Tuesday, January 10th marked the official launch of the 2017 Nobel Laureate Festival.
The Nobel Laureate Festival Committee, chaired by Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, hosted a press launch at Government House to introduce the newly-deemed festival. The overall coordinator, Delia Dolor, Her Excelle
ncy and the rest of the committee expressed excitement and pride in announcing that Nobel Laureate Day has evolved from a week of celebration to an entire festival.
This year’s Nobel Laureate Festival is expected to be more compelling than celebrations of previous years with a range of activities including television shows, plays, lectures, literary nights, cocktail parties, dance concerts, school activities, a children’s book fair and the projected ending: a party, themed “A City’s Death by Fire” inspired by Sir Derek Walcott’s popular poem of the same name. Dame Pearlette Louisy emphasised, “If the thing is going to be a festival then it has to be festive!”
The festival will begin on January 15th and end on February 4th, 2017, just in time for the island’s 38th anniversary of Independence celebrations. Delia Dolor of the Dolor Factor is expected to set things in motion hosting a one-hour television special on January 14th featuring Sir Derek Walcott leading a round-table discussion with poets Jane King, Kendal Hippolyte, John Robert Lee and Vladimir Lucien. Public events start the following day with a church service at the Coubaril Mount of Prayer at 7:45 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Excellence: Fostering National Pride” and the aim is to instill a sense of pride and belonging in citizens for all that we have achieved as a country. Her Excellency also encourages Saint Lucians to showcase their skills and talents, aspiring to be as bold and successful as the island’s two Nobel Laureates and other great figures who have emerged from Saint Lucia. Included in that illustrious roll call is Dr. June Soomer, now Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States. The ACS has pledged to sponsor US $10,000 to the 2017 Nobel Laureate Festival. Other sponsors include First Citizens Investment Services whose representative made a special presentation to the Governor General at the press launch.
Coordinators of the various events briefly explained the nature of each activity and some of the festival’s other highlights which are as follows:
Monday 16th January: Schools Music Festival – National Cultural Centre, 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday 17th January: National Awards of Excellence – National Cultural Centre, 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday 18th January: Saint Lucian Oral History Presentation – Folk Research Centre, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday 19th January: National Youth Council Debate – NTN Studios, 5:30 p.m.
23rd to 27th January: Walcott Place Open House, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday 24th January:Sir Derek Walcott Lecture “Our Homer: Derek Walcott” delivered by Professor Jamaica Kincaid at the National Cultural Centre, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 28th January: Saint Lucia Business Awards 2017
3rd and 4th February: “An Evening of Dance” Silver Shadows Performing Arts Academy – National Cultural Centre, 8:00 p.m.
All events are listed on the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee’s Facebook page. The public is encouraged to find out more by contacting any of the coordinators from the web page.