Minister responsible for Culture, Justina Charles, wants Special Recognition and Golden Drum Awardees to continue to contribute to Dominica’s culture.
Charles, who delivered brief remarks at the 33rd annual Golden Drum award ceremony and concert, at the Arawak House of Culture on Saturday, said the awards should serve as an impetus to recipients.
“I trust that tonight’s ceremony will not just serve as gratification but to serve as an impetus to give you that zeal to continue,” she said.
The Minister for Culture pointed out that despite the fact that some awardees are “almost retired” they can still contribute.
“You can give advice where necessary and continue to support various aspects of our culture,” Charles stated, adding that in the case of those who are not ready for retirement, she hopes that the recognition will urge them to give more.
“Your contribution to the development of culture is significant. We cherish that contribution.”
The golden Drum Awards, began in 1982 and represents the top Cultural award on island.
The “drum” was chosen because of the important role it played during the resistance of slavery. Slaves utilized the drum to signal that an attack was about to be launched on a plantation. The drum also plays a key role in today’s culture and spirituality.
Golden Drum Awards went to:
Jerry Coipel-Development and Promotion of Theatre arts
Costume Builders Mass Camp-Development and Promotion of Carnival Arts
Creative Dynamix- Development and Promotion of Carnival Arts
Hans Francis-Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Music
Gerard Langlais-Preservation and promotion of Indigenous Culture
Tradibelle Cultural Group- Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Arts
Special Recognition awards went to:
Orlando Cuffy –Excellence in Woodcarving
Patricia Cuffy-Development of Pageantry
Thomas Defoe-Development and Promotion of Traditional drumming
Bella Letham-Promotion of Traditional Culture and Pageantry
Tasha Peltier-Excellence in Music Performance
Melanie Timothy-Excellence in Garment design and Production
Both categories of awards were presented by the Minister for Culture, as H.E Charles Savarin, who was expected to present the Golden Drum Awards, was unable to attend the ceremony due to a minor eye surgery.
Dominica News Online (DNO) sought comments from two of the Golden Drum awardees.
“I feel good for the people that work with me all year round,” Darnley Guye of the Costume Builders Mass Camp said. “They deserve it. They put a lot into it.”
Meanwhile Gerard Langlais said “I feel good about it, words really cannot express how I feel. It’s an achievement,” he continued, adding that his work in the preservation of the Indigenous culture was not done with the aim of collecting awards.
“You do it because you want to do it, you love to do it…you do it because you want things to happen and you are doing it for your people and your country. That’s what I will always continue to do as long as I have breath.”
There were performances by The Sisserou Singers, Tradibelle Cultural Group, Sankofa Dancers and Tasha Peltier.