Acting Governor General, Sir Philip Greaves (left) presents the Governor General’s Award of Excellence to Dave and Marcia Weekes. Looking on are Chairman of the Board of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Maureen Graham and CEO, NCF, Cranston Browne.
GG’s Award of Excellence given out
Filmmakers, Dave and Marcia Weekes; Literary Artist, Linda M. Deane; and Culinary Artist, Melissia Batson are the recipients of the Governor General’s Award of Excellence for 2017.
Making the announcements at the Performing Arts Gala of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) 2017 of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) on Sunday night at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Master of Ceremonies for the night, Margaret Allman-Goddard, stated that the Weekes duo have been involved in the arts and culture industry in this country for more than 16 years.
They formed a film company called Step By Step Productions in 2008 with the purpose of concentrating on this performing arts genre and under this name they have produced six movies, including their most well-known hit the “Hush” series, which addressed the serious social issue of domestic violence in this country.
Throughout their tenure in the film industry, they have represented Barbados at various film festivals, gaining notable recognition for their work on the regional and international stages. The latest film to come out of Step By Step Productions is “Barrow Freedom Fighter”, which tells the story of the Father of Independence, Errol Walton Barrow. It earned them the Gold Award at NIFCA this year
along with the Governor General’s Award in Film/Video.
Meanwhile, the list of accomplishments for Writer, Editor, Publisher and Graphic Designer, Deane, includes first prize in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition in 2006 and the Prime Minister’s Award for her poetry collection entitled, “Cutting Road Blues: A Narrative”.
A Founding Director of both The Barbados Copyright Agency (B-COPY) and ArtsEtc., she was given the GG award for her essay on “A Way Back – Phyllis, Freddy, Dexter & Wow”.
Batson of JEM’s Barbados started her business three years ago with a goal of combining a well-loved product – chocolate – with local produce to make a unique product. This took months of research and experimenting with different varieties before she came upon the winning combinations.
Some of her notable culinary creations include edible fruit arrangements; infused chocolates which combine dark chocolate, fruit and on occasion, liquor/rum and chocolate dipped fruit. These chocolates were displayed at both the official opening of the Food and Rum Festival in 2016 as well as the Spirits of Polo Event, also in 2016.
This is the first time that Batson entered her chocolates in NIFCA and in addition to the GG’s award, she walked away with the gold award for her Mount Gay Extra Old Rum-infused chocolate bar and three bronze awards for the other bars including the Pomegranate Infusion.