Tomorrow night at Ilaro Court, the NIFCA spotlight will shine on some of Barbados’ literary artists who have made an indelible mark writing their names on the 50-year-old festival’s page and into the annals of this country.
But there’s another special treat for patrons attending this event. “The show will commence with the launch of Barbadian icon Sir Emile Straker’s book My Island and Me at 5:30 p.m. during which there will be some speeches and signing,” said Cultural Officer – Literary Arts, Karra Price.
“Immediately after the book launch and before the start of A Night of Prose, Poetry & Performance there’s going to be a reception. If you’re coming to the show, you can come out as early as 6 p.m. to enjoy the pre-show reception as it will be an opportunity for everyone to socialise, mingle, enjoy some music, and some Bajan treats and snacks as we’re in the month of Independence and we’re going to be celebrating all things Barbadian. If you do have the time, you can come out from 5:30 p.m. but the show will start at 7 p.m.” she said.
“We’re honouring the winning performances over the years, and we’ll focus mostly on those persons who won gold awards or special awards such as the Governor General’s Award, the George Lamming Award, or the Kamau Brathwaite Award. We will feature performances by them during the show, which will also have some interpretive pieces so patrons will see some of them accompanied by drums, or dance or flautists.
“There will also be some readings, some video clips with people who had a direct hand in NIFCA Literary Arts over the last 50 years. It is more of a tribute, taking out the highlights of the last 50 years and celebrating. It is a chance to come together and reminisce and experience some of the goodies from the past. The tickets for the event are on sale at the box offices at $40. They are $50 at the door,” said Price.
The Cultural Officer – Literary Arts noted that A Night of Prose, Poetry & Performance will be in keeping with the theme for the golden anniversary – 50 Years of Excellence Remembered.
Regarding this year’s NIFCA Literary Arts competition, Price said that in addition to the cash prizes being offered to the (amateur) individuals or groups 18 years and over who entered short stories, poems, and essays, there are publishing opportunities.
The top 15 stories, poems, and essays will be included in a publication celebrating 50 years of NIFCA. The top entry in each category carries a $2 500 cash prize. There is also an Incentive Award for outstanding participation by an artiste(s) with Disabilities which includes a $400 cash prize and a trophy for an individual and $750 for a group.
Participants also have a chance to gain one of the new special awards this year – the50th Anniversary of NIFCA Award – which will go to the Most Outstanding Presentation in the NIFCA Literary Arts 2023. It takes the form of a trophy and a $2 000 cash prize and will be awarded to the top school’s entry or top adult entry writer with the highest number of winning works. Also new is also the $15,000 Business Entrepreneur Prize, being offered across all disciplines, to an adult gold awardee with multiple winning works. The prize will be awarded to recognise works that demonstrate entrepreneurial value.