The JCA’s Celebrates 61 Years-A Journey of Resilience and Perseverance

Sylvanus Thompson

For the past 61 years, the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) has been a pillar of strength, unity, and cultural celebration within the Jamaican-Canadian community. Through their annual Gala Dinner and Dance, the JCA has not only commemorated their own anniversary but also marked the significance of Jamaica’s Independence. This year’s celebration, themed “A Journey of Resilience and Perseverance,” pays tribute to the unwavering spirit of the JCA, its members, and supporters. The event is set to be an evening of indulgence, entertainment, and recognition, with special emphasis on those who have contributed significantly to the community’s growth and success.

The Jamaican Canadian Association has stood the test of time, much like the nation it represents. Co-chairs Michelle McKenzie-Dolly and Dr. Sylvanus Thompson aptly note that the JCA’s enduring strength owes itself to the resilience and perseverance of its members and supporters. Just as Jamaica has overcome challenges, so too has the JCA weathered various storms to emerge as a beacon of community engagement and cultural preservation.

This year’s anniversary celebration promises an evening of grandeur and festivity. The festivities will take place on Saturday, August 12th, featuring a gala dinner and dance. Attendees can anticipate a delectable culinary experience curated by Chef Selwyn from The Art of Catering. The entertainment lineup includes a performance by the all-female Rayzalution Band, with DJ Funky spinning tunes to keep the dance floor alive. Guiding the evening’s proceedings will be the capable host, Arlene Amitirigala. This gathering isn’t just a celebration; it’s a testament to the strength of a community that continues to thrive.

The JCA extends its gratitude to the sponsors of this year’s event, UBC Carpenters Local 27. Their support highlights the meaningful partnerships that sustain organizations like the JCA,

Arlene Amitirigala Host
David Betty JCA President

enabling them to make a lasting impact within the community.

A pivotal aspect of the JCA’s celebration is the recognition of those who have contributed exceptionally to the community. The 2023 award recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations committed to excellence and community growth. This year’s honorees include:

Community Award go to Dr. Sylvanus Thompson Individual The Walnut Foundation gets (Organization), the Volunteer of the Year Award to Herrol Mattocks the President’s Award goes to Benito Palomino, the Lifetime Award to Camille Hannays-King and Ellen Wynter, for their support over the last 25 Years Continuous Membership are Sharon Wynter-Bowen, Dean Parker and Glenford Gordon and celebrate his golden 50 Years Continuous Membership is Ismay Murray while the Long Service Award went to  Desmond Marrett and Exceptional Support and Volunteerism goes to Anthony Scott

As the Jamaican Canadian Association celebrates 61 years of existence, it does so not only as a milestone in its own journey but as a reflection of the enduring spirit of the Jamaican-Canadian community. The theme of “A Journey of Resilience and Perseverance” encapsulates the struggles and triumphs that have shaped the JCA’s legacy. Through this celebration, the JCA pays homage to its past while looking forward to a future defined by unity, strength, and a continued commitment to community excellence.