News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – We’re celebrating Bermudian Excellence this Heritage Month. And today (May 21), Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, Lovitta Foggo congratulated this year’s winners of the Cultural Apprenticeship Showcase.

Colita Cook-Shillingford and Barbara Paynter have been crowned as the joint winners of the Carnival Costume Design Challenge Showcase, as part of the Bermuda Cultural Apprenticeship Programme.

Last Friday (May 17), working in partnership with Nova Mas International the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs hosted the showcase finale, which took place at the Bermuda National Gallery.

According to the Department, the Cultural Apprenticeship project, features the pairing of tradition-bearers with apprentices. In creating structured opportunities for tradition-bearers to work one-on-one with interested young people, the Department aims to foster the growth of a younger generation of tradition-bearers in Bermuda.

Each year of the programme features a different theme.

This year the Department focused on the newly emerging cultural industry surrounding costume design and fabrication for Bermuda’s Heroes Day Carnival.

Five apprentices including Colita Cook, James Lee, Barbara Paynter, Kimberley Robinson and Mo’Nique Stevens took part in this programme under the instruction of tradition-bearer Daryl Cox, a Trinidadian costume designer whose work has featured in most major carnivals including Miami, New York, Cayman and Toronto.

During last Friday’s showcase, videos were shown highlighting the process for each of the designers. Each of the designers gave short presentations about what they learned and their final costumes were modeled and judged at the event.

Today, Minister Foggo said, “As part of our Heritage Month celebrations, I was absolutely thrilled to cheer on the finalists of the Cultural Apprenticeship Programme. This programme has proven to be an incredibly worthwhile and successful project since its inception in 2008. It’s a unique and dynamic way of pairing our tradition-bearers with apprentices with the goal of keeping our cultural heritage alive through the next generation. So, we are very pleased with not only the sustainability of this programme, but that it’s yielded such great creative results.”

Minister Foggo continued, “This year’s programme focused on the newly emerging cultural industry surrounding costume design and fabrication for Bermuda’s Heroes Day Carnival. To the five apprentices we thank you for your participation. You saw a need to be a part of expanding our heritage and traditions and you fully embraced this project.

“And to our joint winners Colita Cook-Shillingford and Barbara Paynter – congratulations to you both! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talent for all of Bermuda to see. You truly demonstrated Bermudian Excellence.”

  • Feature Photo Supplied: Minister Foggo with Cultural Apprenticeship winners, Colita Cook-Shillingford (front row far left) and Barbara Paynter (next to Minister Foggo in front row).