KINGSTON — Two albums with the compilation of songs of the 20 finalists for the 2011 Jamaica Independence Festival and Gospel Song competitions have been produced by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange unveiled the albums at a studio launch of the 2011 Jamaica Festival and national Independence celebrations, held on July 5 at the Wycliffe Bennett Studio, Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) on Arnold Road, in Kingston.
The Jamaica Independence Festival will be staged during the period July 29 to August 6 under the theme: ‘The Journey Continues…’ Among the activities being organised by the JCDC are the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation Show, August Fair, World Reggae Dance Championships, Mello Go Roun’ and Independence Day Gala.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Grange said that Jamaicans have a lot to celebrate. “Jamaica, this small dot in the ocean has made such a mark on the big world that we must celebrate… We are a great little country,” she said.
The Minister said that there is much more to be achieved and called on Jamaicans to re-double their efforts to realise the dreams of the ancestors.
“Let us celebrate the diversity, the rhythm, the passion, the energy, the creativity, the music, the beauty and the intelligence of our people. Let us celebrate Jamaica and let us remember our founding fathers as we celebrate the land we love,” she added.
The Minister thanked the sponsors of the Jamaica Festival, noting that without their support, the JCDC would not be able to stage the events. GraceKennedy Limited, Claro, Fidelity Motors Limited, Tastee Limited, Credit Unions of Jamaica, Excelsior and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund are some of the main sponsors of this year’s Festival.
Bringing greetings at the ceremony, Marketing Manager of GraceKennedy, Tania Christie said the events staged by the JCDC are worthy of the support of the company.
“The Festival showcases Jamaicans from Morant Bay to Montego Bay and all points in between and provides a platform for all of us to celebrate what makes us truly Jamaicans. At Grace, we know that these cultural treasures matter and we see these events as uniquely valuable and fully deserve our support,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven also lauded the work of the JCDC, adding that the Fund has always been supportive of the JCDC because of the organisation's “track record of success and positive results in showing Jamaica’s cultural legacy."
At the ceremony, each finalist did two-minute performances of their songs. Jamaicans will get a chance to hear and see the contestants when they make appearances at Gospel Fest 2011 at Denbigh High School, Clarendon on Saturday, July 9, and at the Little Ochi Seafood Festival, Alligator Pond, Manchester, on Sunday, July 10.
The winner will be selected at the Jamaica Festival Song and Gospel Song Finals scheduled to take place at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Friday, July 29 and Sunday, July 31, respectively.
Winner of the Festival Song competition will receive $1million, donated by Claro and a new 2011 Nissan Tida, given by Fidelity Motors Limited.
By E. HARTMAN RECKORD, JIS Information Officer