April 24, 2019

Cayman Islands: 25th Annual National Arts & Culture Awards

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Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s 25th Annual National Arts & Culture Awards this Thursday, 21st February.

2019 Awardees

HERITAGE CROSS AWARDS

GOLD HERITAGE CROSS AWARDEES

Melvin Augustine (POSTHUMOUS)

Melvin Augustine was employed in his native country, Belize, as assistant bandmaster of the Belize Police Force, after receiving the required musical theory recognition from the Royal School of Music in the U.K. He moved to the Cayman Islands with his family in September 1976 to join the Royal Cayman Islands Police as a police tailor and to develop a ceremonial police band.

The band grew under his direction and became an integral part of police and public functions, the highlight of which was playing for the Queen of England when she visited the Cayman Islands in 1994.

Melvin will be remembered for his many musical recordings such as ‘Munzie Boat’, as well as leading top dance bands like The Lonelies Combo and the Settlers Band which backed international calypso artists like the late Arrow and The Mighty Gabby.

During Pirates Week festivals, Melvin and his band also backed and recorded with local artists including Maxine McCoy, the late Ray McLaughlin and Eric Smith. Melvin retired from the Royal Cayman Islands Police in 2006. He taught music briefly at the Red Bay Primary School and privately tutored musicians on various instruments. In his later years he mainly played as a one-man band. His influence on the music of the Cayman Islands shall long outlive us and his many recordings will continue to be played both here and abroad.

Maxine & Maureen Bodden

The Bodden Family’s .

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when the tradition of decorating the tree, and the hanging of garlands and lights begin. For the Bodden family it began back in the early 60s with the decorating of their Norfolk Island Pine tree and plastic Christmas figures in the yard. From then on, their yard decorations continued to progress to the high tech computerized synchronized display they have built over the past years. Their bright array of holidays lights and animated figures have evolved into a Christmas Wonderland for the local community and the tourists visiting the island to come and enjoy. The Bodden twins, Maureen and Maxine, like to coordinate the color lights and design the yard with their team of workers who hang the lights that are switched on after Thanksgiving. They welcome the tourists and residents, the elderly and handicap who come to see and enjoy the lights. The Boddens feel richly blest seeing how so many visitors enjoy coming to visit, the kind remarks they share and the thrill it gives them of knowing they have made someone happy. The Bodden family Christmas Wonderland is the gift they give to everyone here at this very special time of year.

The Crighton Family

Rex and Cecile Crighton first started their Christmas decorations at Spotts in November 1970. They wanted to decorate the yard for their three young children to enjoy. Their first Christmas display was a lighted plastic Nativity Scene from Sears Roebuck & Company in Miami, Florida. The nativity scene was important to them as they wanted to portray the true meaning of Christmas…that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

From that first scene, their Christmas Wonderland has expanded to over 25 scenes to date. These range from religious scenes with a life size animated nativity scene to secular scenes of the North Pole and Santa Claus with snow machines and a large train scene with Christmas villages. Christmas music is played to make the experience more entertaining and joyful.

One of the Crighton family’s favorite displays is a traditional Cayman house with white sand yard bordered by conch shells. It was created in memory of family members who have passed on and touched their lives. This scene gives people a glimpse of the way Christmas was celebrated in Cayman’s past and helps preserve our history and heritage.

Up until 2010, Rex dressed up as Santa Claus on December 23 and handed out candies and gifts to the children who visited the display. He immensely enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. Cecile often joined him dressed as Mrs. Claus, and the children helped hand out the gifts.

The Crighton Family love opening their Christmas display to the community and bringing joy to people. It is their way of giving back to the community. They hope that everyone who visits their Christmas Wonderland will experience the true meaning of Christmas.

SILVER HERITAGE CROSS AWARDEES

Ms. Annie Rose Scott

Elsa Annie Rose Scott, or ‘Annie Rose’, has been the Community Development Officer for the Sister Islands within the Department of Children & Family Services for 30 years. Talented, ambitious, creative, confident, caring, warm, dependable, resourceful and hardworking are some of the qualities attributed to her by the community. She has served on numerous committees including the National Youth Policy Task Force, Older Persons Policy Task Force, National Youth Commission and National Drug Council. She was also Chairperson of the National Parenting Programme, a Scout Leader, Deputy Chairperson for the Sister Islands Annual Agriculture Show and a Board Member of the Cayman Islands National Cultural Foundation.

