Concert Commemorates 50 Year of Jamaican Independence

Even in Ottawa, the independence of Jamaica 50 years ago is something to celebrate. The Jamaica High Commissioner for Jamaica to Canada established The Jamaica 50 Ottawa Committee to “plan a series of events to celebrate Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee,” Rowland Gordon, a member of the committee, explained. Gordon said that the “event was a free concert with the Jamaica Military Band to commemorate Jamaica’s 50th independence.”

The event was held to celebrate Jamaica’s independence as well as to “offer  a free event for the Jamaican community in Ottawa,” Gordon explained. “The event was attended by Jamaicans, Canadians and friends of Jamaica.”

The event was not meant to be a fundraiser but donations were accepted for the “Jamaica 50 Legacy Project which is Sickle Cell research in Jamaica,” Gordon said. This event was near and dear to everyone’s heart. Gordon explained, “This event was very special and the Jamaica Military Band took us on a musical journey that reminded us of our heritage and culture. It was proud moment for me and I was happy to see both old and young celebrating together as one.”

In order to spread the word about the event throughout the Jamaican community and Ottawa, Gordon and the committee used social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as print media. Word of mouth, radio and online promotions also helped to draw attention to the celebration. Gordon said that “In the Jamaican community, in Ottawa, we found that print media and word of mouth advertising were more successful than anything else.”

In order to put together an event meant to reach across multiple communities, the committee had to work hard at pulling everything together. Gordon said, “Planning this event was not as hard as others I have done. Communications between stakeholders is very important. Whether you are planning a free event or one that is paid, it’s very important to ensure your events have some value to it.”

The event was celebrated by all and was covered by the press so that maybe the celebration could be seen in Jamaica. The coverage can be seen here.