Barbados honours Wilson with award


Cynthia Wilson
Cynthia Wilson

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – An octogenarian has received Barbados’ second highest honour in this year’s Independence Day Awards.
Cynthia Valmai Wilson was awarded the Companion of Honour, given for distinguished national achievement and merit, for her contribution to the cultural life of Barbados.
The 81-year-old author and actress has spent over four decades in the cultural arts industry, and has been appropriately described as one of Barbados’ “grand dames of the cultural arts.”
It is perhaps in the discipline of theatre arts that Wilson might have made her most memorable contribution, where she has excelled in several capacities as performer, producer, administrator and activist.
She is the recipient of several other awards including the the Barbados Service Star (1992), the Humanities Scholar Award (1998), presented by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts in Barbados and the wider Caribbean; the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus (1999); the Earl Warner Trust Lifetime Achievement Award (2001); the Cacique Lifetime Achievement Award (2002) presented by the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago; the Hall of Fame Award for Excellence, presented by the CARICOM Caribbean Development for the Arts Foundation (2003); and in 2003, the award of the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from the University of the West Indies, in recognition of her signal contribution to the development of the creative arts in the Caribbean.
One of Wilson’s most lasting legacies will be her role in the conceptualization and realization of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) in 1973.
She has produced innumerable shows at the national level at the request of government, and virtually all cultural presentations for visiting heads of state between 1975 and 1995, including presentations in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on her visits to Barbados in 1975 and 1989.
Wilson is the author of five books with the sixth set to be launched in May 2016.

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