Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Grace Silvera, is calling on Jamaicans to come out in their numbers for the epic final lap of this year’s Festival Season.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank session on July 28 in Kingston, Ms. Silvera stated that Jamaicans would be treated to a phenomenal and entertaining cultural package that would help to lift the national spirit.
Chief Executive Officer at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe (left), engages Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Grace Silvera (right), in conversation prior to a JIS Think Tank session hosted on July 28 at the JIS, Half-Way-Tree Road, Kingston. Ms. Silvera encouraged Jamaicans to come out in their numbers and support the Festival Season.
“The theme is ‘I believe in Jamaica’ and we want that to resonate throughout the island,” she said.
“We are mindful of the recent happenings and, because of that, we are ensuring that every Jamaican can feel that sense of patriotism, civic pride and love for country in order to put us back to that great place of renewal. We also want to implore Jamaicans to wear the national colours and to just come out and celebrate Festival,” she insisted.
Jamaicans will have a number of opportunities to experience a variety of cultural packages and pastimes, starting with the finals of the Festival Song Competition on July 30, at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
On Sunday August 1, there will be a National Thanksgiving Service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Slipe Road, Kingston. On Monday August 2, it will be time for Augus’ Fair and the World Reggae Dance Competition at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, while on Wednesday August 4, the National Arena will play host to ‘Mello-Go-Roun’.
All these activities, Ms. Silvera informed, would culminate in a spectacular Independence Street Parade and Grand Gala on Friday August 6.
“Picture this… 100 cyclists, 100 motorcyclists, music trucks, costumed groups, effigies going down Hope Road, Half Way Tree Road, Oxford Road, Arthur Wint Drive…It is going to be a kaleidoscope of colours, as they all charge into the National Stadium for the Grand Finale. This year’s Grand Gala is going to be exciting, epic and a true celebration of our 48th year of independence”, she gushed.
She added that there would be a Western Gala in Montego Bay, as well, and local Independence celebrations in the other parishes.
The Executive Director also took the opportunity to remind Jamaicans that the National Visual Arts Competition Exhibition was currently underway at the National Gallery and would run until August 28.
Meanwhile, Ms. Silvera explained that the vibrancy of this year’s festival season, and the outpouring of praise that the JCDC had received from the public and stakeholders alike, could be traced to its recent rebranding exercise.
“We launched our new look and revitalised image in February, with a new ebullient, modern, sophisticated logo, which the entire public is raving about, and our buildings also are more representative of what the head office of our cultural centre should look like,” she noted.
She explained that the rebranding and revitalisation strategy does not stop with the JCDC’s physical image and overall look but, more importantly, is embedded in its programmes.
“We had a fantastic Children’s Gospel Competition in March. We followed that up with our Festival Queen Competition, which was won by Johnnel Smith. Our Culinary Arts Competition had over 180 entrants, and that was really phenomenal, and our Jamaica Gospel Song Finals Competition was a real foot stomping, hand clapping, holy ghost, tongue speaking session,” she recounted.