Arts and Culture Awards

Cayman National Cultural Foundation ,
27 August 2015, Cayman Islands

The National Arts and Culture Awards recognise those who attain a level of merit in their artistic discipline, contribute to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands and support the work of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. The awards have undergone a change both in eligibility requirements and the physical award.

What were previously the Cultural Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award (Radley Gourzong Award) and Cultural Heritage Award are now the CNCF Heritage Cross Medal. The awards previously given for artistic endeavour, achievement and excellence are now The CNCF Star for Creativity in the Arts Medal. Each medal has gold, silver and bronze divisions. CNCF Artistic Director Henry Muttoo designed both awards.

Awards are also presented for Volunteer of the Year, Sponsor of the Year and the Chairman’s Award for outstanding long-term support of CNCF’s work. The awards ceremony is a CNCF initiative that began in 1990.

Each year there is a call for nominations from cultural and heritage organisations as well as from the general public. These organisations submit nominations for the CNCF Star for Creativity in the Arts in their particular disciplines. The general public makes nominations for the CNCF Heritage Cross.  Posthumous nominations will be considered.  To view past Arts & Culture Awards winners, click the link at the bottom of the page.  

The CNCF’s Grants and Awards Committee reviews the nominations and selects the award recipients. CNCF Board Member, Morgan DaCosta, chairs the committee. The other members of the committee are CNCF Board Member, Lorna Reid, and Mary Anne Kosa. The committee reserves the right not to present an award if no nominee satisfies the criteria.

Meet the Winners of the 21st Annual National Arts & Culture Awards…

Sponsor of the Year

“The staff and partners of Walkers congratulate the Cayman National Cultural Foundation on the 21st Cayman Islands National Festival of the Arts, Cayfest 2015. We look forward to continuing to support local arts and culture in Cayman and inspiring future generations of artists.” Sarah Broad, Head of Marketing Special Projects

Volunteer of the Year

Kathryn Rebecca Lloyd is currently pursuing a degree in Art History at Flagler College in Florida.  As a CNCF office volunteer, she was dedicated to coming in almost daily to assist in the areas of filing, organising and developing documents that provide structure to the CNCF archive.  Miss Lloyd volunteered a total of 292.5 hours from September to December, 2014 – an impressive contribution to the Cultural Foundation.  She has also been awarded a small grant from CNCF to assist with her studies.

Chairman’s Award

Flowers Bottled Water “the cooler water”, has been supplying the Cayman Islands community with purified drinking water since 1974. Started by Richard Flowers, Flowers Water believes in products of the highest quality. We are investors in our community and have supported the Cayman National Cultural Foundation for many years. The CNCF is key to preserving our rich culture and proud Caymanian heritage and we look forward to supporting their efforts for many years to come.

Since Foster’s Food Fair – IGA’s inception in 1980, community has been an important part of everyday business. Foster’s founder, David Foster, passed on the idea that community involvement and national culture were facets of business that should remain a priority for the company.  Supporting the Cayman National Cultural Foundation allows Foster’s to ensure Cayman’s rich culture is passed on to future generations of Caymanian’s, residents, and is extended to visitors, alike. The work done by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation through supporting the arts and Cayman’s heritage is important to the Cayman Islands, and Foster’s is happy to continually support their efforts.

Funky Tangs Limited was founded by brothers, Errol & Kenneth Watler, in the Cayman Islands in 1970. The idea behind Funky Tang’s was to supply all the latest music for music lovers throughout the Cayman Islands. Over the years the Company has expanded its merchandize line to include a wide selection of Electronic equipment, Home & Auto, Musical Instruments, Video games & machines, satellite TV and home appliances.  We are proud to support Cayman’s national arts and cultural organisation in their efforts to engage the community in quality events featuring artists from near and far.


J. A. ROY BODDEN, JP graduated with honours from Mico University College, and went on to receive his Bachelors at Trent University, his Masters in Education from Queens University, and participated in the Graduate Studies programme of The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. In 1988 he was elected to represent the district of Bodden Town in the Legislative Assembly and served four consecutive terms. He was the Minister of Education, Human Resources and Culture from 2000 to 2005. In 2003, in recognition of his services in Education and Community Affairs, a Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) was conferred upon Roy by the International College of the Cayman Islands; in 2011 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Trent University, Ontario, Canada. Roy has written and published several books on the social, cultural, economic and political evolution of the Cayman Islands, and is a patron of the Cayman Aids Foundation.


