The award ceremony was attended by the prime minister, Minister of Culture Hasmik Pogossian, Deputy Minister David Mouradian, US Ambassador to Armenia Maria Yovanovitch, the Lebanese ambassador to Armenia, ministers, deputies, national academy members, presidents of universities and many intellectuals, as well as TCA representatives from abroad.
Hovhannes Tekguezyan received the literary prize for his collection of short stories, Sun on Glass. Jury President and Academy of Sciences member Edmond Azadian presented the award and defined the work as modern, surrealistic, with some reflection on current life in Armenia. Azadian indicated that out of 21 submissions the jury considered only five to six deserving consideration. An honorable mention was awarded posthumously to Sassounik Torosyan for his novel titled, The Night.
This year a new category was added through the sponsorship of the London TCA for charitable activity. The inaugural prize was given to Ralph Yirikyan, president of Viva Cell, whose company donated $1,000 to the committee, to be used for charity. The Lebanese Ambassador praised Yirikian’s charitable activities; he has known Yirikyan for a long time, since he is a native of Lebanon.
Two awards were presented by Jury President Hravart Hagopian: the painter Rouben Abouyan received an award for his painting titled “The Garden of Love” and sculptor Emil Kazaz won for his work, “The Queen’s Boat.”
Raphael Hovhannissian won for his TV documentary series titled, “On the
Road to Foreign Lands.”
Jury President Prof. David Ghazarian praised composer Edward Hairabedian as an educator and as a creative talent and presented the award for the composer’s new piece titled, Double Concerto for Violin and Viola.
Artistic Photography Jury President Zaven Saksyan awarded the prize in that category to Hovhannes Martirosyan for his work titled “Midnight.”
Actor-director Gerald Papasian of Paris, France received the theater prize for his stage and artistic activities in 2007. His major work during that period was to translate and stage the performance of the “Garineh” operetta by Dikran Tchouhadjian. Jury President Artashes Hovhannissyan stated that Papasian is a leading actor in Irina Brooks’ theatrical troupe, which is slated to present a series of performances in Yerevan next August.
Benefactor Hagop Vartivarian of New Jersey has established an award category for the best journalist writing for Azg daily newspaper in honor of his late teacher/mentor Korsen Aharonian. He presented the prize to Ara Martirosian, the business/finance section editor of the paper.
The “Ara Maral” prize, established by Silva Der Stepanian of New Jersey, was
awarded by the Jury President Dikran Hekekyan to the “Children’s Bible” TV
Irma Der Stepanian (New Jersey) has established a political satire award in memory of her late father, prominent satirist and writer Mihran Der Stepanian. The award was presented to the satirist Ler Gamsar (posthumously) on his 120th birthday. The writer could never publish his books during the Soviet period because they lashed out at the Communist system with devastating humor. His book is titled Diary from the Netherworld and was published under the sponsorship of Roger Tcherpashian of Paris. The prize was presented by Hagop Avedikian to the writer’s granddaughter Vanouhi Toumanian.
The prizes for these awards are provided by TCA Central Committee of US and Canada (Agabi Shake Ghazarian Endowment Fund), Papken and Anahid Megerian Family Foundation of Philadelphia and TCA London Trust, whose president Vartan Ouzounian was present.
Translated by E.A.