Minister of Social Development and Sports, Zane DeSilva was on hand for what he dubbed a most important occasion to pause collectively, “to salute and celebrate” local performing artists “who have contributed so much to the growth and development of the arts here in Bermuda”.

Speaking at the Bermuda Art Council’s Awards Ceremony held on Sunday night at the Earl Cameron Theatre in City Hall, the Minister said he was pleased that members, “ably led by Chairperson Tona Symonds, have chosen to confer” the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards to this year’s recipients.

Among them, author Angela Barry; dance teacher Linda Manders; visual artists Vaughn and Amy Evans; and awards were presented posthumously to art educator Olga Simons and Jean Hannant for theatre.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is “presented to those persons who are considered pioneers in their respective art form; and because they would have created significant bodies of original work that is representative of the Bermudian spirit,” said Mr DeSilva.

“Their works have not only left indelible markings on Bermuda’s artistic and cultural landscape, but such contributions have literally transformed the arts in our island home. Our lives have been enriched; and for that we are most grateful,” he added.

He noted that the Award’s Ceremony “is of great importance as we pay homage to these artistic giants”. “Each of our honourees has infused ‘life’ and ‘vibrancy’ for all to enjoy, be inspired by, and uplifted,” Minister DeSilva said.

Recipients of the Founders Awards this year were Terry Brannon (posthumous), for “music and encouraging the growth of the entertainment industry”, The Somerset Lot, for theatre – Anne Maule and Peter Nash.

“The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Founders Award have caused the arts to flourish in Bermuda,” said Mr DeSilva. 

“Their passion for the arts, and their unfailing commitment to the development of the arts has been monumental; at times involving much sacrifice and always requiring dedication and unwavering determination.”

He told the audience gathered that their “presence gives testament” to their “value and appreciation of our honourees and their work and worth”.

Said Mr DeSilva: “Thank you for being part of this singularly most significant salute to Bermuda’s artists.”

The annual event provides the Bermuda Arts Council the opportunity “to publically acknowledge and salute particular individuals in the artistic community who have, through their considerble works, encouraged, developed and stimulated the growth of the arts in Bermuda”.

  • Photos Courtesy of DCI: Feature Photo – Students of the Bermuda Dance Academy, Photo 2: Arts Council member Hannah Collins presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award for the late Olga Simons; Dawn Simons is accepting on behalf of her mother, Olga Simons, Photo 3: Award recipients, members of the Bermuda Arts Council and Minister Zane DeSilva