45th Independence Anniversary Activities Announced

National Independence Committee, outlining activities for celebration of the 45th Anniversary of Bahamas Independence, at Paul Farquharson Conference Centre on Monday, May 7, 2018. Chairman of the committee, Mark Humes is pictured seated centre. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

The search is on for the best national recording artists, essay writers, runners and walkers as the National Independence Committee prepares to celebrate the country’s 45th anniversary of Independence. The planning committee announced initiatives and outlined details of the 45th Independence celebrations during a press briefing at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, East Street, May 7, 2018. Committee Chairman Mark Humes said this year’s celebrations, which extend to the Family Islands, will be “exciting” and he invited Bahamians to participate in all of the events that are planned.

“Our Independence celebrations occupy a special place of prominence on the national calendar of events, and are celebrated across the islands of The Bahamas as well as in countries and nation states around the globe where Bahamian embassies and missions are located,” he said. He acknowledged the “herculean” efforts and persistent attention to detail in the planning by committee members, comprising representatives of government agencies, ministries and departments. The committee officially launched an Essay Competition for school children and a National Recording Artist Search during the briefing. For the Essay Competition, primary, junior and senior high school students are invited to reflect on some of the major developments in The Bahamas, post-independence, as they participate in the competition on the theme ‘Celebrate the Bahamas: We’ve Come This Far by Faith’.

The essay competition is open to all students — government and independent schools: primary — 250-300 words; junior high — 400-450 words; senior high — 600-800 words.  Essays will be critiqued on the development of ideas, organization, creativity, and grammar. Completed essays should be typed, saved in PDF format, and sent by email to the address: nationalevents@bahamas.gov.bs. Deadline for submission of essays: Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be announced on Friday, July 6, 2018, during National Pride Day celebrations in Rawson Square. First, second and third place winners will be recognized in each category. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded. Details are available at www.ministryofeducationbahamas.com

For the first National Recording Artist Search – Bahamian citizens aged 14-30 are invited to participate in the competition.

The selection process will be in phases. Application forms are available at the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture and at www.celebrateyouthbahamas.org. Applications must be submitted on or before Monday, May 28, 2018, to the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture in care of T’rez Davis-Nixon, or at email: nationalevents@bahamas.gov.bs A live audition will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2018, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. The judges’ choice will be announced following the auditions. Winners will get the opportunity to advance to the finalist category. On June 15, the semi-finalists will be announced publicly. On July 6, a performance opportunity for semi-finalists will be held during the National Pride Day ceremony in Rawson Square. The Peoples’ Choice will be selected from among the semi-finalists, and the Judges’ Choice will vie for the grand prize.

The main performance will be held July 9 at Clifford Park between the Judges’ Choice and the People’s Choice.  Winner will be selected from the two areas. Prizes include cash and the opportunity to work in studios with cutting-edge Bahamian artists, producers, writers, and musicians.

Other events include:

June 29 – Official launch of the 45th Independence celebrations by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in Rawson Square, and Rush to Independence (East and Bay Streets to George Street).

July 1 – Beat Retreat, Rawson and Parliament Squares.

July 2 – National Command Performance featuring the National Youth Choir, the National Children’s Choir, the National Youth Orchestra, and the National Dance Company at the Performing Arts Centre, University of The Bahamas.

July 5 – Queen’s New Year’s Honours, Government House.

July 6 – National Pride Day/Flag Day, Rawson Square.

(Pride Day will feature a National Walking History Classroom.)

July 7 — National Health Fun, Run, and Walk, Goodman’s Bay.

July 7 – Icon Awards, Melia Nassau Beach Resort.

July 9 — The Region Bells Concert, Evangelistic Temple.

July 9 – Grand Anniversary Celebrations; Tattoo and Fireworks Display, Clifford Park.

July 10 – The People’s Love and Unity Rush, Bay Street.

July 10 – Announcement of the National Hero’s Award, Government House.

July 10 – State Reception, Government House.

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