Diaspora communities in England are collaborating with vendors of the Harbour Street Craft & Cultural Village in Montego Bay to showcase the best Jamaican cultural products.
The event, dubbed ‘Diaspora Connect Fest’, will be held on Saturday, July 8, in the Village under the theme ‘Bringing Neighbourhoods and Cultural Villages Together’.
Among the activities are demonstrations on how to: blow glass, use the potter’s wheel, carve wood and stone, and paint in acrylic and water.
Persons will also learn the fine art of drumming and to jerk chicken, pork, fish and vegetables. A number of Jamaica’s traditional herbal remedies will also be displayed at the event.
Scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., the one-day event will kick-start with a Jamaica 55 Diaspora Domino Challenge, ‘Jamaica versus England’. Later, at about noon, the Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, is expected to address the gathering.
Global Diaspora Director of Country Style Community Tourism Network, Rudi Page, told JIS News that the event was created to showcase the talents of Jamaicans, and, at the same time, get the diaspora to support the event while they are home for the summer holidays and to attend the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference.
The Conference is slated for July 23-26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
Mr. Page said it is also important to promote the products in the international market.
“We will be taking the best products, made in Jamaica, put them on a technology platform and they will be advertised to the diaspora groups that we are working with, so we have got a commitment, as well, to put the products on the platform,” he said.
Mr. Page, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Trade and Services Programme Jamaica (TSPJ), said that small enterprises in Jamaica are in need of international business support, noting that a supply chain collaboration, market access and market intelligence are three difficult areas for small businesses.
“So, we are developing those pathways between the diaspora and Jamaica, whether it be from the UK, from the USA or Canada. We are still in early days, so we are weighing the potential opportunities,” he added.
The Global Diaspora Director said a bigger event is being planned for next year, under the theme ‘Welcome Home’.
“We expect to be working across all the parishes in one way or the other, so this first event is very much to prove the concept,” he said.
Diaspora Connect Fest was launched in London by High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan.