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Freeport, Grand Bahama
Parents, teachers and art enthusiasts were treated to a wonderful evening
of fine art, a silent auction, steel pan entertainment, delicious food and
refreshments in a successful first edition of the "Art of Warriors" - a unique
showcase of tremendously talented young artists.
Warriors" showcased great artistic
talents of students of both the primary and secondary departments of Bishop
Michael Eldon School - with student entries ranging from watercolours and
acrylics to digital art and photography along with incredible class group art
pieces from the primary grades...
Theo McClain has been flying under the radar in the world of Bahamian art, but with his poster design for the 2012 Bahamas International Film Festival, he's set to become a household name - locally and abroad - for artists and film buffs alike.
His design was one of many submitted to BIFF's poster design contest announced earlier this year. After careful consideration by judges Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Lise Anderson and Logan and Lavar Munroe, McClain's "Junkanoo Blower" came out on top for capturing the thrilling spirit of the BIFF for visitors and locals alike.
"When it was announced I screamed here at work," says McClain. "I was very excited, I got chills. It's the first local competition I have won."
"I think the image I did basically set a new standard for imagery for poster design in The Bahamas alone separate from the Film Festival," he continues. "It's fresh on the eyes and full of color and embodies Bahamian culture. It isn't as complex as it looks, it's simple like how we live."
The piece, says the artist, is taken from a photograph he took during Junkanoo. Besides being an accomplished illustrator, McClain is also skilled in photography, being the recipient of the Silver Quill award from The International Association of Business communications in 2010 and 2011 for his photography and design work on the 2010 and 2011 Colina Insurance Annual Report and 2011 Calendar, "The Art of Charity", which raised more than $8,000 for local charities.
"When I shoot, I try to freeze the image to where I still get that emotion from when I was there physically," he said. "So it kind of is like film, but a still image that evokes movement and is still vibrant. It's like when you hold a conch shell to your ear and you can hear the sea."
Indeed those examining his image can almost hear the call of the conch shell, the call of Bahamian culture and soul. The image melds the vibrancy of Junkanoo parades with the thrill of cinema, expanding the Bahamian cultural landscape.
As Leslie Vanderpool, founder and executive director of BIFF, points out, opening the poster design competition to Bahamian artists only this year is a testament to the festival's continued support of local artists.
"I am thrilled to announce the winner of the 2012 Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) Poster Competition," said Vanderpool. "The decision was a difficult one as the talent was so great! The collaborative process is something BIFF is proud to provide, whether it is by showcasing films or providing a platform for other visual artists."
McClain's design will be seen far beyond our shores, becoming this year's "face" of the annual festival and giving him - and Bahamian visual art and design - some welcome exposure.
"The exciting part about it is the fact that I'm getting my name out there," he said. "A lot of people don't really know who I am because I've never had a show. After winning the competition I've gained a lot of recognition and business, so before the film festival I'd like to follow up on it with a show."
"My mother, from since I was in high school and seeing I was gifted in arts, said she wanted me to be famous," he added. "I told her it would happen in its own time. I've never sought out fame, but it's just through the steps I've taken that I'm driving towards it. But I just want people to really like my work for what it is."
Pushed by his mother and mentored by local artist Kim Smith, McClain pursued visual art, majoring in illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. Now a senior designer at his own local marketing agency Sidda Communications, has completed work for Islands of the World Fashion Showcase, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, and Bahamas Junior Achievement. Now, McClain sets his sights on a gallery show.
"I'm not one to put myself out there, I'm still breaking out of my shell," he admitted. "When Leslie posted my design on Facebook and I saw those positive comments, it gave me a boost of confidence to show my work to the public and inspired me."
The Bahamas International Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the local community and international visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in The Bahamas, BIFF will provide a unique cultural experience, educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.
For more information please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com
Sales might not be booming right now, but a top luxury retailer is poised to take over the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique shop at Atlantis before the high season.
