Minister Anroux Marais' speech at the 2022 Cultural Affairs Awards
Cultural Affairs Awards
12 October 2022
Artscape Theatre, Cape Town
Good evening, Molweni, Goeie naand.
It is wonderful to be here tonight as we celebrate the Cultural Affairs Awards once again. This is our first awards event in almost four years, as the pandemic stopped us from hosting this occasion.
I know that the past two years have been very challenging for those in the arts and culture industry. The pandemic took away the very essence of the performing arts, with live theatre not being able to fully continue. We also saw a need from people in our communities to connect via their libraries, museums and other places of gathering and sharing information. It was a very dark time for the arts in our country and I am so glad that we can be back together as audiences. Thank you for your courage and perseverance over the past two years.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport has continued our work in supporting arts, culture, heritage, archives, libraries and language services across the province. We have seen the importance of these sectors in bringing people together and for cultivating social inclusion in our province. We also cannot underestimate the value of these sectors in supporting mental health and wellness in our communities. These sectors play unique roles in bringing people together through shared interests and in sharing stories and we need to foster these sectors so that they can continue with their important work.
We are excited to journey forward with our stakeholders to ensure that we can keep supporting various new initiatives. We especially want our programmes to reach out to our unemployed youth, who are most vulnerable in our communities. We must find ways for youth to get positively engaged through arts and culture so that they do not fall into the pitfalls of social ills.
As our economy continues to recover, we must also emphasise the big role that arts and culture play in our local economy – especially in bringing jobs to many people. People come from all over the world to attend shows at our theatres, to visit our museums and to learn about the unique heritage and culture that we have in our beautiful province. It is crucial that we continue growing all the sectors represented here tonight in order to continue to make this impact on the economy and also to ensure that we can continue working with these sectors in the future.
While we celebrate those being honoured here tonight, it is also important hat we honour those who we lost during the pandemic. We have lost big talents and skills over the past two year. My hope is that we can honour their legacies through continuing to speak about their contributions and to make sure that their voices continue to be heard through the work they left behind.
To all the nominees tonight, I want to say congratulations and thank you for all that you are doing to keep growing our arts, culture, heritage, language, archives and libraries sectors. Every single category honoured here is so important in the work we are doing across the province, and your contributions are immeasurable in their worth. Please keep doing what you are doing as you are helping us to bring hope and joy to so many people in the province.
Tonight we will see tangible art on stage, and I hope that every person here will be inspired to continue supporting and growing our work. The various sectors represented here contribute to shaping the preserved heritage of our province – the art that we create, the museum collections that we preserve, the languages that we promote, the books that we read and the records that we keep will one day be a record of how we lived and interacted in our society. We must work together to ensure that the picture of our history that future generations look at, will be complete and reflective of all the people in our province.
Please enjoy the evening with us and let us all enjoy this time of being united through arts and culture.
Acting Spokesperson for Minister Anroux Marais
Tel: 076 093 4913