To a packed room of enthusiasts, the world-renowned Reggae Month launched in the Talk of the Town of the Jamaica Pegasus. The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) led initiative caused so much excitement that the conversation level in the room sometimes matched that of the music which blared through the speakers for each of the spectacular performers. The theme for Reggae Month 2020 is “Come ketch di Riddim”.
The sentiment was, ‘imagine what this year is going to be like now that Reggae Month is finally a tourism product’. You read right, the Ministry of Tourism, headed by the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, has welcomed Reggae Month to its campaign of doubling the visitation stats to ten million visitors by 2029. The minister is excited to join the push to put Reggae music at the top of the list for why tourism has continued success in Jamaica.
You could hear how proud the Minister was when talking about the impact of Reggae globally. It is no surprise that his ministry has decided to add it to the important ingredient in the total package of the Jamaican experience.
Turning his focus to the viability of Reggae as a tourism product, the Minister was quick to point out the relevant relationship between Reggae music and brand Jamaica. He showed his excitement about a new approach that the Tourism Ministry will be taking to pull people to our cultural mecca and explained it this way.
The Ministry of Tourism is on a mission to put Reggae music on the minds of our visitors and start a positive conversation that continues long after each visitor leaves the island. Such dialogue is to cause curiosity and loyalty within and with our visitors. He is so serious about this feat that both Ministries have been strategising on how to make this impact felt. They both agreed on the best way forward.
With an input of ten million dollars to create an all-day Reggae product on the table; Minister Bartlett has shown just how important our musical culture is. This is not only important in getting tourists to our country, but it is also imperative in reshaping our self-image and our story that we pass down from generation to generation.
Life in Miramar
The Vice Mayor of Miramar, Alexandra P. Davis wants Jamaica to know that we are doing very well overseas as a nation family. Born in England and raised in Jamaica, Ms Davis informed the audience about how important Jamaicans are to the city of Miramar, Florida.
Miramar will celebrate with Jamaica for Reggae Month. The city will host many events and activities which will highlight and celebrate our nation family and the impact we have made on the world through entertainment.
This activity by the city is not the first time for this type of active interest and investment in our people. Recently a fundraiser was done to help the Reggae Girls with their world cup bid. The campaign raised over eighty-thousand dollars. The city has also engaged the University of Technology in a partnership for the ‘Multi-Cultural’ Games in Miramar.
On top of all of that active investment between Jamaica and Miramar, there have been many memoranda of understanding signed between the city and sporting entities in Jamaica.
During Reggae Month 2020, they will focus on how to bring awareness to Jamaica’s musical culture. In like manner, they have partnered with many private entities to assist with this focus.
Reggae Minister’s turn
In fine style, The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport showed just elated she was about the work that has been put in for the next staging of Reggae Month 2020. Her excitement could hardly be contained as she expressed gratitude that the Ministry of Tourism is now fully on board with Reggae Month. She listed some of the much loved active builders of the month and thanked them all.
Minister Grange moved into the impact of the Jamaican culture on the world.
“Reggae is the heartbeat of our country” are the words by our Governor-General and that statement might just be the best way to describe the contribution that the music industry continues to make on our families. Where locally grown or made in a foreign country, our music culture has put food on many tables. This is the reason we take time out to fully celebrate it.
In highlighting the seriousness of the governments’ support to our music industry, the Minister spoke about a concert series during Reggae Month that will be sponsored by the government. The series will highlight the younger generation which is set to carry the torch of our culture into the future. The series is called “Children of the Icons and Emerging Artists” and will tour the entire island.
Other great news from the Minister is that the government has started construction work on Fort Rocky in Port Royal as an official entertainment venue. Once finished, promoters will be able to rent the venue twenty-four hours a day to keep their events. The minister also mentioned that there will be 4 more venues like this throughout Jamaica. These are all called, entertainment zones.