Wayne Chee-A-Tow, the CEO of Hillside Investment Company Limited, said the Paradise Island resort is keen to fill an "eye sore" in the exclusive Crystal Court.
The Ferragamo store has been vacant for several months after the previous owner boarded up shop.
Chee-A-Tow, who owns a variety of luxury outlets such as Carlo Milano, Versace, Hublot and Chopard, told Guardian Business the move would mean an initial investment of approximately $1.5 million.
"We're probably going to take over Ferragamo at Atlantis. The store closed last year and Atlantis asked us to look at it and see if we can get it going," he said. "We're one of the few people on the island dealing in this high fashion and it's really important to fill those slots."
In other words, keeping the exclusive retail areas full and busy is essential when making a positive impression on tourists.
Chee-A-Tow said he signed on with Ferragamo last week to see if they can get "something going". The company is now placing orders and trying to get the logistics in place under a reasonable time frame so it doesn't miss the rush.
The Hillside Investment chief said the expensive items are not easy to sell and it requires a retailer with a great deal of experience in the business.
It would be the sixth retail outlet for the company and the second in the Crystal Court.
Chee-A-Tow told Guardian Business that sales have indeed been slow since the end of Christmas. Now is the time of year where orders are placed and the company prepares for President's Day and Valentine's Day, both of which usually spark strong sales.
The luxury retailer said the industry has proven challenging in these leaner economic times.
"Definitely the downturn has effected everyone across the board," he said. "The rich are still rich. It's always there and it doesn't impact those people quite as much. But you do have the kind of person who used to spend $50,000, and now they spend $20,000."
Ensuring that prime retail spots are full for March is all the more important to capitalize on sales, he said.
Last month, Hillside Investment company spent $500,000 to upgrade its Chopard boutique at the Royal Towers in Atlantis. Serious retailers, he said, have to invest more than ever to drive consumer traffic and keep things fresh.
Of the 120 Chopard boutiques in the world, Hillside Investment Company was one of the first to receive permission for the upgrade.
"We have to do something. The world can go anywhere. We have to have products that are consistent with places like New York or London to properly compete," Chee-A-Tow said.
The T-Connection band's still got it, at least if a packed house is anything to go by. Last year they played to a packed house at the St. Augustine's College class of 1971 reunion, then returned for an encore performance recently at the Crystal Ballroom at the Wyndham Nassau Resort to another packed house. It was clear that there is still an audience that appreciates the style and grace of this instrumental group.
The group T-Connection was originally formed by Theophilus "T" Coakley in 1973. The funk-fusion group put The Bahamas on the map with its unique meshing of funk, Junkanoo, pop, R&B and jazz music and became one of the country's most famous international music groups.
It was originally comprised of Coakley, who served as the group's leader, songwriter and keyboard player; bassist Kirkwood Coakley; drummer Berkley Vanbyrd and guitarist Monty Brown. In 1976 Tony "Monks" Flowers joined the band as the percussionist and in 1977 Dave Mackey was added as the second guitarist.
T-Connection officially disbanded in 1985, but like the recent concert, they get together from time-to-time to take its fans back in time and introduce a new generation to their iconic flavor.
T-Connection's fusion of funk and Bahamian sounds was a nice refresher to the modern forms of music, according to Nelson Armaly of Paragon Management.
"The era groups like this are from is over, but their sound is classic," he said.
Members of the National Culinary Team have been selected and practicing for several weeks for the Taste of the Caribbean regional competition later in June in Miami. Meanwhile, the team will display their culinary skills at two upcoming public events starting with 'Sunset Tapas on the Bay' set for Tuesday, May 29 at Blu Restaurant and Lounge on Elizabeth and Bay.
According to team manager Executive Chef Devin Johnson, the team will showcase an assortment of tapas menu items at the reception which will be a blend of locally infused international works of culinary art.
