JIS News

A 17-year-old journalism student is this year’s recipient of a scholarship donated by Arts and Culture Jamaica (ACJAM) in Toronto, Canada.
Cassandra Padmore, a first-year student at Ryerson University, was presented with the award and C$1,000 by founder and immediate past president of ACJAM, Paula de Ronde, at the organisation’s biennial Open House, held recently at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto.
Cassandra, who is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts, where she majored in music and dance, is an accomplished viola musician, a talent which she eagerly demonstrated at the function.
In presenting the award, Mrs. de Ronde said that although the world is experiencing difficult economic times “people still need to feed their souls”. She stated that the scholarship is the group’s way of helping to “nurture and feed creative young people so they in turn, can feed our souls.”
“When we are down, we can look at a picture, we can read a book and be transported into a different time and space. We can listen to music, which goes to our heart, filters through the brain so that we can laugh and enjoy it,” she pointed out.
President of ACJAM, Cherita Girvan-Campbell, thanked the audience for continuing to support the work of ACJAM. “As we look back over 2008, we can reflect with pride in our involvement in a number of cultural landmarks, book launches, a stellar exhibition of Jamaican art, and an evening in Miss Lou’s Room at Harbourfront, honouring our late patron and beloved Ambassador of Culture, whose spirit lives on in all the activities of Arts and Culture Jamaica,” she stated.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner, who is one of two patrons of ACJAM, said she is proud to be associated with the organisation and thanked the members of the group for the work they are doing in promoting Jamaica’s arts and culture.
“Culture is an important part of our identity and development as a people. Congratulations to Arts and Culture Jamaica on their achievement and for always being supportive of the work of the Consulate General,” Ms. Bonner stated.
The organisation also launched its new website, www.artsandculturejamaica.com.
The Open House featured storytelling by Phyllis Walker and a performance by Letna Allen-Rowe, who is determined to keep alive the work of Jamaica’s late cultural icon Louise Bennett, who was the first patron of ACJAM.
The organisation was incorporated in 1995 to promote the “unique arts and culture of Jamaica” to Canadians. This is done through the staging of a number of events, including book launches, art exhibitions and concerts.
In 2003, the organisation launched the Arts and Culture Jamaica Scholarship, which is open to full-time students of Jamaican heritage enrolled in a Canadian college or university, and pursuing studies in the arts.

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