ORGANISERS of the annual Nobel Laureate Festival [NLF] have expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the event, which this year had to be held in part via some ‘virtual presentations’.
Coordinator & member of the NLF Committee, Delia Dolor, reported that they were “quite pleased with our use of virtual presentations and social media considering this was our first attempt at holding virtual events for the Festival.”
In an inclusive with this reporter, Dolor spoke of the efforts put in to effect this transition and the initial impact of utilizing social media to supplement the NLF outreach to the public.
She noted that moving forward, the committee will assess the public participation in formalizing future plans in an effort to create a wider outreach.
Q. How pleased is the NLF Committee with the coordination of events, this year, especially with this initial virtual presentation display?
Dolor: There were thousands of visitors to the Nobel Laureate Festival Facebook page and feedback from visitors was positive, with many people tuning in to watch the live events and videos about Sir Derek and Sir Arthur; particularly the lectures and the tour of Walcott House.
When we analyse our audience, the majority of visitors were in Saint Lucia, with visitors from Gros Islet, Vieux Fort and Soufriere leading nationally. Internationally, we saw visitors from New York, NY, London, UK and Toronto, ONT, Canada (top 3) and other international interest from France and India.
Q. What has been the response from participants, artists and others?
Dolor: Participants and event organisers were pleased with the turnout for the events with limited seating due to COVID-19, and comfortable with the safety protocols in place.
They were also happy that many of the events were available online; live and recorded. We would like to thank GIS for facilitating many of the recordings.
This year the Nobel Laureate Memorial Lectures were seen by many Saint Lucians and their friends and family and also friends, family, poets and writers interested in our Laureates at home and abroad. The Committee will be analysing online statistics and the results will be used to assess participation.
Q. Did the schools/students get an opportunity to participate this year?
Dolor: The Ministry of Education informed that due to the shut-down of schools on the island, it would have been difficult to coordinate the schools and students to take part in this year’s Festival due to the challenges imposed by COVID-19 on the schools and education system on the whole.
Q. What lessons have the committee members learnt from this transition?
Dolor: The online format is here to stay whether or not we return to in-person or mass events.
Q. Any plans on moving forward with other initiatives or events to be implemented?
Dolor: Where we go next really depends on in-country engagement and appreciation of the need to honour the achievements of our nationals. Are we really interested in celebrating excellence or shall we settle for just getting by?
Meanwhile, the NLFC acknowledges the input of the corporate sector and other groups that assisted in bringing this year’s festival to fruition.
A NLFC statement reads:
“The Chair and Members of the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee wish to thank the following organisations, groups and individuals for their support in ensuring the success of the 2021 Nobel Laureate Festival:
Government of Saint Lucia
Bank of Saint Lucia
Cultural Development Foundation
National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia
National Television Network (NTN)
Office of the Governor General
Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee
Saint Lucia National Trust
Sir Arthur Lewis Community College
University of the West Indies Open Campus –
Ms Sigrid Nama
Mrs Elra Ermay-Glasgow
Mr Richmond Felix
Mr Robert Lee
Mr Glen Simon
… and the global network of friends and followers of the Nobel Laureate Festival Facebook Page.”