JIS News

Over 30 artistes/celebrities have so far confirmed their support and involvement for the Mediathon to Restore the Ward Theatre in Downtown Kingston. The Mediathon will take place on Sunday, December 9, 2007, from 3-7 pm, at the Creative Production and Training Centre, in the recently refurbished Wycliffe Bennett studio, under the theme – “The Ward – Restoring the Glory”.
Early confirmations were received from Oliver Samuels, Paulette Bellamy and Pierre LaMaire. Joining them are Leonie Forbes, Faith D’Aguilar, Pauline Stone-Myrie, Mijan Webster, Douglas Proute, Movements Dance, NDTC, Keith Noel, Joan Andrea Hutchinson, Ruth Ho Shing, Aston Cooke, Marie Isaacs, Dr. Bobby “Elvis” DeMercado, John Williams and Ragashanti.
In terms of sponsors, Paymaster has agreed to use their outlets as collection points for pledges. Victoria Mutual Building Society has come on board as a Bronze sponsor and will provide an account for depositing pledges. Significant contributions have also been received from Red Stripe, RBTT Bank, Burger King, Bank of Nova Scotia, JMMB, Musson Jamaica Ltd and the LTM Pantomine Company.
The major sponsorship continues to come from the media – the Gleaner Company, the Jamaica Observer , and all the media who will broadcast the Mediathon namely, Hot 102FM, Love 101 TV and FM, Hype TV , CTV, CVM TV, Nationwide News Network, Power 106 , and RJR 94FM. Cable and Wireless will provide the technological support by way of telephone lines.
The Mediathon is being coordinated by the CPTC, in collaboration with the Ward Theatre Foundation (WTF) as part of the effort to observe its 95th Anniversary, and to save the theatre, which was closed in August, following the passage of Hurricane Dean. The Foundation is aiming to raise some J$10 million from the Mediathon to help to re-roof the theatre, reconstruct the stage and refurbish lighting, as well as other fixtures and fittings, which were badly damaged during the hurricane. This is an initial phase of what will be a major re-development project.
The artistes and media personalities will lend their support in terms of time, talent and endorsements – both live and recorded on December 9. Creative Director for the Mediathon is Fae Ellington.
Ward Theatre was donated to the City of Kingston on December 16, 1912 by Colonel Charles James Ward, then Custos of Kingston, who presented it to the Mayor and Council of the City. Colonel Ward was the “nephew” in J. Wray and Nephew, which provided the enabling funds. The Theatre was closed for refurbishing under a project by the Urban Development Corporation in 1982. The Ward Theatre Foundation was established in 1986 following this renovation to manage and operate the Theatre. It has done this through theatre rental and fund raising activities.
The Kingston City Centre Improvement Company (KCCIC) has included the Ward in its slate of projects for 2008. However funds are urgently needed for the renovation, to facilitate early reopening of the Theatre.

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