Advocates for culture encourage public to re-energize commitment [photo gallery included]

Some of the Golden Drum Awardees (Gregory Rabess is pictured on the left while Carib Chief Garnette Joseph stands at the right) * Larry Larocque photo

Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence says the occasion of the celebration of emancipation should be used to re-energize our commitment to promote the positive aspect of Dominica’s culture.

This year’s Emancipation celebrations officially opened on Tuesday night. Lawrence was addressing the Golden Drum Awards ceremony at the Arawak House of Culture last night.

The annual Golden Drum Awards is meant to honour those who have played important roles in cultural development in Dominica.

Lawrence said culture is education, heritage, industry, music, dance, drama, language and several other aspects.

“We cannot take one aspect of culture and say this is it. We always have to bear in mind that culture is very broad and it embraces many aspects of our life,” he added.

Culture Minister Justina Charles said the country’s cultural development influences every aspect of life in Dominica and there are many persons and groups who through the years have given off their time and talents towards the enhancement and preservation of culture.

Golden Drum Awards went to:
1. Abilities unlimited – Preservation & development of craft
2. Marie Davis Pierre – Development of choral music
3. Carib Chief Garnette Joseph – Preservation of kalinago culture
4. Gregory Rabess – Preservation of traditional culture
5. New Dimension Theatre – Development and promotion of drama

Special Recognition Awards went to:
1. Damien Bellot – Graphic Design
2. Priscilla Darroux – Traditional Dance
3. Dorelle Diolen – Creative Dance
4. Chester “Daddy Chess” Letang – Calypso
5. Miranda Langlais – Preservation of the kalinago culture
6. Gerard Labglais – Preservation of the kalinago culture
7. Ras Bobby Olivacce’ – Preservation of traditional medicine
8. Nelly Stharre – Development of popular music

Guest performers at the event were the Sisserou Singers, the Karina Cultural Group, Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company, Dubique Cultural Group, Daddy Chess, Tasha P and the Paix Bouche Drummers.

Kamala Jno. Baptiste-Aaron was the MC for the night.

[See photo gallery below]

[nggallery id=23]

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  1. Anonymous
    July 30, 2010


  2. Kalinago
    July 29, 2010

    Congrats to all the KALINAGO friends (DA’s 1st. PEOPLE) and others on your achievement. To further enhance and preserve our culture ANOUS VINI ANSAM POU TIWAY GROS PAYTAN MAMAN WOCH-LA EN CHEMAIN-A. English translation, ‘ Let us come together to remove the huge, massive rock in the road.’

  3. cultural activist
    July 29, 2010

    Culture is really very broad. What is happening now in Dominica is cause for concern as regards the preservation of our culture. But speeches mean nothing, without concrete and positive action. Culture is about respect for elders. That aspect has declined so much authorities, even Ministers of GOVT. have been heard saying these days that some old people, aged politicians and knowledgeable elders of society cannot mobilise or educate the youths anymore They dismiss, ostracise honest, hard working persons like Ron Green and others, who have played a significant role in Dominica’s development. To enhance and preserve our culture and democracy, GOVT. must embark on ELECTORAL REFORM which would better our electoral process and democracy. Culture is about FREE and FAIR elections, so that people could exercise their franchise to choose FREELY and FAIRLY their reps. of their choice They should do so not through bribery with money, material things or free plane tickets, or by shutting off the national Radio station to prevent different views from being heard. Culture means let all ideas contend. Culture is not about gaining massive wealth through dubious means especially in public office. Culture is about speaking the truth, nothing but the truth to the people Culture is about respect at all times for the CONSTITUTION and the laws of the land. Culture is about justice for all, not for a few. Culture cannot be more marginalising or creating more poverty for the majority or institutionalizing begging. A Cultured people must adhere to the biblical saying,’ By the sweat of thy brow, thou shall eat bread.’ Culture is about seriously allowing Dominicans to control their natural resources, not giving it over blindly to foreigners to control. Culture is about caring and loving each other. Culture cannot be enslavement again and being third class citizens in our own land. Culture is about EMANCIPATING ourselves from MENTAL SLAVERY.

    If we Dominicans consider those points, only then would we, as a people be on the road to enhancing and preserving our culture. To begin doing so, Dominicans must ensure free and fair elections through the implementation of Electoral reform now not later. VOTER ID cards, cleaning of the bloated voters list (67000 names on a voters list in a population of 69000, madness and uncultured), equal access to all parties on National Radio station DBS, and respect for anti-bribery laws must be our clarion call always until they are done. Why the trickery and stubbornness to do those basic things for the benefit of all? Only then would the speeches by authorities make any sense. Let our culture be about Fairness. Let the cultural playing field be level. Otherwise Emancipation celebrations will loose its meaning and true impact. The future outcome would be disastrous if we fall into a further DE-cultured state, dog eat dog mentality, fighting for and exercising absolute power and all the other evils that some persons love to cherish in this land.

  4. true Dominican
    July 29, 2010

    its good to see that our kalinago people are observed as well congratulations to all

  5. DNO Reviewer
    July 29, 2010

    I s raymond making a broder point here? I wonder it might be a sutle message we need to hear. I guess he’s being political but avoids direct dispensation of the idea. food for thought.Ray is deep he is also a student of history unlike those who self proclaim.

    July 29, 2010


  7. Sandra
    July 29, 2010

    Congratulations to all the receipents of the Golden Drum Award…

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