This year’s JAMBANA festival will take place on Jamaica’s anniversary of independence, August 6, but with a new location at the Meadow at Downsview Park in the Sheppard and Keele area.
JAMBANA is an official Canadian Celebratory Event, identified as such by the Government of Jamaica. There are similar events taking place in Jamaica, as well as London, England and New York.
Produced by Jones & Jones Productions Ltd., the event will feature music, dance, food, culture, history, information and edutainment. For 2012, the bar has been raised due to the Olympics and Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary.
“Jamaica is a powerful nation and although we have been independent for only 50 years, its history predates Columbus’ arrival in 1492,” says JAMBANA’s Executive Producer, Denise Jones.
“Reggae music plays a big role in Jamaican culture and over the years it has been embraced by many countries around the world and as a nation with a motto ‘Out of many, one people’; we also say boldly that we are fantastic at sports! So we anticipate another record-breaking Olympics and will be sharing with our JAMBANA audience the presentation of the men’s 100-metres and the women’s 200-metres along with other Olympic highlights.
“Jamaica is more than sports and music, though, and we will demonstrate the strong hues that Jamaicans in Canada continue to weave into this country’s cultural mosaic.”
JAMBANA is an all-ages event that is an apt way to spend the civic holiday by indulging in Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine, music, dance and comedy for an overall fun day.
Part of the proceeds from the festival is being donated to Jamaica 50 Inc.’s legacy initiatives.
Some of the JAMBANA attractions include the Jamaica 50 JAMBANA VIP Village; the Food Village; the Children’s Village with face painting, balloon artists and rides; the Travel and Trade Village, which will give insight into financial planning, banking, community organizations and global holiday opportunities; and the Health Village, which will provide pertinent information about diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and glaucoma in an effort to encourage the community to stay healthy.
There will be several performances by internationally acclaimed reggae bands and JUNO Award winners accompanied by the rhythms of Jazz and Gospel. Dance troupes and comedians will also be part of the entertainment. This year’s line-up includes Andrew Tosh, son of the late Peter Tosh, Ken Boothe, Josey Whales, Byron Lee’s Dragonaires and the Hertford Folk and Cultural Group.
The Canadian programming will feature Divine Brown, Dru, JUNO Award winner, Exco Levi, Steele, Amoy and Mountain Edge.
The host for the event is Jamaica’s King of Comedy, Oliver Samuels.
Advanced tickets for JAMBANA are $5; at the gate, $7; and after 5p.m., $10. Admission for children under seven years of age is free. Tickets to the VIP Village, which include a meal, a drink and up-front seating, are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.
A shuttle bus service will be available from 11a.m. to 11 p.m. to take people attending JAMBANA from the entrance of Downsview Park grounds to the Meadow. Everyone is encouraged to park their cars and take the shuttle bus right into the festival; a fun and convenient way to get the day started.
For more information, go to www.jambana.com or contact Jones & Jones Productions at 905-452-1911.