By Kristine Melkonyan
YEREVAN — The 28th Vahan Tekeyan Awards ceremony of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of Armenia, supported by the Shake Tekeyan-Ghazarian Fund of the TCA of the United States and Canada, took place on September 23 at the Tekeyan Center on Khanjyan Street. These annual awards, the first of which took place in 1991, recognize and encourage the best work in various fields of Armenian culture. This year there were 75 applicants for the seven categories of awards, literature, Armenology, drama, visual arts, sculpture, journalism, and fine art photography.
Archbishop Natan Hovhannisyan opened the event with his blessing and remarked that in these difficult times, it was cheering to be able to have such uplifting occasions. He hoped the talented recipients would be able to continue to create for the future. His words were followed by a minute of silence for our fallen soldiers.
Prior to the Tekeyan Awards ceremony, special lifetime achievement awards in the form of the Diamond-Studded Ararat Medal were bestowed upon scientist and Armenian Academician Edvard Ghazaryan and to famous jazz musician and Armenian People’s Artist Levon Malkhasyan (“Malkhas”). The latter performed an impromptu piece to the delight of the audience.
Professor Rouben Mirzakhanyan, president of the TCA of Armenia, congratulated this year’s Tekeyan awardees and thanked the presidents of the various awards committees for their unbiased work in choosing this year’s award recipients. He noted that cumulatively over 100 awards have been given out to artists and scholars by now.
The Central Board of the TCA of the US and Canada was represented in person by its president, Edmond Y. Azadian, who is also a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, and Central Board member Arto Manoukian of Montreal.