The Caribbean YouthFest committee hosted their Awards ceremony for YouthFest 2013 on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries conference room.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for YouthFest, Jackie Cherubin-Weekes, was the master of ceremonies at the event. She was accompanied at the head table by the Marketing Manager for Caribbean YouthFest Tricia Emmanuel, Stephen “Esteban” Edmunds who is a YouthFest Committee member and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries, Donovan Williams.
Present at the awards were the winners from the different categories except ‘Twisted’, who are the winners of the dance competition, and Dawnlyn Bynoe who came in second in the Teens category. Dawnlyn was one of the participants from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and had already received her cash prize.
From the Junior category, the winners were Ashley Jules who was second and Stephy Harrigan who was first. In the Teens category, Dawnlyn Bynoe finished in second and Alex “Sawlty” Klein came in first. And in the Twenties category, in second place was Adrian “Dri Notes” Klein and in first place was Arnold “AJ” Jules. AJ was also the overall winner for YouthFest 2013 and thus walked away with the Youth Star Award.
All participants of YouthFest 2013 received an appearance fee. The first and second place winners for the Juniors category received $500 and $250 respectively. The winners of the Teen category received $1000 and $500 respectively and the winners of the Twenties category received $2000 and $1000 respectively. The winner of the Youth Star Award received $10,000.
Marketing Manager for Caribbean YouthFest, Tricia Emmanuel gave a summary of event for 2013, concluding that it was resounding success. She explained that the recently concluded event saw many major firsts.
“The 2013 event saw the realization of founder Omar Davis’ original dream for Caribbean YouthFest, that being to incorporate other islands from the Caribbean to be part of the event. This was made possible this year with the participation of contestants from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines” stated Emmanuel.
In terms of participants, last year saw a rise in the number of persons who took part, so much so that they were forced to implement a semi-final round of judging. There was the introduction of a dance competition along with the singing, and fashion enthusiasts were catered for, with local modeling agencies displaying their unique creations.
“Also for the first time, the event was broadcasted live on Choice TV, as it was viewed not only in Saint Lucia but in Barbados and Saint Vincent as well” Emmanuel continued.
Speaking at the ceremony, Consultant in the Creative Industries Christopher Hunte explained that YouthFest is a great avenue for the youth of Saint Lucia and he too shares the sentiment that YouthFest is making strides in the right direction.
“YouthFest is not only an event but it has now become a brand as it has achieved its primary goal. By this I mean, it has not only grown to be a national event but has now realized its goal of becoming a regional product” said Hunte.