More money for NIFCA

Stephen Lashley and Andrea Wells.

An increase in prize monies and The Jackie Opel Award are some of the new initiatives for the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts 2012.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, this afternoon at a press conference at the ministry’s offices in Mall Internationale in Haggatt Hall, St, Michael.

The Jackie Opel Award was created to pay tribute to the father of spouge music and the indelible contribution he made to the Barbadian musical landscape, the minister said while also promoting the production of indigenous music. The prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the best original musical composition and unlike the Governor General’s Award it is opened to both non-professional and professional artists.

“I’m also pleased to announce a new prize to specifically award original local music is being offered in NIFCA this year. In the review of the NIFCA music it became very evident that original Barbadian music was required to be highlighted within the festival and therefore as an inducement to encourage that, we have actually introduced The Jackie Opel Award.

“That has been introduced to recognise the importance of having original local compositions. Of course we have talked about encouraging this particular facet of the development of the music industry in Barbados and indeed at the NIFCA level this will go a long way towards encouraging, particularly young composers, to come on board and to actually assist in this,” he said.

Lashley added that since the establishment of NIFCA nearly 40 years ago this was the first such increase in prize monies. The decision was made after several stakeholder meetings in March and as a result there would be increases across all seven disciplines.

The Governor General’s Award has increased by $2,500 in all competing disciplines up now to $7,500. Other NIFCA awards such as: The Enid Maxwell Award for Culinary Arts, The Madame Ifill Award for Dance; The Daphne Joseph- Hackett Award for Drama/Speech; The Ivan Payne Award for Fine Arts; The Majorie Blackman Award for Craft; The Karl Broodhagen Award for sculpture; The George Lamming Award for Prose Fiction; The John Wickham Award for Prose Non-Fiction; The James Millington Award for Music; The Perce Tappin Award for Photography and the Erskine Callender Award for Film/Video have all had increases of $1,000.

Chief Cultural Officer at the National Cultural Foundation, Andrea Wells, said that for many years entrants had said they would like an increase in the prize so she was very pleased that it had come to fruition.

The NCF hosts the annual showcase which is said to be the highlight of their calendar mainly because of the developmental role it plays. She said so far for the season they had seen a steady flow of entrants, comparable to last year. Visual arts had more than 600, photography more than 300, music 93, literary art 153, drama/speech 63, film 13 which is an increase, dance 47 and culinary arts 10.

Deadlines for entries in the categories of dance, music, visual arts, photography, drama/speech, film and video were extended until September 5, while the original deadline dates for the other categories remain unchanged. (KC)

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