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National Awards still August 31

Saturday, August 16 2014

NOTWITHSTANDING a call by President Anthony Carmona last year for the annual National Awards ceremony to be held on Republic Day, this year’s ceremony will remain on Independence Day, August 31, though it will be “scaled down” somewhat due to the unavailability of the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain, officials said yesterday.

On September 28 last year, Carmona suggested a move of the awards to Republic Day as he addressed the Commander-in-Chief Parade at Chaguaramas. The President said, “I would... like to submit for discussion among the various stakeholders, including the national public, a proposal that next year, the annual National Awards be moved from Independence Day to Republic Day, that day which gave birth to the creation of the President who is the Chancellor of the Order and who is the one in whose name these awards are conferred.”

However, officials at President’s House yesterday said the awards will take place on August 31. But the venue is yet to be settled, though a return to Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, is tipped to occur. Last year, in a historic move, the awards were held at the South Academy for the Performing Arts, San Fernando.

Officials, however, said the awards cannot be held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, a venue that has been considered in the past. The NAPA has been subject to prohibition notices from officials of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority. Workers there recently stayed away from work due to concerns over the facilities and several events planned for the venue have had to be cancelled. The Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, is another venue that has been considered in the past. Officials say the people invited to attend the National Awards are likely to number between 500 to 700. Last year, the ceremony at SAPA lasted from 6.40 pm to 9.15 pm.

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