"I believe the public will delight in both the creativity and taste of what the team is putting together," states Chef Johnson. "Mixing indigenous foods with traditional appetizers helps to hone our chef's skills. At the Taste of the Caribbean competition the judges will look for an infusion of international and local flair."
Tuesday's event will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. "With the backdrop of cruise ships berthed in Nassau Harbour, against the sounds of live Bahamian music, and the team's unique tapas selection and beverage offerings, this is a great opportunity for people to unwind from a busy day while showing their support for our up-and-coming young chefs," according to Bahamas Hotel Association President Stuart Bowe.
The tapas selection will include: cracked conch sushi; jerk chicken tartlets with guava BBQ sauce; Bahamian crawfish spring rolls with Asian dipping sauce; vegetable spring rolls; homemade combined veal, pork and beef meatballs with fresh sage and a tomato basil fondue; an asparagus, wild mushroom and roasted pepper pinwheel; and watermelon, papaya, cucumber and goat pepper gelee.
"The team has been practicing for six weeks and every week we see improvement," states Chef Johnson. "They've been working on techniques, beginning to gel more, and everyone knows their role. In the coming weeks it will come down to execution. That's why the tapas event at Blu and an upcoming team dinner at Atlantis on June 12 are so important."
The competition is sponsored by the Bahamas Hotel Association, the Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Culinary Association with support from team member hotels and restaurants and corporate sponsors Bahamas Food Services and Bristol Wines and Spirits. Blu and Atlantis are also assisting with hosting the team's two showcase events.
This year's team is comprised of: Team Manager Chef Devin Johnson from the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort; Team Captain Chef Jamal Small from Blu Restaurant; Chef Mychal Harris from Atlantis; Junior Chef Kevyn Pratt from One&Only Ocean Club; Chef Charron McKenzie and Pastry Chef Wenzil Rolle from the Lyford Cay Club; Chef Shanique Bodie from the Old Fort Bay Club; Bartender Gerard Knowles from the British Colonial Hilton; and Dwayne Sinclair, the National Young Chef from Temple Christian High School.
Over 14 Caribbean culinary teams will be vying for the culinary honors next month.
For additional information or tickets contact the BHA at 322-8381 or the Ministry of Tourism at 328-7810. Tickets will be available that evening at the door.
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island -
Flying Fish Modern Seafood is pleased to announce their
Waterside Happy Hour from Monday - Friday between 5 to 7 pm.
Enjoy 2 for $5 Sands & Sands Light; $5 Wine of the Day; and $5 Mixed
Drinks while enjoying the elegant ambiance waterside on the Port Lucaya
In addition to happy hour,
Wednesdays are OYSTER nights! Enjoy
fresh-off-the-plane Malpeque oysters, straight up with Tobasco &
lemon, or cocktail sauce...
Nassau, Bahamas - Speaking Notes of Fred Mitchell, MP, Fox Hill, at the
House of Assembly, Nassau, Bahamas.
Mr. Speaker let say it is a privilege to second this resolution and I do so.
doing so, I want to congratulate you on your elevation to this post. I
look forward to a return to fairness and decorum in the House of
Assembly. I have no doubt that you are well equipped for the job.
Knowing your family and antecedents as I do, we justifiably expect great
things for you stewardship of the House.
We have won a great victory and the PLP represented here its 29
members are a mix of the seasoned and the new. It is a chance at
renewal, a fresh start...
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - A delay in payment from the Department of Social Services forced Sawyer's Fresh Mart to refuse food stamps for the last two weeks. Frustrated residents who depend on the coupons are up in arms.
Sawyer's is one of the three remaining food stores on the island that has an agreement with the government to accept food stamps.
However, as of July 25, the store stopped accepting the coupons.
Now residents who prefer to shop at the food mart say their selection, which was already limited, is quickly depleting.
A 30-year-old mother of one who is on the monthly program was dumbfounded on hearing the news when she went to collect her stamps. She said shopping at Sawyer's was a perfect fit for her.
