On August 6 – 8, 2020, Jamaican organizations across Canada will come together to celebrate Jamaica’s 58th year of Independence in a special three-day event!
This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, celebrations could not be held in person as is customary. But in the spirit of this year’s Independence theme, “Resilient and Strong” several organizations came together to ensure Jamaicans would celebrate and still have the opportunity to participate in the annual tradition of marking the anniversary of their home nation’s independence. The organizations involved in this event are:
• Jamaican Cultural Association of Nova Scotia (JCANS)
• Jamaica Association of Montreal Foundation
• Jamaica Association of Montreal Inc.
• Jamaican (Ottawa) Community Association Inc. (JOCA)
• Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA)
• Windsor West Indian Association (Caribbean Centre)
• Jamaican Association of Manitoba
• Jamaican Canadian Association Alberta Calgary
• The Jamaican Canadian Cultural Association of British Columbia (JCCABC)
The three days of online events dubbed Jamaican Canadians Coast to Coast has major sponsors: Knutsford Express, Montego Bay Jamaica; Grace Kennedy, Toronto Ontario; World Financial Group Insurance Agency Daniel O’Donnell, Ottawa Ontario; Caribbean Choice Foods, Calgary Alberta and CMJ Entertainment – Charles Matthews, Brampton Ontario. It will feature performances from across Canada and showcase the activities in the various cities across the country.
Day one, August 6th, Independence Day, will be the opening ceremony starting at 4:00 pm followed by entertainment including Jamaican Festival Songs.
Day two, August 7th will focus on culture and will highlight Jamaican Cinema and Music with a tribute to iconic Jamaican performer Jimmy Cliff, comedic performances, and history. There will also be information sessions with panelists from Jamaica Consulate Office Toronto; Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); Jamaica National Bank (JN); Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO); Pan-African Credit Union (PACU) and Jamaica Diaspora Groups.
Day three, August 8th, the event’s last day, boasts a children’s corner and a plethora of youth talent on display. There will be a virtual tour of the exhibit Jamaican-Nova Scotian Connections from the Maroons to the Present Day at The Canadian Museum of Immigration – Pier 21. The evening will end with a segment called Big People Time featuring some of the best Jamaican Canadian talents and live DJs taking viewers through the decades from Ska to modern Dancehall.
Michelle McKenzie-Dolly, Chair of the committee said “Jamaicans everywhere take the time to celebrate this day every year. The ongoing pandemic made it harder but we just could not let the day pass without recognizing our 58th year as an independent country. The various organizations that have come together to make this event happen are phenomenal and we are in for a treat!”