Five individuals have received Dominica’s highest cultural award, for their instrumental roles in the promotion and development of Dominican culture.
On Saturday night, President of Dominica, Charles Savarin, presented Golden Drum Awards to Stephen Drigo, for Development and Promotion of Traditional Music; Pearle Christian, for Excellence in Music Education, and Promotion of Choral Music; Catherine Miranda Langlais, for Preservation and Promotion of Indigenous Culture; Levi “Super L” Loblack, for Excellence in Music; and Regina Walsh, for Promotion of Pageantry.
The Golden Drum Award, which was instituted in 1982, is issued to individuals, groups or institutions that have made outstanding contributions to the development of art and culture, spanning at least twenty years.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture, and Constituency Empowerment, Mandra Fagan, urged the awardees to share their skills and talent with the youth.
“You have been standard bearers of culture over many years, and it is fitting that you are recognized in this way. This is certainly not the end of the road for you,” she commented. “I am confident that you will continue to contribute to the development of our culture, and sharing your experience, skills, and talent with others, especially the younger generation.”
Fagan expressed special appreciation to those who awarded for their work in the field of pageantry, for which she said the island “has developed a strong body of expertise.”
She added that the event formed part of the 2016 Emancipation Celebrations, which spanned from July 12 to 31.
“We are also in Emancipation Celebration mode I must remind you that Emancipation Celebration is one of freedom—freedom from slavery and oppression,” Fagan remarked. “Emancipation in 1838 provided the basis for cultural freedom, and the flourishing of talent which was suppressed under the slavery system.”
Additionally, Special Recognition Awards were presented to six persons, in acknowledgment of their outstanding successes in the fields of art and culture.
Fagan presented the awards to Craig Bellot, for Promotion of Music; Hilroy Fingal, for Excellence in Art; Ivon George for Development and Promotion of Traditional Dance; Carlton Henry, for Promotion of Traditional Culture and Pageantry; the Performing Arts Workshop, for Promotion and Development of Dance and Pageantry; and the St. Alphonsus Junior Choir, for Excellence in Choral Music.