Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, praised members of the Jamaican diaspora in Toronto for their fortitude, their “relentless push for success ” and for becoming ” part of the new multicultural society which they fashioned with the Jamaican touch.
” But most of all, we salute you because you never forgot the place from which you came, but instead carried your homeland in your heart and saw to it that Jamaica’s impact worldwide, in the 21st century was greater than its geo-political location in the Caribbean Sea.”
Grange was speaking at the Jamaica Canadian Association’s 56th anniversary and Independence gala in Toronto.
In her keynote address, she noted that among the missions of her ministry is “the strengthening of Brand Jamaica.
” It is about creating new markets for our cultural and creative products or enhancing old markets. It is about re-visioning the ways in which we look at our creative energies and make it work for the greater prosperity of our foremost creative persons and the country in general.
” It is furthering among our Jamaican people at home and abroad the economic value of our creativity and the ways in which they can participate in this globally acclaimed dynamic.
” For example, it is our plan to revitalize all our Jamaican festivals at home and to
the greater prosperity of our foremost creative persons and the country in general. It is furthering among our Jamaican people at home and abroad the economic value of our creativity and the ways in which they can participate in this globally acclaimed dynamic.”
Grange invited Jamaicans in Toronto “to join us in Jamaica for the unveiling ceremony of the national monument in honour of the cultural icon, the late Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou) on September 7.
The unveiling is a part of the activities to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the birth of Miss Lou.
She said the erection of a statue done by world renowned sculpture Basil Watson , is the first phase of the project which will culminate in the establishment of the Miss Lou Square in Gordon Town in Jamaica.
She also announced that McMaster University in Hamilton. Ontario “has agreed to collaborate with us ” on the establishment of the Square.
Grange said the Jamaican government is looking forward ” to enhancing Jamaican Caribbean festivals here in Canada, whether it is The Jerk Festival, Jambana , the celebration of Ms. Lou Day or this annual Gala that is so well-received in this community.
“My Ministry will create and market with the help of the Ministry of Tourism, a calendar of all our activities at home and aboard.”
The minister of culture called on “business persons and entities” in Canada to support the creative endeavors by Jamaicans ” so that Brand Jamaica can be enhanced and the people of Jamaica at home and in the diaspora can reap dividends from the globally-certified creativity of the Jamaican people.”
Adaoma Patterson, President of the Jamaican Canadian Association, said she was proud of the Association’s efforts at executing this year’s Independence and Anniversary gala ” because it included several generations in front and behind the scenes.”
The Association ‘s 2018 Awards were presented to the following:
President’s Award – Renea Douglas, Yolande Davidson
Outstanding Volunteers of the Year – Christopher Lyn, Dr. Jerome Whyte (PhD), Donald Oglivie (PEng), Janet Samms
25 Years of Continuous Membership – Covelin Brown, Martin Brown
Lifetime Award (40 years of Continuous Membership) – Zenova Brown
50 Years of Continuous Membership – Carmen Jens
Community Service Award (Organization) – P.A.C.E Canada & Ontario Black History Society (OBHS)
Community Service Award (Individual) – Dan Williamson