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Jamaica’s new Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, has pledged to work to advance the country’s arts and culture in Toronto.
“Culture and arts represent the mind, heart and soul of our people. Therefore, when you talk about Jamaican arts and culture, you’re talking about the Jamaican people,” Mr. Ramocan said.
He was speaking at Arts and Culture Jamaica (ACJAM) 2009/10 scholarship awards ceremony held recently at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate in Toronto, Canada.
Noting that the Jamaican culture is “one of the giants of the world”, Mr. Ramocan said it is the core activity that can galvanise the Jamaican community. It has the potential, he added, to be a major driver for economic development and social transformation in Jamaica and Canada.

Arts and Culture Jamaica’s Founder and Past President,. Paula de Ronde (left), and current President, Cherita Girvan-Campbell (right) congratulate the 2009/2010 Scholarship awardees Dexter Brown (2nd left), Bianca Channer (centre) and Kaaleen Joseph (2nd right). The awards ceremony was held recently at the Jamaican Consulate in Toronto, Canada.

The Consul General said he believes Jamaica’s culture is the most powerful tool available to build social skills and reach young people.
“Drama and theatre workshops are powerful tools for building teamwork and interpersonal skills. Culture can also create employment opportunities in the creative industries,” he stated.
He commended the work of ACJAM for promoting Jamaican culture in Canada.
Three Canadian students of Jamaican heritage are the 2009/10 ACJAM scholarship awardees. They are 18-year-old Dexter Brown, a first-year Journalism student at Ryerson University; 19-year-old Bianca Channer, a first-year Art and Design Foundation student at George Brown College; and 17-year-old Kaaleen Joseph, a first-year Media Arts student at the University of Guelph-Humber.
The students satisfied the criteria for the award, which included having excellent grades, being registered in a tertiary-level institution, and pursuing studies in an arts-related field.

Young Jesse Ellis’ performance of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Someday at Christmas’ was inspiring, at the Arts and Culture Scholarship presentation held recently at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate in Toronto, Canada.

In making the presentation, Founder and Past President of ACJAM, Paula de Ronde, encouraged the scholarship recipients to hold on to their dreams and always strive for the highest and the best. “We applaud you and we honour you,” Mrs. de Ronde said.
President of ACJAM, Cherita Girvan-Campbell, congratulated the students and noted that although this was a challenging year, the funds were made possible, in part, through the generosity of “our supporters in the community.”
Entertainment was provided by actress and comedian Letna Allen-Rowe, who had the audience in stitches with several stories including one with ‘Brer Anansi’; 12-year-old singer Jesse Ellis, who gave an inspiring performance of the songs ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Someday at Christmas’; and 16-year-old Kristi Hewson, who did a beautiful rendition of the song, ‘Go Light Your World’.
Those in attendance included Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion, Jamaican-born Margarett Best; Canadian Manager of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), Alison Martin; owner of Blue Mountain Flame, Hal Campbell; storyteller Sandra Whiting; and friends and family of the scholarship recipients.

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