MONTEGO BAY — The Seville Heritage Park, St. Ann's Bay, will come alive once again on Sunday July 31, 2011, with the 15th renewal of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust's (JNHT) Emancipation Jubilee.
The event, which will be held under the theme, "Let the Drums Talk", promises to be rich in cultural activities, with emphasis on the different genres of music, using the drums.
Addressing the official launch on Friday July 1, 2011, at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel, Ocho Rios, Executive Director of the JNHT, Laleta Davis Mattis, said that, against the background of the United Nations declaring 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent, the event is expected to attract thousands of locals and visitors alike.
The event is fully endorsed by the St. Ann's Parish Council and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Regional Director at the JTB, Rosemarie Johnson, in voicing the JTB's endorsement, noted that her agency is always supportive of events that draw attention to the heritage of the nation. She said that the event has the capacity to attract a niche market which is not generally swayed by sun, sand and sea.
“The event provides a showcase for our creative talent, from the traditional to the modern, but a major focus is the opportunity it will provide for raising awareness about our various cultural elements through the educational displays to be presented at the Seville Heritage Park,” she stated.
She expressed the view that the event will bring value to both the country’s Tourism Product and the St. Ann community.
In giving the main address at the Launch of the event, Principal Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sydney Bartley, noted that the Emancipation Jubilee event has developed into a major force to be reckoned with in Jamaica.
He drew reference to the fact that this year’s Emancipation Jubilee event is being held in the 49th year of Independence for Jamaica, adding that the link between emancipation and Independence must always be made for the benefit of the Jamaican people, because there cannot be one without the other.
He informed that apart from the Emancipation Jubilee to be held at the Seville Heritage Park, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will be ensuring that an Emancipation Vigil is held starting this year, and to continue every year after, in the Spanish Town Square.
He said that it is very important for the youth to be involved in the recognition and observance of cultural and historical events.
Also present at the launch was Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Peter Oyedele, who noted that arrangements are being made to have a Nigerian Cultural Troupe participate in Emancipation Jubilee 2011.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter