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Jamaican Reggae Month ends with Prime Minister’s Reception

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#KINGSTON, March 5 (JIS):   Earlier this week, the lawns of Jamaica House came alive with the pulsating sounds of authentic reggae music, with the staging of the Prime Minister’s Reggae Month Reception.

Photo by JIS News

The venue was transformed into the centerpiece for a live stage show, which culminated Reggae Month celebrations in February. The setting was replete with the customary trappings of a popular stage show, including professional lighting and the rhythmic instrumentals of renowned live band – Lloyd Parkes and We the People Band.

The celebratory atmosphere was punctuated by swaying bodies, bobbing heads and tapping feet. So infectious was the music, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; and members of the Diplomatic Corps could not resist ‘dropping legs’ to the sounds of reggae acts such as Luciano, Shuga, Julian Marley, Gee Wiz, Rohan Morris, and Michigan, who gave electrifying performances.

Prime Minister Holness, who spoke to JIS News following the event, said it signified a celebration and appreciation of Jamaican music.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health

“This is the event which marks the end of the Reggae Month celebrations. It was truly a great event, a great display of talent and celebration of what is good about reggae. It is also a demonstration, in a real way, of the Government’s commitment to standing by the development of what is probably the greatest music form to have been created in the 21st Century,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that through the staging, the Government is ensuring that the organisers of the music, the singers, the managers and all the people who are involved in the industry are brought together to reflect on the music, to discuss the issues and also to have a fraternity.

 “As we socialised, we managed to get in a few conversations about what is important for the Government to develop music. Infrastructure came up. The music fraternity is saying they need a place or several places where they can truly develop the art form without having to contend with permits and lockdowns and all the other issues that plagued the music industry last year,” he said.

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“We are committed to that. Minister Grange has started one of the entertainment zones, which we have committed to, and I know that this year there might be one or two more developed,” the Prime Minister added.

For her part, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the reception marked the end of the “biggest and the best” staging of Reggae Month.

“We have been able to cover all the genres, all the age groups, and the different aspects and elements that have gone into making Jamaican music the best in the world,” she added.

Ms. Grange said the celebrations also involved the diaspora for the first time, noting that Reggae Month celebrations were held in Miramar, Florida, in the United States (US) this year, and that there are plans to extend the celebration further across the US to Los Angeles, New York and Toronto next year.

Vice-Mayor, City of Miramar, Florida, Alexandria Davis, who was also in attendance, shared with JIS News that when she visited Jamaica for the launch of Reggae Month in December last year, she decided at that point that she wanted to be a part of “spreading this love of reggae music outside of the island of Jamaica and celebrating Reggae Month”

“I had not heard of such a month… so I wanted to add that [to our other celebrations] and it was very fitting that it fell in the month of February as we celebrate black history, and so we dubbed it ‘Black History Meets Reggae’.”

Ms. Davis further mused that a “sound clash” could be a “nice addition” to the activities for Reggae Month next year.

In the meantime, Chairman, Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), Ewan Simpson, said he was heartened by Reggae Month activities, which he said “brought extra life, extra energy, and extra visibility to brand Jamaica through reggae music.”

Public Relations and Marketing Director, Reggae Month 2020 Secretariat, Jacqueline Knight Campbell, told JIS News that she was extremely excited and pleased about the exposure that the brand, Reggae, has achieved for 2020.

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She noted that reggae was exposed globally through multiple marketing streams and activities, including live streams, through the Reggae Month mobile app, which was installed on thousands of cellphones in six different languages across the world.

“We have had over 3,000 [persons] log on to the app [and] over 30 countries being exposed [to Reggae Month activities],” she said.

The reception also featured the work of two local artists – Christopher McKenzie and Patrick Kitson – who have done paintings and illustrations of many of Jamaica’s musical greats.

The Prime Minister was quite impressed with the work of Mr. McKenzie, who was recently diagnosed with a progressive neurodegenerative disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Mr. Holness bought a painting of artiste Koffee, made of coffee. The Prime Minister was also given a painting Mr. McKenzie did of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, as a gift.

Reggae Month activities were celebrated under the theme ‘Come Ketch di Riddim’ and included an exhibition titled, ‘Jamaica Jamaica,’ at the National Gallery, which showcased the evolution of Jamaican music; the ‘Children of the Icons’ concert, that featured the offspring of some of the industry’s most influential artistes; and the Echoes of Sound Systems event at the National Indoor Sports Complex.

Reggae Month involved collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, JaRIA, public and private-sector entities and other major stakeholders.

JIS News by ALECIA SMITH

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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