Money in Ja's pocket - TEF dedicates $15 million to Reggae Month execution
In previous years, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has given financial support for Reggae Month which, according to its executive director, Dr Carey Wallace, amounts to over $8 million.
Dr Wallace explained that according to records the TEF has provided funding for events within in Reggae Month. These include the Dennis Emanuel Trust Concert in 2013, Dennis Emanuel Brown Tribute and Reggae Month 'Its Kingston for February' initiative in 2014, and other activities in 2016 such as the Dennis Brown Concert, Reggae Wednesdays, and the Trench Town Festival.
At the launch on January 22, Dr Wallace announced that the amount approved for this year's Reggae Month activities is $15 million.
"I am so pleased to bring experience and passion into tangible benefits towards the reggae industry [with this contribution] for Reggae Month," Dr Wallace said. "The synergy between tourism and reggae doesn't need any explanation. As an international brand, reggae is louder than any beach, than any waterfall, river, or mountain here in Jamaica. Reggae is louder from a financial standpoint."
Based on the recommendations, the Linkages secretariat presented a breakdown of activities for the funding. The activities include, but are not limited to, advertisements locally and internationally, collateral material development, intellectual property rights, as well as money put into the execution of the launch.
With the addition of sports and entertainment as one of the five linkages in the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), based at the Ministry of Tourism, Dr Wallace says, "the sports and entertainment linkage committee seeks to drive the development of Reggae Month to become a major staple in the entertainment diet of tourists who are in Jamaica for that month."
He continued: "As such, the TEF's board was pleased to support this initiative that will enhance our tourism product, increase tourism dollar retention, and inspire the reggae industry to partner more with the tourism partners."
Reggae Month this year is centred on three essential components - peace, love, and reggae and the calendar of activities features the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association's (JaRIA) signature events including Open University, Reggae Wednesdays, and the JaRIA Honour Awards, in addition to local street dances like Uptown Mondayz and Weddy Weddy Wednesdayz. Seminars will be held to educate young talents about song writing, public speaking, networking, and policy.