Annie Rose often takes the initiative to develop programmes that address her community’s needs, such as Brac Against Alcohol Misuse, Sew-n-So Ladies Club, Adopt A Grandparent Programme, and the Senior Citizens Social Club. In 2008, with the support of the District Commissioner and Deputy, she established the Youth Development Centre to provide a safe, nurturing environment and supportive services for children and families.

Annie Rose is the ‘soul’ of her community, always working diligently on the many projects/events she organises for seniors and youth and is often sought out by both the public and private sectors to assist with events and workshops.

In 2004, she was honoured with the prestigious the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for service to the community. As the 2018-2019 Secretary for the Brac’s Rotary Club, she is a prime example of their motto, “Service above Self”.

Ms. Elvie Lizabeth Walton-Thompson

Elvie Lizabeth Walton Thompson, fondly called Liz, was born in 1959 to Japheth (deceased) and Vedal Walton of Spot Bay, Cayman Brac. After spending her formative years in the Brac, her family migrated to Grand Cayman in 1970 where she attended the Cayman Islands High School. She graduated in 2011 from UCCI with a Certificate in Legal Studies (with Distinction) from the Institute of Legal Executives (UK).

Liz joined the Cayman Islands Government Civil Service in 1980 working in several posts before her final promotion as the first Director of Immigration Boards, retiring in 2005 to fulfill a life-long dream to return home. In the Brac, she took up the post of Personal Assistant to Hon. Moses Kirkconnell managing his political office as Constituency Office Administrative Secretary.

Her community work has spanned over four decades and included positions such as Secretary of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association; member of the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residence Board; volunteer with Rotary Club of Cayman Brac; Chairwoman of CODAC Cayman Brac; Treasurer of Cayman Brac Pirates/Heritage Day Committee; and honorary member and events coordinator for the Veterans & Seaman Society of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2018.

In her free time, Liz enjoys relaxing at home and spending treasured moments with her husband Kelly Thompson, her family members and friends just enjoying the simpler things in life.

BRONZE HERITAGE CROSS AWARDEE

Mr. Keino Daley

Keino Daley was born in and moved to Cayman Brac at 18-months old. Upon graduation from high school, he started working at DIVI Tiara Beach Resort as a Groundsman, his first official opportunity to share the culture and heritage of our islands. He then moved on to Public Works but was soon seconded to the District Administration’s Marketing and Promotions Unit to help the Unit promote its Nature, Tourism and Heritage programmes.

Keino flourished in his temporary position, developing a keen interest in Cayman culture, history, heritage and cuisine, and has been helping to enhance the experiences of visitors to the Sister Islands ever since. He was fully transferred to the post in 2007 and became the “official face of Tourism in the Sister Islands”.

Keino exudes raw, authentic Caymanian hospitality, and is enthusiastic about sharing his love for his country and vast knowledge of local flora and fauna. He actively promotes Caymanian heritage and is known for his amicable personality and infectious smile. He has also been featured in magazines and online articles and was a recipient of the Cultural Heritage Emerging Pioneer 2014 Heroes Day Award as well as the 2017 Tourism Emerging Pioneer Award.

He has participated in programmes organised through the Marketing & Promotions Unit, Cayman Brac Heritage House, Cayman Brac Museum, of Tourism, , National Gallery, and other public and private sector initiatives. He says he is just happy to be a part of helping to keep our culture alive.

STAR FOR CREATIVITY AWARDS

GOLD STAR FOR CREATIVITY AWARDEES

Ms. Rita Estevanovich

Rita Estevanovich has been on stage since age eight, performing in school plays at Triple C School and at the National Children’s Festival of the Arts. She joined Young at Arts and Dance Unlimited as a teen and continued in the performing arts at university where she enrolled in modelling school and recorded music. Shortly after graduating from university, she became a television reporter for Cayman 27, and was later hired by CNCF for 10 years, becoming involved in all aspects of arts and culture.

Rita has played leading and supporting roles in several local productions including ‘Rundown’, ‘Collected Stories’, ‘Doubt’, ‘Sistahs’, ‘Hannah’s Confession’, ‘De Honeymoon Over’ and ‘Fallen Angels’. She is a regular on the ‘Gimistory’ stage, and her voice can be heard on local, regional and U.S. marketing advertisements as well as on the local cartoon series ‘Bobo & Tete’.

