UNIVERSAL CITY–Under the auspices of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Central Committee of the Western United States–Horizon Television celebrated the broadcast of its 1000th show Friday–marking a distinguished milestone in Armenian-American broadcast history.
More than 450 attendees–including community members–Horizon supporters–as well as past and present volunteers and friends gathered at the Universal City Hilton to take part in this historic event. The awards banquet–which began at 8 p.m.–was sponsored by the ARF-Central Committee of the Western US–Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–as well as community philanthropists–including Mr. and Mrs. Shavarsh and Nazig Demirjian–and Mr. and Mrs. Manuel and Josephine Sassounian–who contributed $5,000 each to the banquet.
In addition–several community members and organization supported Horizon with $1,000 sponsorship contributions.
The duties of the master of ceremonies were carried out by Asbarez English Editor Ara Khachatourian–while the keynote address was delivered by Asbarez Executive Editor John Kossakian. Opening remarks–on behalf of the organizing committee–were made by Verona Orfali.
Khachatourian noted in his remarks that through Horizon the Armenian-American Diaspora witnessed the self-determination movement in Karabakh–and saw the rebirth of democracy.
Kossakian emphasized the need for a broader broadcast spectrum. He said–"Horizon has become one of the most important entities of our community–and your presence here tonight attests to that…Our technical resources–however–are limited–compared to non-Armenian media.
"We are forced to contemplate our entry into the 21st century and we must consider how to take advantage of the ever advancing technology…We will be able to do this with your support and encouragement," concluded Kossakian.
Also–in honor of Horizon’s 1000th show–Fresno Congressman George Radanovich–who was represented by District Director Steve Samuelian–delivered a special order speech on the House of Representatives floor–congratulating Horizon on this milestone. The address was entered into the Congressional Record.
The awards-banquet was comprised of several portions–including–an extensive cultural-entertainment program–as well as audio-visual presentations–prepared especially for the occasion. The two large screens on either side of the banquet hall–allowed attendees to follow the taped messages of the Cathoicoi Karekin I and Aram I–who praised Horizon for carrying out a mission unlike any other–yet one which has–for eight years–played a significant role in the life of the Armenian-American Diaspora.
Horizon’s sister broadcast in Canada–Horizon–also congratulated the television program on its 1000th broadcast–declaring mutual and continued support and cooperation for the next few thousand shows.
The next video presentation was a 15-minute summary of 1000 shows of Horizon–capturing the sad–the funny and the unforgettable momen’s of the last eight years. Attendees revisited the 1988 earthquake–experienced for a few seconds the heart wrenching sounds of battle with freedom fighters in Karabakh–saw their Diasporan communities as they were several years ago and remembered their favorite anchors and Horizon personalities.
The presentation also included a bloopers section which brought the audience to excitement from laughter.
The awards ceremony began with words of praise for all Horizon volunteers. Individuals–behind and in front of the camera–inside and outside of the production room–alike–were honored for bringing to life and advancing a medium which has bridged the gap of the Diaspora and the homeland.
Some 75 women and men were presented with commemorative plaques for their hard work. Particularly–however–Koko Balian–Ani Hovannisian and Garbis Titizian were distinguished as having played a significant role–from the very beginning–in the innovation and constant growth of Horizon.
Participating in the cultural portion of the program were Composers Union of Armenia’s chairman Robert Amirkhanian–who initiated the evening with his "Homeland" espcially composed for the Armenian Armed Forces.
Other artists participating in the program were Hovig Krikorian–Harout Pamboukjian and Martik.