Inaugural painting and theatre competition draws record participation

CM emphasises importance of preserving Punjabi heritage, promoting cultural activities

ASGHAR SALEEMI March 19, 2024
Actors perform ‘Heer Waris Shah’ at the Lahore Arts Council. Photo: NNI


The inaugural Punjab painting and theatre competition, organised by the Punjab Arts Council, concluded with resounding success, marking a significant milestone in the promotion of regional arts and culture.

The vibrant ceremony, held at Alhamra Hall, welcomed Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz as the distinguished guest of honour.

During the prestigious event, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz awarded cash prizes totalling seven lakhs to the standout performers in the painting and theatre competitions, recognising their exceptional talent and creativity.

Aqsa Sahir, representing District Kasur, Lahore Division, clinched the top spot in painting, receiving a prize of Rs200,000, while Shazia Khalil from Rawalpindi secured the first position in theatre, earning a reward of Rs500,000.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz emphasised the significance of safeguarding Punjabi culture to preserve the essence of the region's identity.

She underscored the need for celebrating Punjabi cultural day at educational institutions and integrating Punjabi language into school curriculums.

Reflecting on the rich literary heritage of Punjab, she highlighted the enduring influence of renowned poets like Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and the timeless tales of love and valour depicted in folk legends such as Mirza Sahiba and Heer Ranjha.

Executive Director of the Punjab Arts Council, Syed Bilal Haider, reiterated the organization's commitment to nurturing artistic talent at the grassroots level and fostering economic opportunities for emerging artists.

He stressed the role of cultural events in promoting inclusivity and harmony in society.

The competition, spanning all 38 districts of the province, witnessed enthusiastic participation from over 2500 individuals, including students and members of civil society.

The top 27 painters from each of the nine divisions of Punjab showcased their works in the provincial art competitions, demonstrating the diverse artistic landscape of the region.

The closing ceremony featured a captivating performance by renowned poets Tehzeb Hafi, Zahid Bashir, and Ikram Arifi, accompanied by emerging talents Anas Azam and Khurram Afaq.

Additionally, an artist talk session led by acclaimed painter Ali Azmat provided valuable insights into the art of drawing and painting.

The event also paid homage to the late singer, Dr Amjad Pervez, whose contributions to the cultural heritage of Lahore were remembered fondly.

Dr Amjad Pervez, known for his melodious voice and literary prowess, was honoured for his enduring legacy in the realm of music and literature.


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