As the cultural industries continue to grow, Government remains committed to their development.

This assertion was made by Acting Prime Minister, Richard Sealy, in his address at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Awards Ceremony and Presentation of the Top Awards at Ilaro Court last Friday.

While congratulating the 50 top awardees, Mr. Sealy praised the efforts of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, and also pledged Government???s support for NIFCA and the arts.

???Government really does believe in the cultural industries???What we are seeing in Barbados is the cultural industries starting to soar,??? the Acting Prime Minister remarked.

Speaking on behalf of Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, Chairperson of the Board of the National Cultural Foundation, Maureen Graham, praised the efforts of the awardees and made special mention of the younger persons present.

???It is extremely heartening to witness the participation and ultimate successes of our young people who have shown a deep commitment to the arts,??? she stated.

Mrs. Graham highlighted the efforts of two-time Gold awardee, nine-year-old Tahirah Gibbons, and commended the work of Aisha Commissiong, who choreographed the award winning piece Black Lives Matter.

She also pointed out that NIFCA played a significant role in the developmental process of local cultural practitioners, many of whom can trace their overall success in the creative industries to their start in the NIFCA arena.

NIFCA was first held in November 1973 and was conceptualised by the late Arden Clarke and his wife Jeanette Layne-Clarke.

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