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Story Highlights

  • Emancipation and Independence celebrations this year will focus on continued efforts to develop and promote the cultural and creative industries.
  • The Minister promises six days of excitement and wholesome family entertainment from August 1 to August 6.
  • New to this year’s celebrations will be a Heart of Ska International Festival; Aunty Roachie Short Film and Literary Festival; Dutchie Food Festival; and the Big Stage: Pop and Variety Competition.

Emancipation and Independence celebrations this year will focus on continued efforts to develop and promote the cultural and creative industries towards greater income generation, job creation, and export earnings.

This, according to Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who was making her contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 20 under the theme ‘Not Leaving It To Chance’.

The Minister promises six days of excitement and wholesome family entertainment from August 1 to August 6, as the country celebrates Emancipation and Independence.

Among the activities outlined were: ‘Live Music Tuesdays’ in every parish; ‘Independence Conversations’; a National Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, July 27;  Island-wide Emancipation vigils; Emancipation Jubilee; Mello-Go-Roun;  and the Grand Gala.

New to this year’s celebrations will be a Heart of Ska International Festival; Aunty Roachie Short Film and Literary Festival; Dutchie Food Festival; and the Big Stage: Pop and Variety Competition.

Explaining the latter, Minister Hanna said the ‘Big Stage’ will be rolled out to showcase the talent within communities.

“As a means of catering to the vast number of talented youngsters between the ages of 18 and 35, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), like the popular ‘Americans Got Talent’ show in the United States (US), will seek to identify, develop, and expose the varied creative talents and performing skills of these youngsters from rural and urban communities,” Minister Hanna said.

She noted that many of the nation’s popular entertainers had their genesis in this way. “The target is to reach at least 2000 young people this year,” she said.

The Minister informed that the talent search has already begun and will conclude in August. She also asserted that the programme will provide an opportunity for training and an outlet for the showcasing of creative talents that are not captured in the JCDC’s regular current menu of competitions.

She also noted that in addition to the major national events, all parishes will be staging a week-long schedule of celebratory activities.