For Kevin Small, dreams do come true.
The 25-year-old designer has had a lifelong dream of winning the Festival Designer of the Year award at Grand Kadooment.
This year, he did it.
“I’m excited. I am more than honoured to carry the title of Festival Designer of The Year. For me that has always been one of my biggest dreams as it relates to Crop Over, being able to master and coming out on top in both parades overall. For me that’s an unbelievable experience that I’m still trying to take in at this moment.
“I am definitely already in the works for next year to do bigger and better things,” an elated Small said.
Small has been involved in Grand Kadooment for two years, and he said his team faced tremendous pressure in the days leading up to the grand climax of Crop Over, working his way to the top with blood, sweat and literally shedding tears.
This, he said, made this victory a lot more special.
“I would have shed quite a number of tears. There would have been a number of challenges facing us leading up to the parade as well as on the parade day, but we were still able to come out on top. I think that’s a great achievement for my team and myself. We invested everything we had into it and we were rewarded accordingly.”
Small also took top honours in the Junior Kadooment contest, winning the Best Junior Band award.
For his efforts, he has won a new Mazda 2 hatchback, which is worth $68,000.
“I am overjoyed. The car would now be a company car so that for me is a great achievement,” he said.
The double winner was complimentary of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), which he said was supportive of “me from such a young age and showing that young people aren’t just shooting and doing violent stuff but there are still young people out there who can get into the arts and do positive stuff. So I definitely what to thank the NCF for that”.
Having realized his dream, Small said it was time to celebrate with his team, while also hinting of something bigger.
“We will do our own private celebrations then we are actually looking to possibly do something grand for the public,” he said.