DEAL EBANKS, born on 4 December 1958 in his grandfather’s wattle and daub house in West Bay, developed an early passion for his Caymanian heritage when his grandfather taught him the art of making thatch rope, gigs and other handmade toys. He moved to Texas as a teenager and returned home in the summer of 2004, just before Hurricane Ivan. He has displayed his gigs, kites, calavans and games at Art@Governor’s and many other local events. He takes pride in sharing his skills with the younger generation at CNCF Summer Arts Camps and Cayfest.                                      

DONNA MYRIE-STEPHEN is the owner and operator of Le Classique shoe and leather emporium, which she established in 1983. As a former Miss Cayman Islands, she has represented her country at international beauty pageants, and has organized and participated in numerous fashion shows, including the popular annual fundraising event for the Humane Society and the Our Angels Foundation's breakfast cabarets. For the past 14 years, Donna has been at the helm of the organizing committee for Cayman Carnival Batabano, which features an array of cultural, culinary and musical events. Donna also launched the mas’ band Sashay Bon, featuring costume design and an associated mas’ camp that offers costume-making instruction from professional and accomplished mas’ band designers and producers.


GRETA TATUM grew up in West Bay, Grand Cayman and from a very early age was interested in the history of these Islands.  She observed with much enthusiasm, how things were done traditionally and this helped to produce a lifestyle of responsibility and hard work.  The Caymanian heritage instilled values and taught respect for the elderly persons.  There was also a deep respect for God and country.  Today, she’s happy to be actively teaching some of the cultural lifestyles and practices to her children, grandchildren and many students and visitors to Cayman Brac.

STAR FOR CREATIVITY IN THE ARTS GOLD                                   

DARRELL DACRES was born and raised in the Cayman Islands. Known amongst the community as “Cayman's Native Son” for his exceptional musical talent, it would be years before Darrell's skill was officially recognized. It was not until 1987 that the Music Association held their first Grammys, where he won for bass. Darrell has recorded and released four CDs, and recently formed a record company, CMI Records, which works to propel local music to a place it has never successfully gone before.

PAUL DE FREITAS first trod the boards at 17, playing Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1964) and was hooked for life. He began to take an interest in technical theatre and apprenticed himself to Peter Phillips, the Theatre Manager of the Prospect Playhouse. When Peter retired in 2012, Paul was elected as the new Theatre Manager and Deputy Chairman of the Cayman Drama Society. Paul especially enjoys the school visits to the Prospect Playhouse, during which he tries to sell theatre to teens from Cayman’s high schools. Paul has also written two Pirates Week trials and two stage plays based in Cayman.

CONRAD MARTIN, a Bracker, has been playing the guitar and singing for about as long as he can remember.  As a teenager, the musical talents of his cousin Roy Bodden and his Uncle Jake McLaughlin, were a great influence and he began playing at age 14.   Conrad soon became a regular feature at the Buccaneer’s Inn and the famous ‘Holey Hut’.  He has travelled all across the southern United States performing at private functions and still continues to be a popular performer in the Sister Islands, although these days, his musical talents are most often displayed at Hillside Chapel in Cayman Brac.

ALLAN WALTON (BUNNY) MYLES has exhibited outstanding leadership and musical skills throughout his career, which has spanned five decades.  His love for music commenced at the early age of 12 years and continued into his sea-going career, where he was a part of a band with Vernon Smith, Stubbie Bodden and Andy Martin.  He has been an integral component of many bands over the years, including he Regeneration Band, which is currently the longest established band that is still active in the Cayman Islands.  Allan Myles recently hand-crafted, from local mahogany wood, a fully functional electric guitar, and this won him first place at the annual Agriculture Show.

RAYMOND SCOTT is a 60 year old, native Bracker, who in his own words “has been playing music since I was born.”  He is the son of renowned fiddler, Septimore Scott (he being a former recipient of CNCF’s heritage award) and the music genes were obviously passed on.  Raymond plays the drums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, organ, harmonica and accordion.  In Cayman Brac, he is known as the ‘resource person’ for anything musical and prides himself on always having the very best equipment.  He is always there to assist, to accompany other musicians and to teach others.  He has been doing this for at least 40 years now. In the past five years or so, Raymond has been CNCF’s ‘main man’ in the Sister Islands, as far as helping with the sound equipment, set up, etc.   Raymond is leader of the musical team at Hillside Chapel, which is comprised of himself, Vernon Smith, Conrad Martin and Miguel Martin. 

