PanTrinbago is a cultural organization which was incorporated by Act of Parliament, 5 of 1986. It formerly operated and was registered as a Union representing the interest of steelpan players. The general membership of the steelband Movement decided that it would better serve their interests in the development and promotion of the steelband, to become incorporated by an Act of Parliament here in Trinidad and Tobago, the birth place of the steelband and the main centre for the propagation of this art form.
Pan Trinbago expects to maintain strong ties and work closely with Musicians’ Unions in countries wherever steelpan players perform, so that any industrial and/or labour disputes involving steelbandsmen could be properly handled.
Pan Trinbago is recognized as the parent body for steelbands not only in Trinidad and Tobago but in all parts of the world where such bands may exist. We are not only a national organization, representing the largest cultural group in our country, but an international organization which is active in the promotion of a new and vibrant musical form that is fast achieving universal recognition and acceptance.
Pan Trinbago was formed in 1971 but the Steelband Movement has been organized since 1950. Pan Trinbago’s predecessor was the National Association of Trinidad and Tobago steelbandsmen and we wish to pay tribute to all the pioneers of the former Steelband Association who have laid the groundwork to successfully represent the Steelband Movement and assure that the rights of our members are not trampled upon.
Pan Trinbago, as stated in its constitution, holds a Triennial Convention at which each band is represented by two delegates with voting powers. Observers are also allowed, but these do not have the right to cast a vote at the Organisation’s general election, which takes place at the end of the Convention. An annual General Meeting is held in the month of October, where Reports from the President, Secretary and Treasurer are considered.
Pan Trinbago’s main offices are situated at Suite 1D, Victoria Park Suites Victoria Square North, Port of Spain from where the business of the organization is carried out. To facilitate the smooth operation of the movement, Pan Trinbago has been subdivided into Regions, with each regional body having the responsibility for the bands within its Regional space.
Each Region holds its election of Officers triennially and this within one(1) month after the special convention. A Regional Co-Ordinator is also chosen, this is a salaried position and is funded from the Organisation’s finances.
There are four Regions of Pan Trinbago ie. Northern, South/Central, Eastern and Tobago.
The administrative levels of Pan Trinbago are:
The Convention/Special Convention is the highest forum in the Organisation and the Regional General Meeting is the lowest. The officers of Pan Trinbago are elected from the general membership and are usually administrators and pan players in their respective bands.
The task of servicing well over one hundred (100) bands is no easy undertaking, especially when the individuals providing the service, work on a voluntary basis and have deep commitments to individual bands, family, job and other interests.
Pan Trinbago, nevertheless, has proven itself to be a beacon in the stormy seas of cultural Organisation in this part of the world.
Pan Trinbago maintains close contacts with the Ministry of Community Development Culture and Women’s Affairs. Designated officers of the Association meet with Ministry officials once a week to discuss matters concerning the Steelband Movement. Some of the far ranging issues which may arise are:
Pan Trinbago also works closely with the National Carnival Commission a Government appointed Statutory Board, which has the mandate for the promotion of Carnival, our National Festival, and other National Festivals.
Pan Trinbago hosts a National Steelband Music Festival each year alternating between the school bands and senior bands on a biennial basis.
The Regional Divisions are responsible for holding Steelband Jamborees and other local activities, as well as bringing to the attention of the Central Executive Committee, problems which cannot be adequately handled at regional level.
Pan Trinbago maintains close contacts with the print and electronic news media, the Tourist Board and our national airline, B.W.I.A. in keeping with our policy of constantly promoting the Steelband Movement at home and abroad.
Pan Trinbago celebrates the Anniversary of the declaration, that the Steelpan is the National Musical Instrument, by organizing annually- Steelband Week over the last week of August- The Anniversary date August 30,1995.