Western Cape Cultural Awards 2011 Speech
Good evening, and welcome to the 2011 Western Cape Cultural Awards.
Arts, Culture, Heritage, Language, Libraries, Museums and Archives - These are the fibres of the fabric that define our identity, the practices that create images from words and the services, which preserve the history of our origins, development and wisdom.
There is no doubt of the role played by arts and culture in the creation of social cohesion and the will to be recognised and celebrated, with a history as rich as South Africa's,
The annual Cultural Awards has grown since its inception in 1999, where the then Minister would award candidates, in no specific categories at a small event. Well, this was a good starting place to recognise our cultural ambassadors. The Cultural Awards now focus on specific categories, which recognize more nominees for their work, including arts, culture, heritage, language, libraries, museums and/or the archives field.
The individuals that are honoured here tonight strive to address the developmental needs of our communities, focus on nation building, youth development and women's empowerment in the arts, culture, heritage, language, libraries, museums and/or the archives field. Nominees have extensive knowledge of and experience in their respective fields.
An independent panel of judges, which includes academics and industry experts, have also assessed the nominations, which are based on clearly defined criteria.
Culture is often something that is taken for granted, or forgotten about, but it is thanks to everyone here tonight, amazing individuals, who have realised the importance of culture and the arts, and strived towards preserving, developing, informing and growing our understanding of where we come from and what we should be proud of.
These Cultural Awards are not like the Oscars, while there is no doubt that I think of it as prestigious, I know that you will not put these awards on a mantel piece somewhere, and rest on your laurels. You have a passion that does not go away. I know that after tonight you will carry on serving our communities and making us proud. I would like to thank you, on behalf of the entire Western Cape Province for the role you play in our lives.