Local arts and culture icons were celebrated at the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s 26th annual National Arts and Culture Awards ceremony last Thursday.

CNCF artistic director Henry Muttoo, speaking at the event at the Harquail Theatre, congratulated the winners, saying that their contributions were important to the “development and maintenance of Caymanian society”.

“Despite the systems working against you, you have made an incalculable difference to the quality of life in these Cayman Islands. Know that your contributions are thoroughly appreciated by CNCF and our wider society,” Muttoo said.

He told those gathered at the ceremony that CNCF cannot survive without the sponsorship of those in the community and support from the public.

To stress the point, he quoted Caribbean Nobel laureate Derek Walcott: “A morning could come in which governments might ask what happened not merely to the forests and the bays but to a whole people.”

Muttoo said, “I encourage you all to stay on the journey and not forget that a society without a vibrant culture rooted in its heritage and the arts is ailing. It is our duty to see to it that the Cayman Islands is kept in good artistic and cultural health.”

Joan Wilson read select poems from her book and presented a copy to CNCF.

Quincy Brown entertained the audience with monologues, while Bona Fide provided musical entertainment during the cocktail social prior to the awards.

Sandra Watler received the Chairman’s award, while Island Heritage was named Sponsor of the Year.

The event was hosted by Ruthanna Young and Ben Meade.

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