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Convalescent home for calypsonians
Posted By: News
Date: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, at 7:58 a.m.
By SHELDON OSBORNE
CULTURE Minister Joan Yuille-Williams has announced that government will soon start work on a convalescent home for senior "cultural practitioners".
Yuille-Williams made the announcement as she addressed patrons attending the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) Awards Ceremony held recently at the Cascadia Ballroom, St. Annís.
In outlining government's plans for assisting in the development of culture, and calypso in particular, the minister stressed the importance of the calypsonian's perspective in the recording of important historical events.
Minister Yuille-Williams even admitted that she relies heavily on the information contained in vintage calypsoes: "As a historian myself, I look towards the calypsonians of the era to tell me what really happened," she said.
The minister also suggested that these historically valuable calypsoes could be vital in the teaching of History, Civics and Social Studies in the nation's primary and secondary schools.
In the same breath, Yuille-Williams commended NACC for "recognising quality in the calypso artform", by hosting an annual award ceremony that is now being touted as "the Grammy Awards of Calypso".
She then announced that her government is happily playing its part in recognising quality and rewarding those who have toiled to bring the artform to where it has reached.
Among the government initiatives is a plan to ensure the welfare of senior calypsonians and others senior citizens in the performing arts.
"Funds have been allocated for the construction of a convalescent home for cultural practitioners," she announced.
Almost apologetically, Yuille-Williams admitted that her ministry might sometimes come across as "hard" when requests are made for government to fund cultural events and initiatives.
However, she explained that the standards and minimum requirements set by the ministry are simply part of the quest for excellence.
"If I was hard in the past, it is because I wanted to be able to put my money where my mouth was," she said.
Citing the NACC Awards ceremony as an example of the results of setting high standards in cultural activity, the minister said that she is satisfied that her tough stance is paying off.
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