His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Desmond McKenzie, has said that the upcoming Intercity Intangible Cultural Co-operation Network (ICCN) Conference, scheduled for September 15-17 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, will give the City a boost in showcasing its rich cultural heritage.
“We are hoping that Kingston will be seen not just as the commercial centre of Jamaica, but we believe that Kingston has the potential to become a major tourist attraction, in terms of our cultural facilities and in terms of hosting conferences of this nature,” the Mayor said at the launch, Monday (September 7), at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.
He said that Kingston possesses more tangible and intangible cultural heritage than many other cities within this hemisphere, and that more needs to be done to promote and to export its cultural heritage. He also noted that the staging of the event in Kingston will be the first time that a conference of this scale, at the Local Government level, will be held in Kingston.
“This is a challenge that the city has accepted, it is a challenge that the city took on in more ways than one, because we had to compete against South Africa, France and Italy for the right to stage this conference,” he pointed out.
His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Desmond McKenzie (left), being presented with a representational cheque valued at $1.5 million by Country Representative for Landline Internet Mobile Entertainment (LIME), Geoff Houston, during Monday’s (September 7) launch of the upcoming Intercity Intangible Cultural Co-operation Network (ICCN) Conference, to be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston, September 15-17, at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.
Mayor McKenzie, who will also be Chairman of the conference, said that 40 to 45 countries and more than 50 overseas delegates are expected to participate.
“They are coming from as far as Asia, South Africa, Cameroon, Italy, France, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba. It’s a wide cross section, and it’s the first time that so many persons will be attending the conference because, normally, the bulk of the delegation would come out of Korea and a few other countries that are in the same mode, in terms of tangible and intangible cultural heritage,” he noted.
The conference will feature 28 presentations from Jamaican and overseas representatives, over two days.
The Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon Sir Patrick Allen, and the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, are to take part in the opening ceremony on Tuesday, September 15. The conference will end on Thursday, September 17, with the Declaration of the City of Kingston on the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.
His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Desmond McKenzie (left), speaking with Regional Vice President of Communications at Landline Internet Mobile Entertainment (LIME), Errol Miller (right) and LIME’s Country Representative, Geoff Houston, during Monday’s (September 7) launch, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, of the upcoming Intercity Intangible Cultural Co-operation Network (ICCN) Conference, to be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston, September 15-17.
Member cities of the ICCN, new cities of North/South America, Caribbean countries, international organisations, institutions and experts are also expected to attend.
Mayor McKenzie noted that the challenge to put on the conference has been great. He said that it was to have originally cost $16 million, but the cost has been reduced to $10-$11million, as it was foreseen that difficulties would arise in trying to raise that amount.
He thanked the sponsors, and said that they would be given an opportunity to exhibit their products for the delegations at some of the events.
“I am excited and I am looking forward to the conference and all that it has to offer the city,” the Mayor added.
Sponsors include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Director of the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, Dr. Kwame Boafo, said the UN body was pleased to be associated with it.
Country Representative for Landline Internet Mobile Entertainment (LIME), another sponsor, Geoff Houston, handed over a representational cheque for $1.5 million to Mayor McKenzie, bringing to $3.5 million its total contribution. He said that LIME would not only be offering monetary support, but telecommunication services, as well.
“We have provided a full computer centre and an internet caf