JIS News

All across Canada, Jamaicans are taking part in activities to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the country’s independence. Jamaican organizations in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver have planned independence events, which include flag-raising ceremonies, banquets, fun days and church services.
In Toronto, the Canadian city, which is home to the largest number of Jamaican nationals, ‘Jamaica Day’ was observed on Saturday, July 23, and this marked the unofficial start of the Independence celebrations in that city.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Carl Marshall and Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton, brought greetings on behalf of the Jamaican government.
This year, the organizers also staged a Gospel Day on July 24, featuring some of the top gospel acts from Canada and Jamaica.
On Sunday, July 31, two functions will take place in Toronto – the annual flag-raising ceremony and the Independence church service.
The flag-raising ceremony, organized by the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), will see Jamaica’s black, green and gold flag hoisted at Toronto City Hall on the Podium Roof at 2:00 p.m. The flag will remain flying above the city for one week.
At 4:00 p.m. it will be time for the Independence Church Service at the Revivaltime Tabernacle. Organized by the Jamaican Consulate General and several organizations, the theme chosen for this year is: ‘The Youth – Our Future Leaders’.
Meanwhile, in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the Jamaica (Ottawa) Community Association (JOCA) will be declaring the weekend of August 5 as ‘Jamaica Weekend’ with the raising of the Jamaican flag at City Hall. Also, in recognition of the city’s 150 anniversary, JOCA will be highlighting the contributions of Jamaican immigrants to Canada.
On August 6, the annual JAMDAY celebrations take place at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre at Britannia Park, featuring Jamaican food and entertainment, and on August 7, the Independence church service takes place at the 4th Avenue Baptist Church.
Over in Western Canada, the Jamaican Canadian Cultural Association of British Columbia (JCCABC) is organizing several events, including an annual picnic at Hjorth Road Community Park on July 31, a Gospel Song Fest on August 6 and the Independence Church Service on August 7.
Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, will be the organization’s guest speaker at its Independence Gala, slated for August 13 at the Metrotown Hilton Hotel.
In Winnipeg, Jamaica Day 2005 will take place on August 6, featuring Jamaican and Canadian reggae artistes. The Jamaican Association of Manitoba (JAM) is gearing up for its annual Independence Banquet at the Jamaican Cultural Centre, also on August 6. Honorary Consul for Winnipeg, Carmen Nembhardt, will read excerpts from Prime Minister P.J. Patterson’s Independence and Emancipation messages.
Mrs. Nembhardt said she would continue the tradition of requesting the Mayor’s Office to hoist the Jamaican Flag at City Hall.
In Montreal, Honorary Consul Noel-Patric Brady will host an Independence Ball on August 27 at the Omni Hotel. Proceeds from that event will go the Jamaica Christian Boys’ Home in Kingston.