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

Our flagship event – the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras – has sadly been cancelled for this summer. But we know how much you and your young people just LOVE making carnival costumes, music and dancing – so let’s all participate digitally!

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 and sticky tape. One session a week for ten weeks, delivered every Tuesday at 10am from 21 April. 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 you have everything you need ready to join our Virtual Carnival Club!

If we get the call to free-up again over the summer months – New Carnival Company will be inviting you to bring all your amazing creations and dance moves to a pop-up LET LOOSE parade on the streets of Ryde! Now that’s worth waiting for!

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 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 Warm up to Carnival Dance using a Flag Warm up for Carnival Dance with a flag – resource Katy Edmunds
Tuesday 5 May 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 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 Making musical instruments for Junk Percussion W5 How to make instruments
W5 Inspiration for instruments
Hannah Ray
Tuesday 26 May Creating movement and rhythms with junk percussion Creating movement and rhythm with junk percussion – Session 6 Katy Edmunds
Tuesday 2 June How to make a fancy Neck Collar or Choker Gina Dyer
Tuesday 9 June How to make a Carnival Mask Hannah Ray
Tuesday 16 June Carnival Dancing! Katy Edmunds
Tuesday 23 June Let’s make a Carnival! Pulling it all together Gina, Hannah and Katy


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.

Let Loose parade

So, by the end of our Virtual Carnival Club workshops, you will have made a number of whacky outfits and props ready to take part in a real parade!

Why not continue to try out new ideas and make a whole set for your immediate family? Because when the crisis has passed, and we are all allowed out on to the streets again with our friends, we plan to celebrate with a parade like no other! Let’s all really let loose!

It is hard to predict when this might happen at this stage.  We are going to call it a ‘pop-up’ parade. And, be warned, you may only get a few days’ notice! So, take care of everything you have been making, keep practising those dance moves, and we can’t wait to see it all come together on the streets of Ryde!

Check out this site and our Virtual Carnival Club Facebook page for all the latest info. The announcement will be BIG!