JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A rich showcase of Jamaican culture will be on display at the sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which gets underway today (June 13), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
  • The island’s music and dance will be presented at the conference through a new feature called “Marketplace Live.” A collection of artefacts from the Institute of Jamaica, will also be on display

A rich showcase of Jamaican culture will be on display at the sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which gets underway today (June 13), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The island’s music and dance will be presented at the conference through a new feature called “Marketplace Live.” A collection of artefacts from the Institute of Jamaica, will also be on display.

Chairperson of the Entertainment Look and Feel (ELF) Sub-Committee of the Diaspora Conference, Chantal Hylton-Tonnes, said every day over the six-day event, delegates will be treated to rich entertainment put on by some 200 performers drawn from western Jamaica.

“We are going to ensure that from the very start, every discussion, every ceremony, every official occasion is tinged with music, with entertainment, with cultural overlay,” she said, while addressing a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank on June 12.

Ms. Hylton-Tonnes said there will also be 20-minute performances each day during the lunch break by award-winning Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) performers, in areas of dance, music and drama.

“So, while Jamaicans at home and abroad are doing business, they are going to be hearing the sounds of our music,” she noted, adding that there will be special themes each day.

Ms. Hylton-Tonnes, who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC), said that between sessions, an officer from the JCDC will engage delegates in the Jamaican dialect, on issues that were discussed at the various sessions.

“(The officer) is going to be listening to all the presentations and then for 15 minutes during the break, she will be on the soap box, and in Jamaican dialect, engage with delegates as they pass, to talk about the issues that are being discussed,” she informed.

Ms. Hylton-Tonnes told JIS News that the idea for the cultural programme followed the 2013 Diaspora Conference, as the organisers felt that more of Jamaica’s culture needed to be highlighted at the biennial events.

“It was felt that we needed to bring more of our cultural activities and entertainment to the delegates, who are home for just a few days and are really looking forward to enjoying the talk and diving into Jamaica’s culture,” she said.

The ELF Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the JCDC, the Institute of Jamaica, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, and Things Jamaica, under the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC).

The Jamaica Diaspora Conference is being held under the theme: ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity.’