On Sunday 20th August 2017, the City Arts & Can Samba ‘Flying Free’ troupe hit the road for the Nottingham Carnival parade. Enjoy this immense gallery of images from the extremely talented Rich Hughes at MTJ Media (plus some from the fantastic Tyas Rizky).

Our troupe told the story of nature’s resilience in the face of corporate greed. It was led by a stunning float designed by Nottingham Trent University student Chloe Hardey and decorated with art made by families from Gedling, in workshops we ran in partnership with Gedling Borough Council. To beats from the Can Samba drummers, led by Ceri Howells, and accompanied DJ Si Tew, Can Samba’s dancers performed an environmentally-motivated routine highlighting the plight of the bumblebee. The routine was choreographed by SaRena Kay, artistic director of Can Samba, who wore a stunning honeycomb outfit – awarded third place in the battle of the Nottingham Carnival costumes.

Behind the bees were six ‘Baianas’, who take the route more gently, made up of City Arts volunteers and members of the Nottingham WI. Their sumptuous costumes were created by intern Kay Egglestone and Jess Kemp at Curious Studios.

For the third year in a row, people whose mobility might have otherwise excluded them from the procession drove extravagantly decorated ‘mono-floats’, designed and built around shop-mobility scooters generously lent to us by the Victoria Centre Shopmobility Scheme.

Bringing up the rear were two magical mechanical magpies, named Burt & Joyce. Created in 2016 as part of our  Imagine – arts and older people programme, artists Tony Mason and Jessica Kemp worked with older adults from Radford Care Group, and Abbeyfield’s Milbeck & Sycamore House care homes, to design and decorate the puppets.

Thank you and congratulations to our partners Can Samba and everyone who was part of our troupe this year. The many different elements that make up our troupe were designed and created by artists, participants and volunteers at our annual Mas Camp. Everyone pulled together to create a troupe of vibrant colour, high energy and impact. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard in the lead up to carnival and made sure that the event went so well, and thanks to the supermarkets who supplied us with food and water.