Art and Literature

Art and Literature

Art & Literature

In 2012 Jamaica will celebrate 50 years as an independent island nation. The Art and Literature Committee is one entity under the umbrella JAMAICA 50, the Jubilee Celebration of Jamaica’s Independence, in Canada. Operating under the auspices of the High Commission (Ottawa) and the Consulate General of Jamaica (Toronto) JAMAICA 50 is jointly chaired by Joe Halstead and Pamela Appelt. The aim of the Art and Literature committee is to showcase and share with all Canadians the creativity of Jamaica and Jamaicans as demonstrated in their artistic and literary works.

From the yearnings of Claude McKay for his native land in a bleak London winter to the vibrant poetry and prose of Olive Senior and Lorna Goodison, the creative autobiographies of Rachel Manley, the unforgettable verses of our beloved cultural icon Miss Lou to the dub poetry of Mutabaruka, the photographic paeans of Ray Chen and the author, and modern day philosopher Malcolm Gladwell, Jamaicans have been contributing to world literature wherever they make their home.

Our artists too have made their mark on the world’s stage from Albert Huie to Kapo; from Edna Manley, Barrington Watson, Carl Abrahams, David Boxer and Gene Pearson to Phillip Supersad and Norma Harrack the list is long. Even more important is the longer list of new talent that seeks to show the wealth of creativity and the unique perspective that comes from an island culture coupled with the vastness of their new home, Canada.

No celebration of a country’s milestones and history can be truly representative without the presence of its creative endeavours. This is what makes a country a nation and bonds its people. Jamaica is a tiny country but because of the strength and character of its people and their innate creativity its footprint is immense. No where is that impact most illustrated than in the arts: music, dance, drama, literature, art, and all those pursuits that lights up life, brings out the best in humanity, feeds and nourishes the soul.

We invite you to celebrate with us as we share the enormous amount and variety of our brightest lights in art and literature. We hope that after the celebration of the Jubilee year, 2012 is over you will continue the journey with us as we develop and nurture new talent and contribute to all that makes Canada, our country of choice, great.


For Canadians to recognize and celebrate the 50th year of Jamaica’s Independence by showcasing and promoting the unique cultural heritage of Jamaica as portrayed through art and literature.


  • Mount an exhibit of Jamaican art and artifacts that is representative of the creativity of Jamaica’s artist and their contribution to the visual arts
  • Present the best of Jamaica’s creative writers in programmes such as readings, book launches, spoken word performance, educational debates on related topics
  • To promote cross-cultural communication by showcasing the talents of Jamaican/Canadians
  • To demonstrate the tangible benefits Jamaican/Canadians have brought to their chosen country
  • To educate Canadians of Jamaican heritage, especially young people about their heritage and to give them a sense of pride in that heritage
  • To share our wealth of creativity with all Canadians
  • To partner with other cultural organizations so programmes are open to all and to forge strategic alliances that will remain for the long term

Art and Literature Committee Members:

Paula de Ronde
Jennifer Walcott
Darrell McCalla
Dr. Anna Jarvis
Camille Hines
Alfred Jackson
Heather Bubb-Clarke
Andrea Delvaille