Carnival academy to inspire future float builders

The carnival season in Somerset may well have come to an end for another year but preparations have already started for next year's parades. Carnival clubs throughout the region are hoping that this year's highly successful carnivals will encourage new members to join them. But they often find that those interested are concerned that they do not have the necessary skills or are unsure of what they want to do.

Bridgwater College's innovative Carnival Academy is designed to help them develop carnival related skills and to learn about all aspects of this amazing West Country tradition.

The Academy is open to everyone over the age of 16 interested in carnival, even those who do not currently belong to a club. It is for anyone who is interested in carnival and would like to learn more about it.

Students of the part-time course will be able to try their hand at everything from model making to costume design, welding to stage make-up, cart design to music editing, and much more.

The course, which begins in January, is being co-ordinated at the College by Chris Hocking who hopes the Academy will spur on the next generation of float builders and carnival performers. He said,

“The Academy is unusual because it covers such a cross-section of skills and involves almost every department at the College. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in carnival workshops in other parts of the country, such as Notting Hill and Luton, to get an idea of how things are done in other places.”

As well as becoming the leading lights of future carnivals, students will gain a City and Guilds qualification which will enhance their career opportunities outside of the carnival world.

Anyone interested in signing up to the Academy is urged to send in their application as soon as possible as there are only 20 places available on the course. The closing date for entries is 14 December 2008. To find out more, contact Chris at Bridgwater College on 01278 655014.