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Feb 22, 2017

N.I.C.H. Plans Celebration for Late Leela Vernon

Leela Vernon

Brukdown Queen Leela Vernon passed away on Sunday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The well-known Punta Gorda resident has received accolades locally and internationally and her death has been a blow, particularly to cultural enthusiasts. The tentative date for Vernon’s burial is next Wednesday, March first, but even before her funeral services, the National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts will be carrying out several activities in the memory of Vernon. Acting Director Karen Vernon explains.


Karen Vernon

Karen Vernon, Acting Director, Institute of Creative Arts

“The first thing in Belize City is the tribute to her, the stage at the Street Art Festival. On Monday, we are planning a celebration of life here at the Bliss Center. We have it planned for six p.m.; we have different artists who have been calling, wanting to participate in the celebration of Miss Leela’s life. And then in PG on Tuesday and Wednesday, we are also planning different types of concerts and the burial is planned at this point, for Wednesday at ten a.m.”


Duane Moody

“Now in terms of the event that will take place here in Belize City, how can people be a part of this? Is it where funds will be generated to help the family with expenses for the funeral?”


Karen Vernon

“It is a free concert, opened to the public because we want everybody to come and celebrate Leela’s life. So it is opened to the public. All the artists are outpouring with love; of course they are performing for free. We have people like Myrna Manzanares giving and speech and talking about how Leela’s life impacted Belizeans, we have Ernestine doing the national anthem in Creole; that sort of thing to cement in the importance of the Creole culture. The Creole culture, we have to make sure that Leela’s memory lives on. It will in her music…every time you hear her music. Leela might be dead, but her spirit and her music and what she stood up for will continue to live on.”

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