Jamaicans in Canada to Celebrate Diaspora Day on June 16


Jamaicans in Canada will celebrate Diaspora Day on June 16, with a fun-filled festival showcasing all things Jamaican. The celebration is set to take place at Metro Hall Square, downtown Toronto from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., with art and craft displays, music, food, poetry and book readings and dancing.
Folk musicians, the Heritage Singers, will perform a medley of Jamaican music from mento through to ska, revival, reggae and dancehall. There will also be performances from gospel artiste Marvia Providence and poet Trevor Lawrence, while author Horane Smith will read from his book, Reggae Silver.
Displays will be mounted by Jamaican companies and groups, including the Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Tourist Board, GraceKennedy, Western Union, Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), Jamaica Weekly Gleaner, Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), Burke’s Books and Benny’s Souvenirs.
Earl Jarrett, General Manager of JNBS, will be the main speaker at the event while Bishop Peter Morgan, pastor to the Diaspora, will be the special guest. June 16 was mandated ‘Jamaica Diaspora Day’ following the two-day conference held last year at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, which brought together nationals from Canada, the United States, Britain.
In a message marking the day, Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton commended Jamaicans overseas for their abiding faith in the country. “You have demonstrated this repeatedly by your financial and material contributions to the development of our island home. As individuals, organizations and associations, you have played a tremendous role in our country’s development efforts,” she said.
Phillip Mascoll, President of the Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation, noted that Jamaica Diaspora Day was a significant occasion as it gave official recognition to Jamaicans worldwide. “This will mark a year since the Jamaican tribe gathered in Kingston to acknowledge that we are one, regardless of where we live on this earth, and that Jamaicans are a unique people from a unique nation. And the six million of us can make the motherland better for the generations to come,” he said.
Also, on Jamaica Diaspora Day, the Jamaica Weekly Gleaner will publish a supplement featuring 100 Jamaicans, who have positively impacted Canada.
Readers were asked to “nominate Jamaicans of all ages, who have made a positive contribution to the Canadian society as pioneers, visionaries, agents of change and unsung heroes.”

JIS Social