First Citizens: Epicentre of all things Carnival
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In a symbolic handover, the First Citizens Foundation (FCF) awarded the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA), a non-profit company, the use of its historic Charlotte Street branch, also known as the “Penny Bank” for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Museum (TTCM). The Charlotte Street property is the original headquarters of the former Trinidad Cooperative Bank Limited (fondly and popularly known as the Penny Bank) which commenced its operations in 1914. In 2019, as part of a strategic initiative to create a state-of-the-art shared services campus, the Group relocated its operations from within the building to a new facility. The property, therefore, became available for another use and so First Citizens divested itself of the building and gifted it to the FCF to further its promotion of local culture, arts and other related charitable purposes. In light of the importance of the Property to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, the First Citizens Foundation made a decision to publicly invite proposals from interested proponents for use of the Property. This invitation for proposal was eventually won by the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association and subsequently, this saw the creation of the TTCM on behalf of the interest groups dedicated to this initiative. As longstanding partners in the development of culture and the arts, First Citizens has proudly contributed to many success stories such as the First Citizens Supernovas, the First Citizens Dragon Boys, the First Citizens Original Jab Jab, the First Citizens/TUCO Junior Calypso competition, Kings and Queens of Carnival and the First Citizens Junior Parade of the Bands. It is therefore with a tremendous amount of excitement and pride that we aptly equip the TTCM to write a new story in Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural legacy.
(Anthony Smart – Chairman, First Citizens hands over the keys to the First Citizens Charlotte Street Complex to Rosalind Gabriel – President, Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Bands Association)