working for the NCC since 2018 and is the company’s Learning and Participation Manager. She works with schools and community groups delivering art workshops and courses.

Hannah has a background in fine art. She previously taught art and photography for many years at the Isle of Wight College and has been involved in Island carnivals, events and festivals since returning from university. Recently she has been developing work around Greening Up carnival, re-using, recycling and repurposing materials. She just loves making things; especially with her two young children!

Katy Edmunds

Katy Edmunds

Katy joined the New Carnival Company as Associate Producer at the beginning of 2020 having previously worked as Performing Arts Coordinator at the Isle of Wight College. She is a professional theatrical performer and qualified dance teacher (ISTD) with a wide range of skills in dance, choreography and outdoor performance, including carnival.

Katy is looking forward to putting together sessions that will enable all budding carnival performers to ‘get moving’ as part of the Virtual Carnival Club.

Programme of workshops

Virtual Carnival Club: weekly schedule of family workshop tutorials

Catch them every Tuesday morning at 10am – or save them up and create your carnival in a day! Each session takes about 15 minutes to view.

Date Workshop Downloads Tutor
Tuesday 21 April 2020 Introduction to eco-friendly Carnival Costumes.
Let’s make an easy Carnival Flag!
W1 Carnival FlagsW1 How to make a Flag template

W1 Template 1

W1 Template 2

W1 Template 3

W1 Template 4

Gina Dyer
Tuesday 28 April 2020 Warm up to Carnival Dance using a Flag Warm up for Carnival Dance with a flag – resource Katy Edmunds
Tuesday 5 May 2020 How to make a Carnival Headdress W3 Examples
W3 Head for Designing
W3 How to make a headdress
W3 Inspiration for decorations
W3 Templates
Hannah Ray
Tuesday 12 May 2020 How to make a Waist piece: a decorated belt or skirt W4 Carnival Belts and Skirts
W4 Figure for Design
W4 Belt – Template 1
W4 Belt – Template 2
W4 Belt – Template 3
Gina Dyer
Tuesday 19 May 2020 Making musical instruments for Junk Percussion W5 How to make instruments
W5 Inspiration for instruments
Hannah Ray
Tuesday 26 May 2020 Creating movement and rhythms with junk percussion Creating movement and rhythm with junk percussion – Session 6 Katy Edmunds
Tuesday 2 June 2020 How to make a fancy Neck Collar or Choker Neck collar template with center decoration 1
Neck collar template with center decoration 2
Neck collar template with center decoration 3
Neck collar template for center decoration
Basic neck collar template
Gina Dyer
Tuesday 9 June 2020 How to make a Carnival Mask W8 Carnival mask examples

W8 How to make Carnival Masks

W8 Ideas for Carnival Masks

W8 mask templates

Hannah Ray
Tuesday 16 June 2020 Carnival Dancing! Bring along everything you have made earlier and lets put it all together ready for a virtual parade. Katy Edmunds
Monday 22 June to Saturday 27 June 2020 Join us for a celebration week to mark the past 5 years of Mardi Gras in Ryde, with galleries and short videos posted to our web and Facebook pages. New Carnival Company wider team


Disclaimer: The New Carnival Company is offering these activities for your enjoyment but cannot be responsible for your personal health and safety. We advise that activities are monitored by a parent or guardian, and that participants follow the advice and guidance recommended by the tutor delivering the session.

Materials you will need

Things you’ll need to take part in Virtual Carnival Club

Our weekly workshops are designed for making carnival at home, so no special materials or equipment are required, and you don’t need to have any prior experience or arty-crafty talent to take part!

Everybody can join in Virtual Carnival Club!

It would be helpful for parents or adult supervisors to start collecting useful materials and set aside any hand tools or equipment before the session, so that you can access everything you need when you are ready to make.

Here’s some of the things you may need to do our workshops:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener
  • Felt tip pens (optional)
  • Ruler
  • A4 Paper (optional – assortment of colours)
  • Stapler and staples
  • Sellotape
  • PVA Glue (or a pritt stick) and some pegs for holding joins
  • String or something similar
  • An assortment of clean Junk – newspaper, cardboard, plastic containers, crisp packets (or anything with a bit of colour)
  • And any old clothes for recycling (adults be aware your child is not cutting up your best party dress!)

Disclaimer: Adults should always be on hand to guide practical sessions at home, and should supervise all activity involving scissors, glues or paints. 

How to take part in Arts Award

Get an Arts Award @ Discover level with Virtual Carnival Club!

Note: This scheme is optional and only for those who want to take our weekly sessions that little bit further.

Why not work towards gaining a Certificate whilst you are doing your virtual carnival activities?

Arts Award is a national scheme led by Trinity College, London, aimed at young people aged 5 years to 25years. It starts at Discover level (that’s the Introductory stage) and builds up to a Gold Award over a series of five different levels. It’s a bit like doing an ‘arty’ version of the Duke of Edinburgh awards.

You can find out more about Arts Award Discover by watching this little video here.

If you want to get involved in Arts Award, we are running a new digital pilot scheme within Virtual Carnival Club.



With social distancing still very much in place for the foreseeable future, the New Carnival Company accepts that a LIVE Mardi Gras  carnival on the streets of Ryde this summer looks extremely unlikely.

We are currently working with national carnival partners to create the first National Childrens Carnival Week 12-18 July 2021. All schools, youth and community organisations are invited to join us, by creating and presenting pop up carnivals in their playgrounds, on sports fields and outdoor community spaces. We are also offering artist support packages for those groups who would like us help you do this, with live face to face workshops, dance sessions and even singing the NEW carnival song (all very safely, of course! Full risk assessments provided). Our theme will be: Colours of the Rainbow 

Stay tuned for more detail about how you and your family can get involved.

News and updates will be posted here and on our Virtual Carnival Club Facebook page