The nominations are now in and the stage is now set for
the 17th Annual National Arts and Culture Awards, to be held on Friday 22 October at the Harquail
For a tiny group of islands in the middle of the
Caribbean, the Cayman Islands are rich with artistic and cultural achievements
and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation publicly honours such achievements
via its Arts and Culture Awards which recognise those who have made a
significant contribution to arts and culture in the islands, as well as those
who have achieved a high quality body of creative work or supported the work of
Henry Muttoo, the CNCF’s artistic director underlines the
importance of these awards: “Long ago the world recognised that, quite often,
money is not as valuable a commodity in recognising effort, talent, potential
and national service, as a simple ‘thank you’ uttered with genuine feeling.”
The CNCF Arts and Culture Awards was instituted in 1992
to offer national recognition to artists and culture makers.
“It is our way of acknowledging and giving value to the
work they do to help create, our unique way of life,” he says.
Over the years certain awards, namely the heritage and
artistic awards, have undergone transformations in name, criteria and the
physical look of the awards. The awards
known as the Radley Gourzong Lifetime Achievement Award and the Cultural
Heritage Award are now The CNCF Heritage Cross Medal (designed by Muttoo
The CNCF Heritage Cross Medal is awarded to those who
have a consistent and active, quality engagement in the preservation and/or
celebration of Caymanian cultural heritage. The Heritage Cross Medal has three
divisions: gold for a lifetime (minimum of 20 years; can also be posthumous) of
high quality engagement in the preservation and celebration of Caymanian
culture; silver for a minimum of ten years, and bronze for a minimum of five
years of quality engagement in the preservation and celebration of Caymanian
culture. CNCF Heritage Cross gold awardees include Dr. Frank McField, Edmuns
Scott, Dave Martins, Helen Harquail and Martyn Bould.
Awards for artistic endeavour, achievement and excellence
are now medals that fall under the title the CNCF Star for Creativity in the
Arts. Arts organisations in the Cayman
Islands were invited to make nominations for this award. The CNCF Star also has
three divisions: gold for a lifetime (minimum of 20 years; can be posthumous)
body of work that is of consistent, high quality creativity recognised in
Cayman or internationally; silver for a minimum of 15 years of work and bronze
for a minimum of five years of work that is of consistent, high quality
creativity recognised in Cayman or internationally.
Bendel Hydes, recipient of the gold for Creativity in the
Arts is a Caymanian artist recognised locally and internationally. His work has
been included in exhibitions from London to Brazil to France to Cayman and in
the United States. His paintings are in the collections of the National Gallery
of the Cayman Islands, UBS (Cayman Islands), His Royal Highness, Prince Philip,
and many private collections internationally.
Consuelo Ebanks, also a gold winner for Creativity in the
Arts is an actress best known for her characters in Rundown. But she has
performed in many other plays from the days of the first studio theatre in the
Eighties. Her acting highlights include “Fallen Angles” and “Down Side Up”.
Gordon Solomon is an artist and musician who has been
awarded silver for Creativity in the Arts. He has exhibited at the National
Gallery and works closely with their education department. He has established
himself has a muralist; in 2002 he created a large mural called “The History of
the Cayman Islands” outside the Maritime Institute. Gordon and his wife Alta
recorded a CD album titled “Lamb and Lion”. They are currently working on a
Nominations were sought earlier this year for all awards
and the CNCF Grants and Awards Committee selects the award recipients.
Don’t miss this year’s awards ceremony on 22nd October at
the Harquail Theatre.