Carnival Village Trust

Carnival Village Trust is a unique collaboration between its partners whose objects are to develop the arts of Carnival. As London’s development agency for Carnival Arts, we promote the arts, crafts and business of a relatively unsung art form in the UK, extending to its roots and broader culture.

We have the background to do all this and are well placed in the locality of Notting Hill Carnival. Promoting performance as well as preparation, we also host venues in Notting Hill, West London, where Carnival Arts and African Caribbean activities add to a diverse theatre and arts programme.

Our work

Our work to promote Carnival Arts falls into three core areas to ensure variety in our delivery.

Our main Carnival Arts programme is focused over the summer months of July and August and forms the focal point for the world famous Notting Hill Carnival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. We run an extensive Carnival Arts programme throughout the summer months in collaboration with other carnival artists and organisations.

Follow us on social media to stay informed.

Our learning programme is based on extending knowledge and understanding of Carnival arts and the history of Caribbean style Carnival. The programme offers opportunities of schools and colleges to find out more about Carnival arts. Through our extensive network of Carnival artists and partners we are able to deliver bespoke sessions for those in formal and informal learning environments. We are currently exploring a Carnival in the Curriculum Workshop for teachers and also offer informal learning sessions for local people, clubs and community groups.

Do contact us if you would like to book one of our workshops.

Our participation programme encompasses a growing range of workshops and courses for young and older! The workshops explore the core Carnival Arts of Steelpan, Mas (costume-making) and Calypso. We run regular workshops and courses in steel pan amongst other arts.

We are open to new ideas and partnerships – your ideas are welcome!


Carnival Village Trust is a registered charity, no. 1125536


Board of Trustees

Ian Comfort (Chair)
Ian has extensive experience of working as a chief officer for local authorities and academy trusts including a number of years as Director of Community Education for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. As a Government Accounting Officer, he has been responsible for budgets in excess of £300 million. He has acted as an education adviser to senior politicians both nationally and internationally. In addition to his career in education, Ian is a lawyer and currently chairs regulatory tribunals for a range of professions. He has been involved in Carnival since 1980, when he worked with the late Randolph Baptist of Stardust Steelband and Carl Gabriel. In addition to chairing the Carnival Village Trust and Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, he has been chair of the Ebony Steelband Trust since 2003. His other board roles include executive chair of Cognus Ltd, an education services company and trustee and chair of the Middlesex Learning Partnership.

Imani Douglas-Walker
Recognising the importance of stronger resilient communities, Imani’s NED experience spans across housing, philanthropy, social regeneration, people and diversity and community engagement. Chair of a £3.8m philanthropic foundation, Genesis Community, Imani oversees the strategic remit to disperse grants within communities investing in organisations and individuals to develop capacity building skills to reduce poverty and increase entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for sustainable resilient communities and neighbours. Working as a freelancer, Imani has worked supporting hard to reach marginalised groups either educationally, socially and economically to rebuild their lives and advance within adverse times.

Alan Edwards
Alan is a consultant in Russell-Cooke LLP (a top 100 legal firm). Until 1 September 2015 he was the founding and senior partner of Alan Edwards & Co until his firm merged with Russel-Cooke. Alan is a director of Mangrove Community Y2K Ltd which is the company under which the Mangrove Steel Band operates. Alan chaired the Project Board which oversaw the successful development of the Yaa Centre as part of Carnival Village, which was delivered on budget and on time. Until December 2017, Alan had been a trustee of the Paddington Development Trust for many years and remains its legal adviser. Alan has been a board member of Kensington and Chelsea College ending his appointment in 2012 in the capacity of vice-chair. Alan sat on the Project Board which steered through the development and completion of the new Kensington and Chelsea College building in Hortensia Street. He was also one of the founding trustees of Action for Victims of Medical Accidents.

Mary Genis
Mary has an impressive record of achievements and pioneering work in the arts that enriches and widens the governance of the Carnival. She coordinated the One World Stage at WOMAD Reading for seven years from 1997 to 2003 and worked as the UK Cultural Olympiad Launch Co-ordinator. Mary’s other non-executive roles include previous roles as a board member for South Hill Park Arts Centre and Readipop music projects and current roles as a governor for Theale Primary CE School, chair of black mentoring charity Reading Refocus, trustee for the Jelly art group and a member of the Consortium Programme Board for the Museums Partnership Reading (ACE NPO). In 2017, she was awarded a Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Association of Steelbands.

Levi Naidu-Mitchell
Levi is an artist whose practice centres around the Carnivalesque, its dynamism as an artistic medium and the plethora of ways in which it can be translated as a tool for positive elevation. Levi creates costumes for the Notting Hill Carnival and is currently a Youth Work Project Co-Ordinator for Wac Arts Performing Arts and Media College. She has combined her background in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and experience working with young people to deliver vibrant, elevating and educational Carnival workshops to the communities that she frequents in.

Yvette Philbert
Yvette has a background in the apparel and fashion industry. She is skilled in Digital Strategy, Event Management, Art Direction, Project Coordination, Television and Marketing. Yvette worked for 13 years as a PR Ambassador for Sainsbury’s plc. In 2011 she was appointed Chair of the London Branch of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), of which she was also a Health & Safety Officer. She has also worked as a Legal Executive for various solicitors. Yvette has seasonally worked over 25 years with the Commonwealth Countries League and Caribbean High Commissions in London, for 5 years as Secretary for the Caribbean Music Association, and for 3 years as a member of the Board of Executive of The Association of British Calypsonians and Soca Artists (ACASA). Yvette is one of the Founding Partners of All African Colours UK and since 2017 has also been the Operations Director for Miss World Guyana EU Chapter.

Laila Shah
Laila is a final year chemistry student at King’s College, University of London. She has participated in Notting Hill Carnival since 11 months old and played steelpan with Nostalgia Steelband since the age of 7. Inspired by a trip to Trinidad in 2013, she arranged her first piece of music for the band winning them their first NHC award in fifty years. She has since toured Europe, China and Trinidad with the band. As of 2018, Laila has played panorama with Mangrove Steelband. She has also both presented and helped organise the Biennial Steelpan Conferences since 2012 and is currently preparing for the 2020 conference.

Ansel Wong
Ansel’s wide-ranging career has given him experience of working at the most senior levels of the public and third sectors and management positions: Caribbean Advisory Group to F&CO, Windrush Commemorative Committee, NHS,  Prisoners of Conscience, Community Assessor to the Metropolitan Police Service, Deputy Education Officer of Lambeth and Vice Principal of Savile Row Academy. He has written and lectured widely on Carnival plus serving on several organisations involved in Carnival: Elimu Mas Academy,  EMCCAN, Flamboyan, NHCT & Commonwealth Arts and Cultural Foundation.


Matthew Philip


Carnival Village will make a significant contribution to the nation’s artistic landscape and to the enrichment of people’s lives by developing and delivering Carnival Arts that are primarily rooted in Caribbean cultural traditions, and by being excellent at everything it does.

Carnival Village will put in place a sustainable organisational structure that will collaborate with its Founding Partners and others to deliver work of high standard that seeks to extend the boundaries of Carnival Arts and promote delivery to a wide and diverse audience.


Carnival Village Trust is a registered charity, no. 1125536