Gibraltar Cultural Services staged the first ever Cultural Awards at the Sunborn Hotel on Wednesday 4th December 2019. The Awards celebrate the best of Gibraltar’s arts and culture, looking at the achievements and successes of individuals and groups between July 2018 and June 2019. These awards recognise cultural potential, ability, talent and achievement, whilst at the same supporting the community’s cultural development.
The selection process included an open invitation for nominations, a nominations list approved by the Cultural Awards Committee and a public vote with the support of Gibtelecom. Following the process, the Award winners are as follows:
JUNIOR AWARD for Under 12’s was awarded to ANNA JIMENEZ
This young dancer has had a fruitful year. At the 2018 Dance World Cup, she claimed Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as a member of the Gibraltar National Dance Team. At the 2019 Dance World Cup she won Bronze in the contemporary group. At the Gibraltar International Dance Festival 2019 she took 1st place in a number of categories and then went on to win the Sussex Award, (a dance festival exchange) for outstanding achievement at the event. In April 2019, she impressed at the Thunderstruck Dance Competition in in LA, winning the Miss Junior Dance Icon and a scholarship to Las Vegas Thunderstruck Dance Finals.
YOUTH AWARD for Under 25’s was awarded to MATTHEW NAVAS
Matthew won the 2019 Drama Festival Best Youth Actor award for his role in ‘The Train’. He is described as a performer who brings great understanding, energy and dedication to every role. As a member of the Youth Choir he represented Gibraltar at the Grand Prix of Nations, always showing enthusiasm and always eager to develop his performing skills.
SENIOR AWARD for Over 25’s was awarded to PAUL COSQUIERI
Paul Cosquieri’s major highlight this year was selection to the Royal Academy Summer Show Exhibition. His work was shortlisted from 10,000 paintings, with the artist going on to sell the piece. Paul has had a busy year exhibiting at numerous international events in Milan, Madrid, London, Edinburgh and Cadiz. Closer to home he has held a couple of solo shows exhibiting different series of works, and also launching an 8x3 meter long mural at the University of Gibraltar.
CULTURAL SPACE was awarded to THE KASBAR
This vegan restaurant not only provides alternative food choices but also functions as a cultural space hosting art events and exhibitions. Pop up exhibitions, life drawing sessions, poetry nights and live music have been held at the restaurant, with the historical Castle Steps used as an extension to the venue. The Kasbar is a quirky location with a lot of character.
CULTURAL AMBASSADOR was award to JULIAN FELICE
An active individual when it comes to the promotion of Drama, not only producing and writing original work, which has been taken further afield, but also inspiring the younger members of the community with acting opportunities, coaching and mentoring. This year has seen International performances of 4 original plays across the US and in London Theatres. At the Gibraltar Drama Festival Julian won Best Original Play and Best Technical Production, with ‘Popstar’, which has since been published by Eldridge play in the US. Other projects involved the production and direction of Scratch - six 10 minutes plays, and a Pantomime story play, created as a weekend project.
BEST EDUCATIONAL PROJECT was presented by the Minister for Housing, Youth and Sport, The Hon Steven Linares MP to I AM ME – GAMPA
A unique project targeting all local schools with a positive message of self-love, confidence and self-esteem. GAMPA staff delivered bespoke workshops for children of all ages. The main ethos of the project was to make children aware of their own self and value, whilst celebrating their differences. All school choirs were taught the ‘I Am Me’ anthem which culminated in over 500 pupils recording the song and producing a video. A project focused on positive reinforcement and helping young people reach their fullest potential! A video of the project celebrating the unity shown is currently being produced.
THE GIBRALTAR CULTURAL SERVICES AWARD for Extraordinary Achievement to HOLLIE BUHAGIAR
This award recognized the work produced by the composer and singer, and her international successes throughout 2018 and 2019. Being involved in the film ‘‘Poles Apart’ which won the British Short Animation BAFTA award is the main highlight. But her vocal work on Doctor Who, her first composing award and signing with an agent, and having a string quintet piece premiered in the USA are just some of her achievements to date. Hollie has just finished working on a feature film that will be released soon along with a soundtrack album, and will also be releasing her debut album next year too. A lot of other film pieces will be coming out next year too, everything from live action features through to animation shorts.
THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BEST EDUCATIONAL PROJECT was presented by the Minister for Culture, The Hon Dr John Cortes to CECIL GOMEZ.
The award recognizes dedication, commitment, innovation and service to Drama and the Arts. Cecil Gomez has played a major role in shaping Gibraltar’s amateur theatrical scene over the past 60 years, contributing significantly to its development. A teacher by profession he has dedicated much of his working life and spare time promoting the arts and introducing many of today’s and past leading members of society to the world of literature, theatre and drama. He has promoted Gibraltar’s heritage and culture in numerous capacities and at the age of 83 continues to direct and produce work for the local stage.
Gibraltar Cultural Services CEO, Seamus Byrne said:
‘I am delighted that we have organised the first Cultural Awards and indeed hope to continue doing so in the future, as an annual event. The Awards celebrate our cultural community and its achievements. I am a firm believer that there should be parity between culture and sports, and therefore, culture, should mirror where possible, the many sporting aspects that enriches our community.
I am delighted that the Cultural Awards ceremony recognised individuals or collective excellence that celebrates what makes Gibraltar, a vibrant cultural hub and a place to live in.’
The Minister for Culture, The Hon Dr John Cortes MP said:
‘Gibraltar keeps producing excellence in the field of Culture. This is often recognised abroad when Gibraltarians or their work is exhibited, competes, or is otherwise presented. It was about time we gave this due recognition here, in the same way as we have rightly recognised sporting achievements for some years now. This will be the first of many annual awards ceremonies. I think it will excite people and encourage even more active participation in all aspects of Culture by young and old alike.’