Artistic excellence was celebrated at the National Arts Festival this morning when the winners of the 2016 Standard Bank Ovation Awards were revealed at a ceremony which also honoured outgoing National Arts Festival Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed.
Commenting on the impact of the awards, Mahomed said, “The Ovation Awards have earned a significant gravitas in the arts sector. They have become a barometer for audiences and visiting arts managements about productions that should not be missed. Artists at the Festival have been bold and have used their talents and skills to engage with burning issues in the most creative ways.”
Standard Bank Standing Ovation Awards
The 2016 Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was presented to the French Institute of South Africa and the Embassy of France for two decades of supporting visionary collaborations and exchanges between South African and French artists.
A Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was also presented to Gary Gordon to honour his longstanding creative energy in South Africa’s cultural life and his enormously significant contributions to the vitality of the National Arts Festival’s Main, Fringe and Arena programmes.
A surprise Standing Ovation Award was presented to Ismail Mahomed who ends his tenure as Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival at the end of July. Speaking at the announcement, National Arts Festival CEO, Tony Lankester, recognised the nine-year commitment that Mahomed had made to the Festival, saying that he had “transformed the programme, filled it with richness and left a lasting legacy of excellence”.
The Adelaide Tambo Human Rights Award