Accolade: One of the specially-designed awards trophies. *Photo supplied
Accolade: One of the specially-designed awards trophies. *Photo supplied

Bermuda’s entertainment community is to be celebrated at a new Conference and Black Tie Awards Concert being held for the first time this weekend. 

The two-day event has been organized by the Bermuda Entertainment Union, formerly the Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists.

The conference takes place on Saturday, April 5 from 10am to 3pm at The Berkeley Institute. There will be a series of symposiums including: What Does it Take To Get Hired as an Entertainer in Bermuda; How To Get Your Works Published and Airplay; Stage Presentation; ‘Promoters and Event Planners Forum; Where Do We Go From Here As An Industry. The cost for the day is $15. 

On Sunday, April 6 at 7pm is the inaugural Black Tie Awards Ceremony and Variety Show at the Earl Cameron Theatre. The event will be hosted by the Legendary Gene Steede, Mike Bishop and Bootsie. We spoke with Bermuda Entertainment Union President, Leroy Simmons.   

Why was it decided to launch the Conference and Black Tie Awards Concert?

As part of our rebranding. 

The Bermuda Entertainment Union’s mission is to promote, protect, prepare and preserve entertainers, event planners, audio and visual technicians and their support staff in Bermuda. As such, we thought it necessary to provide developmental opportunities while synergizing the local entertainment community, bringing together our great historical entertainment culture and connecting it with Bermuda’s present day and future entertainment industry personnel. 

What awards are available?

The awards to be given are The Hubert Smith Legends Awards, The Webster B. Tucker Off Stage Award, The Eddie DeMello Youth Scholarship Award, The President’s Award, The Entertainment Industry Professional of the Year Award and The People’s Choice for Entertainer of the Year Award.

Who is eligible to enter?

Local residents in the entertainment industry who have made significant contributions to this industry.

Who is on the shortlist? 

For The Entertainment Industry Professional of the Year Award the finalists are Nadanja Bailey, Sheila Smith, Barry and James Fitzsimmons (Great Sound) and for The People’s Choice for Entertainer of the Year Award the finalists are Sheila Smith, Magnum Force, Prestige, The Unit and Nadanja Bailey.

Do you plan to make this an annual event?

Most definitely.

What awards/prizes are available to the winners? 

Each recipient will receive a specially designed trophy.

How long has the Bermuda Entertainment Union existed? 

We originally began under the Bermuda Federation of Musicians & Variety Artists in 1968.  This weekend we officially take on the new name Bermuda Entertainment Union.

How many members are there?

Approximately 100.