The board of the Virgin Islands Icon Awards sits for a photo after their Monday press conference announcing the date of the awards night. (Photo: Rushton Skinner)

After years in the making, the Virgin Islands Icon Awards will be presented during a July 1 gala where the winners of 26 categories chosen by 23 judges will be announced to a live audience, organisers said this week.

“The [VICON] Awards has one simple mission: to give people their flowers while they are alive,” founder Kareem-Nelson Hull said during a Monday press conference. “But our prevailing mission is also to inspire the Virgin Islands public to iconic levels of service, products, leadership and experiences.”

Since conceiving the idea in 2020, Mr. Hull has been working with VIIA Organiser Che Pemberton, Stage Manager Felix Woollard, Finance Manager Bernard Gordon, Gift Manager Leslie Allen Jr., and Creative Director Rennisha Rodgers.

Their efforts, however, were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.

Now, the project is moving forward after the public was given a month to nominate people they think deserve the title of “VI Icon,” according to Mr. Hull.

The call for nominations was broadcast on the VIIA Facebook page as well as ZBVI Radio’s bulletin board. The nomination period closed Feb. 15, and since then the judges have narrowed the nominees to five per category.

Currently, the public announcement of the nominations is scheduled for April 1, but Mr. Hull said it might come a day later to avoid April Fools’ Day.


Twenty-four out of the 26 categories were nominated by the public. The other two — the Lifetime Achievement and Emerging New Talent awards — were determined by the judges alone.

A “26th Category” will change each year, according to Mr. Hull. This year, the most prolific social media influencer will be recognised.

‘Extravagant’ dress

As for the overall “look” of the evening on July 1, Mr. Pemberton is expecting residents to appear in full fine-fashion regalia.

“On July 1st, you can expect an amazing show,” he said. “We want this to be something that’s totally memorable for everyone. We want everybody to come out dressed up, fancy, very exquisite, expressive, extra, extravagant, for this event.”

The VICON Awards will take place at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex, which Mr. Pemberton said will be “transformed” into a formal venue with red-carpet photos.

Nominees need not be Virgin Islanders or belongers, Mr. Hull said, but they must have strong ties to the territory.


The event will be operated in part by participants in another branch of the VICON Awards: the Viconic Training Academy.

“The academy is a training programme open to high schoolers and college students who are seeking training in production science and/or in need of community service hours,” Mr. Hull said. “These young people will dedicate 18 weeks to be trained and will put their excellence and experience to work at the show on Monday, [July 1]. The show is quite like their final exam.”