Music festivals get millions in sponsorship

November 13, 2015
File Lady Saw
File Miss Kitty (centre) poses with STAR promotional girls at Reggae Sumfest in July.

Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute got the lion's share of some $54.5 million in sponsorship doled out by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as part of its promotions budget last year.

Reggae Sumfest, an annual music festival, got $15.9 million in sponsorship, while Rebel Salute, a birthday festival of reggae artiste Tony Rebel, got just over $7 million. Soul in the Sun, a gospel event, got $5.4 million in support.

The disclosure of the JTB's sponsorship of events is contained in an report tabled in parliament this week by Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis. The sponsorship of events such as Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute is part of the JTB's

strategy to promote the country as the premier Caribbean tourist destination.

Parliamentarians are expected to review the reports, and if necessary, call the heads of government agencies to account for the various spendings.

Contract award

Meanwhile, Skeng Don's company, Black Brothers Incorporated, has been awarded a $152 million contract for the erection of a perimeter fence at the National Heroes Park in Kingston. The perimeter fencing is expected to improve the visual appeal and security of the park.

Cabinet approved the award of the contact at its September 28 meeting, and the information was laid in the House of Representatives by way of a ministry paper on Tuesday.

"The perimeter fence is being erected under the National Heroes Park Redevelopment Project and represents Part 1A of a phased programme aimed at upgrading the park in its entirety," the ministry paper said.

Cabinet has also given approval for the Government to spend $27.5 million to acquire lots at Pinnacle in St Catherine.

The lots will be for the purpose of developing a Rastafarian heritage site and cultural centre.

"The lots being acquired form part of what is now known as De La Vega Heights, St Catherine, which is regarded as the birthplace of the Rastafarian faith and is of great significance to Jamaicans, Rastafarians and Pan-Africans," the parliamentary document states.

It noted that on September 12, 2013, the Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared lot 199 as a national monument to preserve and maintain the integrity of the site. The Trust also recommended that the declared lot and lots in the periphery be acquired for the purpose of accessibility to the heritage sites.

Pinnacle was set up by Leonard P. Howell in 1940. Rastafarians have been agitating in recent times for Pinnacle to be occupied by them and declared a no-build zone.

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