On the calendar of Emancipation Day celebrations 2015, the National Cultural Council and Division of Culture recognised the efforts of several groups and individuals for their contribution to cultural development in Dominica.
Marking its 33rd ceremony on Saturday August 1st, the Council and its partners hosted the annual Golden Drum Award ceremony in red carpet style to thank Dominica’s cultural stalwarts.
Addressing the ceremony was the Hon. Minister for Culture, Justina Charles.
“We will remember that at one stage the enslaved Africans were prevented from playing the drums since the drum was deemed a weapon- and indeed it was. It was a call to action. We have therefore instituted the Golden Drum Awards to celebrate and honor those among us who have worked hard and long to preserve, promote and develop our culture. Thus the Golden Drum Award must not be seen as a mere object; a piece of wood but rather an important symbol.”
The Golden Drum Award which, according to the Hon. Minister symbolises resilience and strength; was instituted in 1982 to celebrate and honor nationals who make outstanding contributions to the development of art and culture spanning at least 20 years.
Jerry Coipel was awarded for the development and promotion of theatre arts; Costume Builders Mas Camp and Creative Dynamix for the development and promotion of carnival arts, Hans Francis for the preservation and promotion of traditional music, Gerard Langlais for the preservation and promotion of indigenous culture and the Tradibelle Cultural Group for the preservation and promotion of traditional arts.
The Hon. Minister expressed gratitude to award recipients for their contribution to national development.
Six individuals were also presented with Special Recognition Awards for notable successes in a particular field of arts and culture.
Orlando Cuffy for excellence in wood carving, Patricia Cuffy for the development of pageantry, Thomas Defoe for the development and promotion of traditional drumming, Bella Leatham for the promotion of traditional culture and pageantry, Tasha Peltier for excellence in music performance and Melanie Timothy for excellence in garment design and production.
(Jerry Coipel accepts award)