Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has informed that the headquarters of the Jamaica 50 celebrations, the Golden Jubilee Village, will be established at the Independence Park Complex, Kingston.
“The National Indoor Sports Centre will be converted into a ‘Performance Centre’ that will house all of the Independence national events produced by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) from July 9 to August 6, 2012, with the exception of the finals of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which will be held at the National Arena this Saturday, July 7,” Miss Hanna said.
The Minister was making her contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on July 3.
Miss Hanna also informed that the National Arena will house an ‘exhibition hall’ to showcase Jamaica over 50 years, and will include an introduction to the ‘Jamaica sports museum’ that will be established as a Jamaica 50 legacy project.
The Car Park area will also be transformed into a major outdoor venue that will house vendors, sponsors, children's village and petting zoo, as well as a major performance stage that will showcase the “best in festival performances” as well as other nightly concerts with the country’s iconic musicians, she added.
“This venue will house an ongoing programme of entertainment and activities night and day. It will carry the live Olympic feeds that will be supplied to Jamaica 50 by the official broadcast station in Jamaica for the Olympics, CVM TV, in association with its sponsors,” Miss Hanna noted.
The Village will also have a Jamaica 50 Broadcast Centre, which will facilitate through media partners, the live broadcasting of all these events and activities across Jamaica, to the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Canada by global media partners, RJR Communications Group and LIME.
“They will provide an interface for any other TV network or platform that wishes to join and share the celebrations. This infrastructure will provide streaming capabilities over the Internet, social pages and mobile devices,” the Culture Minister said.
Additionally, there will be 14 satellite stages across various towns and places in Jamaica on August 5 and 6 that will become the public gathering points for Jamaicans to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. The Jamaica 50 Secretariat will soon be announcing these locations.
Other activities for Jamaica 50 celebrations include some 50 Street Dances to be held across Jamaica between August 1 and 6, culminating in the Independence Street Dance in Half-Way Tree Square on the night of August 6.
As a prelude to Jamaica 50, Independence Thanksgiving Services will be held in all parishes on Sunday, August 5. On that day also, a major free concert titled, ‘Independence Nostalgia’ will be held at the Golden Jubilee Village at Independence Park. It will feature the greats of festival songs over the years, along with other popular Jamaican vintage artistes.
In the meantime, Miss Hanna pointed out that excitement is already at fever pitch among Jamaicans overseas about Jamaica 50, while noting that in Canada, the UK and North America, in particular, planning committees have launched their celebrations which will reach a crescendo on August 6.
For more information on the details of the Jamaica 50 schedule at home and abroad, persons can call the Jamaica 50 Secretariat or log on the Jamaica 50 website at: www.jamaica50.com.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter