Colina Celebrates Cultural Contributions of Bahamians in 2010 Calendar

  • The publication, titled ‚ÄúGenerations of Bahamian Culture‚Äù, juxtaposes venerable cultural icons alongside rising stars

NASSAU, January 15, 2010 Р Colina Insurance Limited embarked upon a new creative project this year to highlight the contributions of local artists who have helped to shape the Bahamian cultural identity. “Generations of Bahamian Culture”, the 2010 concept calendar developed by Colina with Cacique Award winning photographer Wendell Cleare, features artists across the cultural landscape of Bahamian society.  Each month showcases a different niche of the Bahamian visual and performing arts scene and juxtaposes venerable cultural icons alongside contemporary rising stars. The calendar images can be viewed here.

This venture is the second concept calendar for Colina, a follow-up to last year’s “Bahamas Sacred Sanctuaries”, which featured historically and architecturally important churches throughout The Bahamas.   Melanie Hutcheson, Corporate Communications Officer at Colina says of the 2010 initiative, “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with so many artists on one project. The quality of talent reflected in the calendar is a virtual Who’s Who of local entertainment and art. There are many people out there who say that The Bahamas has no culture of its own but this calendar proves them wrong. The “Generations” project is our way of drawing more attention to the role these great Bahamians play in our everyday nation building.”

For more than 50 years Bahamians and visitors to these Islands have been touched by the inimitable tenor of Bahamian singer Ronnie Butler, featured in February with TaDa, a contemporary singer/songwriter making a name for herself on the world stage.  At age 72, with an enviable catalogue of hit songs, Butler’s favourite recording is still Burma Road, a 1960s musical interpretation of one of Nassau’s most famous cases of unrest. Butler has a fan in TaDa, a 21st-century crooner who got her start, as many do, singing in church. “It was a privilege to work on this project alongside Ronnie Butler who is a mentor of mine” she says. “He is truly a Bahamian icon, and has done so much for up and coming artists like myself.  Ronnie and I represent the entertainment industry of the past paralleled with the present. We both share the same hopes, dreams and aspirations for a much bigger, brighter, developed and supported music industry in our country. Kudos to Colina for being a pioneer by supporting Bahamian artists who are trying to enhance what we know to be culture.”

In the November image, actress Claudette “Cookie” Allens is pictured with newcomer Renel Brown who, at 14 made her debut on the silver screen in 2008 playing the title role in the movie Rain, the edgy coming-of-age film written, produced and directed by Bahamian filmmaker Maria Govan. Allens is herself a prominent stage actress recognized for her stellar performances in many traditional folk comedic plays. Her voice first rang out in the theatre in the 1960s when, as a member of the University Players, she performed Bahamian and Caribbean plays to audiences only recently accustomed to hearing their dialect spoken on stage. An actress for more than four decades, Allens was honoured in 2006 by the National Independence Committee for her prolific and groundbreaking work in theatre, film and radio.

‚ÄúFor 40 years I have witnessed the art of acting grow in this country,‚Äù says Allens. ‚ÄúI am humbled by the fact that Colina has chosen to honour me in this way. This significantly encourages those aspiring artists to continue their quest for excellence…I am encouraged to perform at my best for another 40 years.‚Äù

Marion Bethel, a lawyer by profession, and a poet by nature, has published two volumes of poetry ‚Äì Guanahani, My Love and Bougainviella Ringplay.¬† She makes an appearance in October‚Äôs homage to poetry alongside Ishmael Smith and Andrew Burrows of Ruff Kutz. ‚ÄúThis is a wonderful time for artists to be working in our various crafts,‚Äù says Bethel.¬† ‚ÄúThe support of Bahamian private enterprise in our creative endeavours is necessary and vital.¬†¬†This collaboration must be deepened and Colina’s production of¬†this calendar is indeed commendable. The calendar is absolutely beautiful and should be circulated far & wide throughout The Bahamas.‚Äù

The calendar also features sculptors Antonius Roberts and Kelley Knowles; artists John Cox and Heino Schmid; chefs Tracey Sweeting and Jamall Petty; artisans Telator Strachan and Nadia Campbell; junkanooers Winston “Gus” Cooper and Chris Justilien; writers Patricia Glinton-Meicholas and Garth Bucker; filmmakers Gavin McKinney and Kareem Mortimer; dancers Robert Bain and Simone Davies; and playwrights James Catalyn and Cleveland Eneas III (aka Anku Sa Ra) who appear on the cover.

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