The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is gearing up to celebrate the island’s 60th anniversary of independence on 06AUG, with year-long events, including some in Canada, commemorating the occasion.
The Jamaica 60 theme is “Reigniting a Nation For Greatness,” and the JTB invites Jamaicans living in Canada and friends of Jamaica to “come home” to rediscover their roots or reignite their passion for Jamaican culture.
Events in Canada
According to Canada’s 2016 Census, there are more than 300,000 Jamaican-Canadians living in the country. The JTB notes that Jamaica 60 events in Canada will be meaningful for this group; however, any friend of Jamaica can enjoy celebrating Jamaican culture and heritage at one of the following signature events.
- Bob Marley One Love Experience in Toronto (extended until 05SEP): This North American premiere of the Bob Marley One Love Experience showcases never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia and immerses Marley fans in a journey through his life, passions, influences and legacy.
- Jamaica Lights (06AUG): Canadian landmarks from coast to coast will illuminate in Jamaican flag colours on 06AUG. Locations confirmed to illuminate include: Niagara Falls, Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Halifax City Hall, the Clock Tower at Mississauga Civic Centre, Brampton City Hall Clock Tower and Science World in Vancouver. Edmonton’s High Level Bridge will also be illuminated on 08AUG.
- Jamaica 60 flag raising ceremonies: Flag raising ceremonies in celebration of Jamaica 60 will take place at Toronto City Hall (31JUL), Markham (05AUG), Mississauga (05AUG), Oshawa (05AUG), London (05AUG), Brampton (06AUG) and Hamilton City Hall (07AUG).
- Jamaican Canadian Association’s Annual Jamaica Independence and Anniversary Gala (13AUG): The Jamaican Canadian Association will hold their annual independence gala event in Toronto.
- Film screenings of African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey (13 and 14AUG): These screenings will be held at select locations in Toronto and Brampton.
- Flow 98.7 FM Fly Away to Jamaica (14-21AUG): Flow 98.7 listeners are invited to join show hosts Red and Spex Da Boss as they broadcast their Morning Flava and Traffic Flow shows live from Jamaica.
- Falla Fashun fashion show (21AUG): Flair Management will host a fashion show at the Jamaica Canadian Association in Toronto.
- Sinting Fest on Eglinton West (26-28AUG): Sinting Fest will take place for three days in August and is designed to help revitalize Toronto’s Little Jamaica neighbourhood.
- Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation’s Jamrock Annual Gala (21OCT): This annual gala will be held at Palais Royale in Toronto. Proceeds will benefit Jamaican children by providing resources for a better future and education.
“In Canada, we are particularly proud to announce our Jamaica Lights activations when Canadian landmarks from coast to coast will light up in Jamaican colours as a tribute for our Diamond Anniversary,” added Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Jamaica Tourist Board Canada. “This is one of our signature events for this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share our pride across Canada.”
For more information on Jamaica 60 Canadian events, visit its web site.
Events in Jamaica
After a two-year hiatus, Jamaica’s popular annual festivals are back this year showcasing some of the country’s local talents. With Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence, all local festivals this year will be “extra celebratory,” with signature summer festivals including Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica Dream WKND and MoBay Jerk & Food Festival.
“The Jamaica 60 theme is ‘Reigniting a Nation For Greatness,’ and we encourage all Jamaicans living in Canada to come home to the island this year,” said Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. “We want all Jamaicans to rediscover their roots and reignite their passion for Jamaican culture. Celebrations and preparations in Jamaica and Canada are in high gear and the excitement couldn’t be more palpable.”
Special Jamaica 60 Offers
- Jamaica 60 Sweet Deals & Specials: The Jamaica Tourist Board has worked with hotel and resort partners to offer a collection of deals across various destinations in Jamaica.
- Couples Resorts’ “Join the Jubilee!” Offer: Couples Resorts is celebrating Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee with a special offer. Travellers that book by 31AUG for travel 01AUG through 16DEC will receive their 6th night free, a CAD $60 resort credit and two times the Romance Rewards points.
For more information on the Jamaica Tourist Board, visit its web site.