- Reggae films in the Park (Linstead and Ocho Rios), a Gold Reception and Awards Ceremony, and a panel discussion are among the many events scheduled to take place during February, which is observed as Reggae Month.
- Other activities will include a street concert, exhibitions and a birthday celebration for the late reggae icon, Bob Marley.
- The activities have received financial support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) in the sum of $15 million.
Reggae films in the Park (Linstead and Ocho Rios), a Gold Reception and Awards Ceremony, and a panel discussion are among the many events scheduled to take place during February, which is observed as Reggae Month.
Other activities will include a street concert, exhibitions and a birthday celebration for the late reggae icon, Bob Marley.
The activities have received financial support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) in the sum of $15 million.
Reggae Month activities were revealed at a joint launch by two Ministers – Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange; and Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, at a function held on January 20 at Ribbiz Ocean Lounge at the Victoria Pier, Kingston waterfront.
Miss Grange said that this year’s celebration is special and will be a grand party for the recent inscription of the Reggae Music of Jamaica to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of intangible treasures for the whole of humanity.
Reggae was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2018 at the 13th session of the UNESCO Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“It was a major step for our music, because we had our challenges. We could have entertained the discussion from UNESCO speaking about the Reggae Music from Jamaica as if there is reggae music from anywhere else, but we insisted it should be the Reggae
Music of Jamaica and not the Reggae Music from Jamaica,” the Minister said.
Miss Grange said that reggae music, which originated in Jamaica, “has enhanced social, political movements which brought down bad and oppressive regimes, such as apartheid in South Africa, and has inspired the working class to stand up for their rights all over the world”.
The Minister noted that the act of preserving the music began when Reggae Month was instituted in 2008 following the efforts of many stakeholders.
“It was quite an achievement for it to be formally recognised. I’m delighted to have worked with the many stakeholders over the years, and I’m happy that UNESCO recognised our music and has inscribed it,” she added.
In his remarks, Minister Bartlett said reggae music will be used to redefine and reimage Jamaica’s advertising and promotion campaigns, and that the Ministry will shortly launch a new advertising programme, ‘Jamaica the destination of love’, using reggae music.
“We have to invest in the product called reggae. We have to build out the capacity of reggae to drive 24/7 experiences in different locations across Jamaica, and so we have, through the linkages network, appropriated $25 million for the building out of the product of reggae across Jamaica this year,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett said that reggae trails will be developed at different locations where reggae icons emerged. He also mentioned plans to develop a reggae museum.
“Now that the world has recognised us as a global intangible asset, we have to celebrate it, but we must also institutionalise it, so that no one will be able to remove even the thought of it from this wonderful piece of rock called Jamaica,” he said.