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The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Logo.
Photo: Contributed Photo

Jamaica’s 60th Independence anniversary year-long celebrations are being observed under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.

Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Public Relations Coordinator, Kristen Laing, tells JIS News the entity will be introducing several surprises for this year’s Diamond Jubilee.

These include performances by guest artistes who will be featured in the JCDC’s catalogue of competitions leading up to the grand celebration on August 6.

“In terms of the JCDC and our programmes, each competition final will have its own entertainment added to the show. There will be guest artistes to create more excitement around who our guest artistes will be, closer to the competition finals,” Ms. Laing notes.

Returning favourites this year are the Jamaica Visual Arts Competition, Jamaica Creative Writing Competition, Jamaica Gospel Star Competition, Jamaica Festival Song Competition, Jamaica Festival Queen Competition, Jamaica Culinary Arts Competition, and National Festival of the Arts: Music, Dance, Speech, Drama and Theatre, Traditional Folk Forms Competition.

The National Festival of the Arts: Music, Dance, Speech, Drama and Theatre, the Traditional Folk Forms Competition will, once again, feature performances by groups.

Ms. Laing says last year, the group format was suspended in compliance with COVID-19 physical-distancing requirements.

“This is different from last year, which we had dubbed ‘The year of the Soloist’, as we were only accepting solo entries based on the national physical-distancing requirements, as stated by Government. As those requirements have been adjusted, we have also adjusted our group competitions to accept [group] entries of up to eight persons,” she explains.

In keeping with the continued COVID-19 protocols, the competitions will be streamed on the JCDC’s social media platforms – YouTube and Facebook – as well as the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport’s Facebook page.

“Pre-COVID, we would normally have a large audience. But we are currently working with the Government’s COVID and physical-distancing protocols,” she explains.

“The competitions will happen mostly in the virtual space. Depending on the competition, it may also be aired on local television, on the free-to-air TV stations. These are the channels where persons can watch the competition finals,” she adds.

A hybrid format is being considered, contingent on the Government’s COVID-19 regulations for the period.

The finals of the JCDC 2022 competitions will run concurrently with the National Independence celebrations. Prizes include cash awards, trophies, and medals.

“The prizes for the competitions vary with each competition. But all of our top performers can look forward to receiving whether a trophy, medal or a merit certificate as well as a cash award for the very top performers in each competition. Depending on the competition, we will have other prizes,” the JCDC official notes.

The Commission will also be hosting several events – conferences, workshops, television/online events – throughout the period.

The JCDC will also be unveiling several other social media ambassadors leading up to the Jamaica 60 grand celebrations.

They are in addition to previously announced social media ambassadors, Juliet “Julie Mango” Bodley, and Russhaine “Dutty Berry” Berry.

The Independence celebrations are integral to national development and commemorate Jamaica’s history and culture.

Each year, the JCDC organises activities commemorating Jamaica’s emancipation from slavery and its political independence.

In observance of these milestones in the nation’s history, recognition is given to the various aspects of Jamaican culture.

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