The “Link Up and Labrish Discussion Forum” series returns to the Emancipation and Independence Celebrations roster this year with four regional sessions being held between Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, August 4, 2016. A major highlight of the 2016 Jamaica Festival activities, this forum provides a platform during the celebrations for a range of stakeholders to participate in conversations which celebrate and safeguard our culture and heritage. Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, this forum falls under the over-arching 2016 Emancipation and Independence Celebrations theme “Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright”.
The first regional session in the Link Up and Labrish series, was held on Wednesday July 20 at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, under the theme “Feeling Alright at 54: Transforming how we ‘fashion’ Jamaican design/wear for the Global Market”. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. this session which covered the Western Region (Trelawny, St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover) had a focus on Fashion and was moderated by Mr. Weston Haughton, Festival Fashion Consultant while panelists were Andrea Lindo, Fashion Designer, Earl Williams, Manager of Earl’s Fashions and Tailoring, Patrick Alex Foster, Manager of Showjam Promotions Company Ltd and Brent Maxwell, Managing Artistic Director of Mahogany Entertainment Network.
The next session, which will focus on sports, will be held on Wednesday, July 27 at the Excelsior Community College, 137 Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 3, beginning at 6:00 pm. Session 2 will cover the Eastern Region (St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew) and will be held under the theme “Feeling alright at 54: Transforming lives through Sports.” The panelists include Hon. Michael Fennell, President, Jamaica Olympic Association, Mr. Anthony Davis, Mr. Dalton Myers, Director of Sports, University of Technology and Mrs. Olivia Rose- Esperance, Sport Psychology Consultant and Lecturer. While the moderator will be Mr. Dalton Myers, Director of Sports, University of the West Indies.
The third session will focus on Reggae music, with the theme being “Feeling alright at 54: Celebrating Reggae’s place in Jamaica’s Heritage”. Session 3 will cover the Northern Region (Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann) and will be held on Friday, July, 29, at Ocean 11, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The fourth and final session will focus on food and the theme will be “Feeling alright at 54: Transforming Brand Jamaica with our Cuisine”. Session 4 will cover the Central Region (Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth) and will be held on Thursday, August 4, at the Mandeville Hotel in Mandeville Manchester, beginning at 1:30 p.m.