Leroy Barrow took home five Gold awards and the Mildeane Massiah Award of Excellence for performance in the Desserts category.

Minister speaks on culture sector’s potential

MINISTER of the Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King has given the assurance that the cultural sector is a priority of the Government of Barbados.

He was at the time highlighting the sector’s potential as a key driver of economic activity during the NIFCA Gold Awards Ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Ilaro Court on Friday evening.

Minister King told specially invited guests, “The growth and development of this sector, unlike the traditional economic sectors, is rooted in the creativity of you its people. As a ministry we understand that its expansion is linked to our ability to create a platform like NIFCA that will allow you to take these inputs, these factors of production i.e, your skills and talents to its full potential in novel ways, not only for local consumption, but for regional and international export.”

He said studies have repeatedly shown that the Arts can enhance development economically, socially and individually.

He added that the work presented in NIFCA is always a true guide as to the day-to-day realities of and emerging trends in communities. “Our brothers and sisters show us portraits of ourselves, our observations of our world – immediate and distant.”

“This year’s offering in mixed-discipline performances are but an example, so too the insightful and totally entertaining literary observations on climate change, motherhood, current affairs and even love.”

The Culture Minister highlighted and applauded the work of the junior participants saying that the judges remarked on their outstanding writing in this year’s Goddard Enterprises Literary Arts competition.

He revealed that while there was a decline in entries in the film category this year, the quality was commendable. “We shall use the enthusiasm shown as an impetus to increase participation next year. Of particular note however, was the submission of entries in film by our juniors.

Based on this interest, the Foundation will be development criteria to encourage exploration and experimentation in this demographic with a specific children’s category in 2019,” he stated.

Minister King also highlighted the Prison Arts Rehabilitation Programme currently concentrated in the Visual Arts, Music and Theatre.

“This year marks the 18th year of participation of the Prison’s Rehabilitation Programme in the NIFCA visual Arts Competition.” He said the then Minister of Government who saw the value in such a programme and who was instrumental in its partnership with the NCF is now the Prime Minister of Barbados.

“We are proud of this collaboration which has seen some participants winning the highest nonprofessional awards and going on to study arts formally upon their release and pursuing a career in the visual arts. The NCF and Her Majesty’s Prison are set to consult on way that they can improve on this partnership in the future,” he revealed. (JH)

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