Rita is a graduate of the New York Film Academy. She is the Chair of the Cayman Islands Film Control Board and has received two CNCF Arts and Culture Awards – the Heritage Cross, Bronze in 2010 and the 2008 Artistic Achievement Award.

Rita represented Cayman at the 2018 World Championships of the Performing Arts in Long Beach, California. She won seven medals and was named the Senior Grand Champion Actor and the Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World, an award given to one performer across all disciplines. Rita is the first actor in 22 years to take this title and the only female actor to ever win this award.

Mr. Earl La Pierre

Originally, from St Clair, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Earl La Pierre is one of many Trinidadians who have made their mark in their various spheres of the world. While living in Canada he taught steel pan music at the University of Toronto, North York Board of Education and the Toronto Board of Education. He was instrumental in getting the Steel pan offered as a credit course in the North Schools and won ALL Kiwanis Music Festivals in the Steel band category in Secondary, Junior and Primary School from 1979 to 1986.

In 1986 Earl headed to the Cayman Islands for the Pirates Week Festival when an opportunity to teach pan arose. He opened the Cayman School for Pan, started a Carnival Steel band named Panoramers and taught pan at the primary, middle and high schools, as well as Catholic Schools in Grand Cayman. As a result of Earl’s contributions, all the schools in Cayman now offer steel band as part of their educational programmes. Earl won every School Music Festival and every Carnival Pan Competition in the Cayman Islands from 1988 to 2006 and is credited with introducing Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument to this country.

In 2014 the Ontario Steel Pan Association (O.S.A.) honoured Earl for his contribution to the art of Steel Pan in Canada and the city of Barrie (Rhythmfest) also recognised him as a Pioneer of Steel Pan. His most recent accolade was in September 2018 when he was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canada-based Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards ceremony.

Ms. Joanne Sibley

Joanne Sibley’s early training in art came from her father who was a professional artist. On weekends, father and daughter would paint and draw together, both inside and out. Born in Canada, Joanne attended University, graduated with a degree in Interior Design and worked professionally in Canada for a few years.

In 1954 she married and moved to Jamaica where she worked with an advertising firm and later in her husband’s architectural firm as a designer. One of her commissions was the interior design of the then new Prime Minister’s residence. During those years she continued painting exhibiting and becoming professionally known for portraits and landscape. She and her husband also raised four children.

In 1980 the Sibleys moved to Cayman and became active in the Visual Art Society. Since then Joanne has exhibited on many occasions and received numerous awards. She was one of five artists who represented Cayman in the Carib Art Exhibition in Curacao, and has had work published in The Artists, the International Artist and Real Life magazines. She has also had one of her images on a Cayman Islands stamp.

Joanne’s interest in painting has taken her on painting trips across Europe and North America, and her work can be found in private collections in a number of countries.

Ms. Janet Walker

Janet Walker was born and raised in Canada. She attended Bishop’s University and then spent three years at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto studying drawing and painting before marrying and moving with her husband to Grand Cayman in the early 60’s.

The first few years in Cayman were busy ones as Janet helped her husband set up his law practice. It was after she had her three children that she started to paint the wonderful landscapes and seascapes of the Cayman Islands. She was particularly fascinated by the early architecture and painted many buildings which sadly have long since disappeared, and the charming, simple tree-lined roads and seashores. It was a wonderful way to meet lovely people who welcomed her into their yards to set up her easel and lose herself in a painting. At that time, it was also perfectly safe to set up the easel on the side of the road or on deserted beaches.

Janet is a founding member of the Visual Arts Society and participated in many of its shows. She has also been invited to exhibit her work at the National Gallery. She paints in watercolour because she loves the spontaneity of that medium, and enjoys working on site en plein air, feeling the elements and hoping that she captures some of the changing light and wind in her painting.

BRONZE STAR FOR CREATIVITY AWARDEES

Mr. Jawara Alleyne

Jawara Alleyne is an award-winning fashion designer and artist currently living and working in London. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Marketing at the London College of Fashion, one of the top universities for fashion in the world. Since then, he has worked with a host of international fashion brands and is currently a Studio Coordinator for the Peter Pilotto label, managing the operations of design development within the studio.