SELENA ALLIMAE SCOTT-EBANKS was born in Watering Place, Cayman Brac on 19 March 1929. At an early age she taught herself how to play the Hawaiian guitar, wrote her own poetry and campaign songs for resident politician, Capt. Keith Tibbetts, and began playwriting at 15. Some of her plays include Turtling Voyage, The Case of the Broken Breach of Promise, and Dr. Doolittle. She has received the CNCF Heritage Award (1992), the Brac Seafarers Certificate in recognition of her preservation of Seafarers History, the BCTC Award for Contribution to Culture in Cayman Brac (2006) and has recorded some of her songs for the National Archive.

ISAAC VERNON (SMITTY) SMITH hails from Cayman Brac andhas been playing music for most of his life. During his years of going to sea, he and fellow Caymanians like Allan (Bunny) Myles, the late Stubbie Bodden and others had their own band and would entertain themselves and other crew to help ease the loneliness of sea-life.  They would often play in various ports when they went ashore.  These days Vernon is known for the role he plays in recording local music.  A lot of local artists have been recorded at “Smitty’s Backyard Studio”, including Quincy Brown, Avanell Burke, Ann Morgan and young Jenna Grant.  Vernon is an integral part of the music team at Hillside Chapel, Cayman Brac.

EDWARD LANCELOT (SOLLIE) SOLOMON was born in Bodden Town some 67 years ago. Sollie has been involved in music since his teens.  He is especially known for his drumming expertise, as well as easy listening jazz sounds. Ed Solomon and Mainstream Band have been fixtures on the Cayman scene for many years. In fact, Ed says he has been playing consistently and on the local music scene for about 50 years now.  Ed Solomon is a local fashion guru and in the early 70’s established the island’s first high couture boutique, Arabus.  The boutique, because of Edwards’s attention to detail and stocking good quality items at reasonable prices, continues to dress Cayman’s ladies and gentlemen and is still a booming business. Recently, Sollie had been having great difficulty due to arthritis in his right shoulder.  He is so happy to have been one of the first to get treated at the new Dr. Shetty Hospital and now he says that he feels brand-new again and will soon be back to beating the drums!


STARRIE SCOTT, a postmistress in the Cayman Brac Postal Service, learnt the art of plait thatching from her grandmother at the age of 7. Starrie and her husband, Tennyson, opened their craft shop, NIM Things, Native Island Made, in Spot Bay, in 1986. She has received a number of awards for her craftwork, culinary dishes and ambassadorship.  Starrie has participated in various Brac Heritage Days, served as cook at CNCF’s GIMISTORY and offers thatch-plaiting classes in schools and at the Brac Heritage House.


MATT BROWN’S persona has developed to transcend all age barriers, as he consistently strives to deliver polished entertainment through involvement in acting, media production and music. In addition, he hosts the Kiss FM Morning show, and holds dual degrees in Professional Recording Arts and Social Studies. Through his work, he has had the pleasure of interacting with some of the world’s top talents including Orlando Bloom, Zoe Saldana, Damon Williams and others.  His personal philosophy is "Don't dwell on the past, don't fear the future, happiness is in the present moment."

HERMES H. SOLOMON-HYDES is a self-taught artist who was born in Guanaja, Honduras in 1977. For Hermes, art is something that appeals to our senses and emotions; his language is the language of intuitive characters and metaphors. Hermes' first exhibit was at Art @ Governor's, January 2001. Later that year, Hermes was part of the Cayman Islands National Gallery's ‘First Away Art Programme,’ where he accompanied other artists to Cuba to study lithographic print-making at the Taller de Grafica in Havana. Hermes was awarded with a Certificate in 2004 for his outstanding contributions to Cayman's Quincentennial Celebrations. His most recent achievement is inauguration into the NGCI permanent collection. Hermes' goal is to become a renowned painter and an ambassador for the Cayman Islands. He hopes to set a good example for his four daughters and encourage them in whatever their future choices may be. Click here to download a nomination form for the 22nd Annual National Arts & Culture Awards.

Deadline: September 15th, 2015