Jamaicans around the world are gearing up to celebrate the island’s 60th anniversary of independence on August 6, with year-long events in both Jamaica and Canada commemorating the occasion.
The Jamaica 60 theme is “Reigniting a Nation For Greatness,” and Jamaica 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. Jamaica 60 events in Canada will be especially meaningful for this group; however, any friend of Jamaica will enjoy celebrating Jamaican culture and heritage at one of the following signature events. More information on these and other local Jamaica 60 events can be found at www.jamaica60to.com.~
• Bob Marley One Love Experience in Toronto (extended until September 5): 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 enduring legacy.
• Jamaica Lights (August 6): Canadian landmarks from coast to coast will illuminate in Jamaican flag colours on August 6. 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 August 8.
• Jamaica 60 flag raising ceremonies: Flag raising ceremonies in celebration of Jamaica 60 will take place at Toronto City Hall (July 31), Markham (August 5), Mississauga (August 5), Oshawa (August 5), London (August 5), Brampton (August 6) and Hamilton City Hall (August 7).
• Jamaican Canadian Association’s Annual Jamaica Independence and Anniversary Gala (August 13): 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 (August 13 and 14): These screenings will be held at select locations in Toronto and Brampton.
• Flow 98.7 FM Fly Away to Jamaica (August 14 – 21): 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 (August 21): Flair Management will host a fashion show at the Jamaica Canadian Association in Toronto.
• Sinting Fest on Eglinton West (August 26 – 28): Sinting Fest will take place for three days in August and is designed to help revitalise Toronto’s Little Jamaica neighbourhood.
• Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation’s Jamrock Annual Gala (October 21): 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.
Events in Jamaica
After a two-year hiatus, Jamaica’s popular annual festivals are back this year showcasing some of the country’s hottest 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.”
“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.”
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 August 31 for travel August 1 through December 16 will receive their 6th night free, a $60 resort credit and two times the Romance Rewards points.