Jamaicans in Canada Gearing up for ‘Jamaica 45’


Jamaicans across Canada are gearing up to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence with flag-raising ceremonies, balls and banquets, church services, and outdoor festivals.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Evadne Coye will be kept very busy as she presides over her first Independence celebrations since assuming duties in January this year. High Commissioner Coye will be travelling to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton to participate in Independence events in those Canadian cities.
In Ottawa, on July 28, an Independence Banquet, under the distinguished patronage of High Commissioner Coye, will take place at Hellenic Banquet Centre, Prince of Wales Drive starting at 6:00 p.m. Other activities in Ottawa include the annual JamDay on August 11 and the Thanksgiving Service on August 12.
In Toronto, home of the majority of Jamaicans who have migrated to Canada, four significant events will be held. On Saturday, July 28, one of the largest outdoor cultural festivals in Toronto will take place with the staging of Jamaica Day, under the theme, “Come and enjoy fi wi culture.”
On Sunday, August 5 the Independence Church Service and Flag-raising Ceremony will be held. At 2:00 p.m. the Jamaican flag will unfurl at Toronto City Hall, and at 4:00 p.m. The church service will take place at Faith Sanctuary, at 1901 Jane Street, where Rev. Lennox Walker of Praise Cathedral Worship Centre will deliver the sermon.
Jamaicans will be in for a treat when noted journalist and playwright Barbara Gloudon delivers the keynote address at the Banquet on August 11 at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto.
The Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), formed in 1962, is the largest and oldest Jamaican organization in Canada and is also celebrating its 45th anniversary.
In Winnipeg, the Jamaica Association of Manitoba (JAM) will celebrate Independence with an Annual Banquet at the Association’s Cultural Centre on Saturday, August 4. Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Winnipeg, Carmen Nembhardt will take the Jamaican flag to City Hall where it will be flown until 6:00 p.m. on August 6.
Over in Montreal, Quebec, Jamaicans will hold an Independence Dinner and Ball on August 11. The guest speaker will be High Commissioner Coye. President of the Jamaica Association of Montreal, Noel Alexander said the Independence celebrations will be “an opportunity to reflect with pride on the immense contributions of Jamaicans in advancing our national identity, while embracing our chosen Canadian nationality.”
In Edmonton, Alberta, Jamaicans there will not only be celebrating Independence but also the 25th Anniversary of the Jamaica Association of Northern Alberta (JANA). Activities include a flag-raising ceremony on August 7 at Edmonton City Hall and an Independence Banquet, under the distinguished patronage of the High Commissioner, on August 25 at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel.
The Jamaica Foundation of Hamilton will celebrate Jamaica’s Independence on September 22 with a Dinner and Dance, featuring comedian Owen “Blakka” Ellis and dub poet Klyde Broox. Proceeds from the event will aid the Jamaica National Children’s Home, which has benefited in the past from the generosity of the Jamaican group.

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