JIS News

The contributions of Jamaicans in Canada will be highlighted in a commemorative book to be published in time for the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence, in 2012.

Although conceived by the Toronto 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, nominations of Jamaicans from all across Canada are being accepted. The deadline is March 31.

Speaking to JIS News recently, the Chair of the Publication Committee, Kamala-Jean Gopie, said the book is national in scope, and will focus on how Jamaicans have contributed to the building of Canada.

“We are seeking to get persons from a wide cross-section of fields and endeavours, such as government, academia, legal, the trades, politics, social services, youth leadership, business/entrepreneurship, volunteerism, the arts, which includes film, fashion, dance, theatre, writing, music and visual. We also want to highlight pioneers, such as the first Jamaican in a particular field,” she stated.

The book will also feature an overview of Jamaica’s history, a reflective piece of the last 50 years and the Jamaica/Canada connection.

Ms. Gopie explained that in an article on the Jamaica/Canada connection, persons will be able to read about the Bank of Nova Scotia, which had a branch in Kingston before one was even established in Canada’s largest city; the Maroons who came in 1796; the codfish/molasses trade; the domestic scheme; and how Jamaicans were pivotal in changing Canada’s immigration laws and processes.

“We will talk about the role Jamaicans have played in human rights in Canada, in sports, especially track and field, in music. There is a whole cadre of people in the various fields who have contributed so much,” she said.

According to Ms. Gopie, the funds to print the book will come from the community, and not from corporate sponsorship. The book is expected to go to print no later than October of this year. The deadline for submitting nominations is March 31, an extension from the original deadline of February 28.

 Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Toronto Planning Committee’s website at  Submissions should be sent to the Jamaica/Toronto 50th Planning Committee, c/o the Consulate General of Jamaica, 303 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto.



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