"It is frustrating. Sawyer's is the only food supplier I shop at. I think Sawyer's is an excellent food store because the items are much cheaper and they have a better variety. While some of their items are generic, it is actually more reasonable," she told The Freeport News.
The young mother, who has been on the program for the last eight months, said her stamps go a much longer way in Sawyer's than anywhere else.
Another resident, a 28-year-old mother of two, shared her sentiments and said she had to go to one of the other stores twice in three days because the breadbasket items she needed were not in stock.
When The Freeport News contacted Sawyer's on Tuesday, we were told that the decision was as a result of "problems with government".
The move leaves only Solomon's, Queen's Highway, and Cost Rite in the pool.
According to Department of Social Services Assistant Director Lillian Quant Forbes, the matter is being addressed.
She also explained the process and any number of instances that may cause a delay.
"Once a food coupon has been redeemed, the supermarket sends that batch to social services. Once we get it we also have to process it by denomination, whatever the amount of the coupon," Quant-Forbes said. "We then attach that to a payment voucher and a spreadsheet and that would be sent on to the Treasury for processing."
Once it is verified that all of the attachments are in place, the numbers are correct and the accompanying documents have the necessary signatures and stamped by the vendors, the Treasury then prepares the check, Quant-Forbes explained.
The vendor either collects the check from the Treasury Department or the check is sent out via mail.
While Quant-Forbes could not give a timeframe for this process, she pointed out that, technically, this procedure should be carried out on a monthly basis.
Any food store has the right to decline participation in the government's food assistance program, Quant-Forbes noted.
"When we enter into an agreement with any of the vendors we would have written to them indicating that we wish to set up an account with them, whereby they would agree to accept our food coupons," she said.
"At any point and time a vendor can say 'you owe us an X amount of money, this is your ceiling and so we are not prepared to go beyond your ceiling, and until such time that we have received all of it or a substantial that is owing, we will cut off your credit.'"
In fact, any vendor can stop accepting food stamps at any time, as was the case with Sawyer's, the social services assistant director revealed.
"Once it is that we would have paid them, then our credit will be reinstated and they will so inform us. Once they tell us, then we inform our clients," she said.
Last year, during the period July 2011 to June 2012, the department issued $6.6 million in food coupons, the Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin revealed last week.
Government intends to borrow $7.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to implement its new social safety net program, designed to move residents off of welfare.
Just last month in Grand Bahama, the Department of Social Services catered to 3,000 people in food assistance, issuing over $300,000 to those on the monthly program, primarily senior citizens and disabled persons in Freeport and Eight Mile Rock.
Those receiving emergency food stamp assistance amounted to 883 applicants.
With those numbers still high, Quant-Forbes added that the department is working diligently to institute the social safety net program.
"We are hoping that it will help us to be able to reduce the amount of persons because of the proxy means test that will be put in place for them to transition off of the program," she said.
Nassau, Bahamas - Fresh off their win in the Men's 4x400m Relay in the 2012 Summer Olympics
in London, four Bahamian athletes dubbed the Golden Knights met their
team sponsor, BOB, today and walked away with cash in their pockets
to complement the gold medals around their necks.
It was as much
a meeting to remember for bank executives as it was for the four-man
team who stole a country's heart as they passed the baton and with grit,
determination and a flash of speed, flew past the last remaining frontrunner
to take Gold in the relay...
Nassau, Bahamas - The
public is invited to attend the Opening Reception of a new exhibition
by Bahamian artist Je'Rome Harris Miller entitled
"Pieces of Eight" is
open until April 15th at The Christ Church Cathedral
Church Hall on top of the hill George Street from 6pm to 10pm.
This brand new body of work by Miller represents a fresh look at the
artist and the various media that he has chosen to work in. This body of
work is all on canvas as compared to his exhibition two sessions ago
that was titled, "Exuberance III Sticks and Stones" which centered a
great deal on the environment and nature.
In this new body of work, viewers who know Miller's work, will be able
to identify that the artist has evolved into a new space and is