Jawara is also the co-founder of Nii, a modeling agency that aims to represent diverse faces in the fashion industry. He explores topics of cultural interest within his work and pushes the boundaries that define Caribbean fashion. Layers of Self is the second collection in a series of self-exploration from the designer. In this collection Jawara explores the concepts of the many layers that make up who we are as individuals, commenting that though we have a common culture, each of our identities are different and what it means to be Caymanian and Caribbean differs for each individual.

Jawara will be attending the Royal College of Arts to complete his MA where he intends to explore his Caribbean identity.

Ms. Melisha McField

Melisha McField received her bachelor’s degree in Dance and Choreography from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. While in Jamaica she danced and performed with L’Acadco, one of Jamaica’s top dance companies, and filled the role of Rehearsal Director for three years.

Upon returning home in 2011, Melisha became a classroom teacher and a dance instructor at Dance Unlimited. In 2017 she started her own company Dreamchasers Cayman and staged her first Christmas production “A Dreamchasers Christmas’ in December 2018.

Melisha has been a member of the Self-Help Foundation for many years leading numerous dance workshops and participating in the Talent Exposition and has volunteered at John Gray High School with the YMCA dance programme. She has also choreographed opening pieces for the Pirates Week Office for the past six years as well as the Miss Teen Cayman Islands Pageant and the National Children’s Festival where her pieces have won gold, silver and bronze awards.

Melisha is a dance instructor for CNCF summer camps and the Young at Arts programmes. She represented the Cayman Islands at Carifesta and the Aberdeen Culture Festival and led Dance Cayman to Carifesta XIII in Barbados in 2017. In March 2018 Dreamchasers Cayman performed at CNCF’s Red Sky at Night while six senior dancers represented Cayman at Jamaica Dance Umbrella on the same weekend.

Melisha believes that we are all creative spirits with many opportunities and space to grow as an artist.

Ms. Isi Obi

Designer Isy Obi is the founder of Isy B., the award-winning fashion brand from the Cayman Islands. Isy B. was recently named “one of the Caribbean brands to watch” by Caribbean Journal, and since its launch in 2015, has garnered an impressive list of successes, locally and internationally. Isy was awarded ‘Lifestyle Designer of the Year’ at Phoenix Fashion Week in 2016, and in 2017 her brand successfully launched a capsule collection for Evine, the third largest home-shopping network in the United States.

The company’s designs have been featured on the Macy’s department store website and on red carpets across the world, from the Grammys to the CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival. In 2017 Isy was selected to represent the Cayman Islands at Carifesta in Barbados.

Isy’s aesthetic is influenced by island life, travel and artistic expression in all forms. She creates intuitively and receives much of her inspiration through dreams or during meditation. Each collection is rooted in elegance and tells its story through the harmony and flow of individual elements. Her aim is to create designs that come from the heart and connect with her wearers at the heart level.

CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

Mr. Winston Salmon

Winston James Salmon was born in England and has been residing in the Cayman Islands for over 30 years. He is a trained science teacher and accountant and a passionate lover of all aspects of the arts. Winston never says “No” and has volunteered consistently at Gimistory, Miss Lassie’s House, the production of ‘Doubt’, the CNCF office, the Harquail Theatre costume room…to name just a few. He is a two-time recipient of the CNCF Volunteer of the Year award.

VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR

Mr. Wardley Conolly

Ms. Rebecca Wick

Mr. Burton Ebanks

Mrs. Donna Ebanks

SPONSOR OF THE YEAR

Hopscotch

Hopscotch Productions’ relationship with the Cayman National Cultural Foundation spans decades, and stems from the desire of Hopscotch founder, the late Charles ‘Greggie G’ Gregory, to help promote and preserve Cayman’s rich musical and cultural heritage. This shared passion with CNCF has translated into thousands of hours of studio recording, lighting, audio engineering and stage production services happily provided, and often donated by Hopscotch to the Foundation. From Red Sky at Night to Gimistory to CI Folk Singers performances and countless other productions and events, Hopscotch is proud to support CNCF in its continuous efforts to grow arts and culture in the Cayman Islands. The Hopscotch team is also committed to carrying on the legacy of our founder Greggie G through showcasing and developing the incredible performing and musical talent that exists in the Cayman Islands.

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