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Nov 14, 2019

The Garifuna Collective is Awarded $10K for Putting Belizean Music on the International Stage

The Garifuna Collective has carved a name for itself; recently it was recognized as number one in the Trans Global World Music Charts and is the only Belizean band that has been embarking on tours around the world. Their most recent tour took them to the stages of north and South America as well as Taiwan on the heels of the release of their album, ABAN.  Today the famous band members were in Belize City to receive a cash award from the Minister of Culture, Patrick Faber. News Five’s Duane Moody was present at the event and has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, a ten thousand-dollar cheque was handed over to the Garifuna Collective for its years of work in putting Belizean music on the world stage. The award, done in tribute to Gerald Compton Fairweather who has made many contributions to the music industry, will see that any artist who can put Belizean music on the world stage also be awarded ten thousand dollars. It’s the brainchild of Minister of Culture Patrick Faber and the National Institute of Culture and History.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Culture

“We saw it as an opportunity of supporting the work of the [Garifuna] Collective. I am certain that they can do with the award, with the money—it is a financial award of ten thousand dollars—but also it gives us an opportunity to highlight in this time, although now posthumously, I believe in his lifetime however the country did pay tribute to Mister Gerald Compton Fairweather. And of course the nation now knows thanks to the news and good stories that have filled the media over the past week and a half of his contributions to our country’s development via his push to end the Guatemala dispute, to help Belize get its independence and of course we’ve learnt of other aspects of his life which include his recording studio business and the promotion of Belizean music in the sixties and seventies.”

 

The event was two-fold because following the award ceremony; a number of Belizean artists were privileged to a discussion with the actors from Garifuna Collective and Ivan Duran of Stonetree Records. It was about the process of getting opportunities to perform on international stages across the world. In receiving the award, Al Ovando, Road Manager for the Garifuna Collective, says that there is no formula to winning the international awards, but each person has a unique talent and role to play.

 

Al Ovando

Al Ovando, Bassist and Road Manager, Garifuna Collective

“Something about the music of Belize and the format we have and the melodies we sing and the melodies we play have this immediate impact on people. And now it is all about changing people’s lives and how people respond to it and the respect we get. And now the bigger role for us as Belizeans and the music we play is we are asked to be the leaders in many aspects in lot of the workshops and stages. It is up to us now and the team we have. The way I say it is that we don’t have the best musicians, but we have a good set of people; each person with a unique ability and unique talent.”

 

Sapna Budhrani

Sapna Budhrani, President, NICH

“We are aware that their journey has been filled with excitement, sweat, tears and sacrifices. Through their music, they have been able to promote the Garifuna culture internationally. As such, we believe that it is only right for them to share their journey. We commence the discussion on how to be internationally recognized by acknowledging the accomplishment of the late Compton Fairweather and request the Garifuna collective to share their journey. We at NICH are committed to assisting as best as possible with the resources available to make it happen.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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