CALYPSONIAN Chalkdust, Dr Hollis Liverpool, will be honoured with the first-ever Republic Bank Icon Merit Award for his contribution to TT’s cultural and educational landscapes over the past 52 years.
The award ceremony, taking place on March 23 is a collaborative effort between Republic Bank and the Sunshine Awards Organisation – which produces the internationally-recognised Sunshine Awards in the US.
The Icon Merit Award seeks to honour TT’s many icons for excellence in the performing arts, education, humanity, science, sports and culture, and aims to be an annual staple in this country’s event calendar, said a media release.
Chalkdust was also honoured at the Sunshine Awards in New York in 2017.
Speaking about the award partnership, Republic Bank managing director Nigel Baptiste said, “We are proud to support an initiative that honours the legacies of this country’s pioneers. We see this as an opportunity to further invest in the lives of the nation’s youth by celebrating those, like Dr Liverpool, who have dedicated their life’s work to promoting our culture and upholding our heritage. Dr Liverpool’s contribution to TT’s rich history is evident in the waves he has made both locally and internationally. "It is our hope that this event continues to evolve, and a greater focus is placed on youth empowerment by way of education, arts and culture like Dr Liverpool has done. Through the collaboration of our Power to Make a Difference programme and the Sunshine Awards organisation, our aim is to achieve just that.”
The programme is a corporate social responsibility and investment model that has built meaningful and long-lasting relationships with numerous non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations, working side by side to unlock the potential of those residing within the communities, the release said.
The event will feature a host of Liverpool’s industry peers, including Sparrow –Slinger Francisco, who praised the initiative in a phone interview with Sunshine Awards founder Gil Figaro. He said, “It is about time that we recognise and pay tribute to this national icon. Chalkie’s contribution to education and the performing arts has helped to keep me informed during my travels. His contribution to TT is huge. Let’s do it now.”
Having entered the calypso area in 1967, Chalkdust, a nine-time calypso monarch, has eclipsed his naysayers and has become one of the most respected and sought after
calypsonians and researchers, the release said. His dissertation, Rituals of Power and Rebellion, is used as a reference text when examining TT’s rich Carnival traditions.
The Republic Bank Icon Merit Award ceremony will take place at the Central Bank Auditorium, and will be hosted by the founder of the Sunshine Awards, Gil Figaro and comedian Errol Fabien.