TORONTO, Ontario, June 23 –– Sunrise Talent Development Program Inc. (STDP), the non-profit entity that organises the annual Jamaica Day Cultural and Music Fest, has cancelled the popular community event for 2016.
STDP, which has been annually presenting the venerable cultural festival since 2006, made the announcement in a statement to the media, today.
The statement noted that the Jamaica Day Festival — as it is popularly known — has been a staple event within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for the past 25 years, “becoming a key avenue through which the heritage and culture of Jamaica is promoted”.
According to the STDP statement, “Since 2008, Jamaica Day Festival has faced major financial losses, due to weather challenges that affected seven of its productions, while the overhead costs to produce the festival has continued to increase significantly, yearly.”
The accumulated losses caused a serious cash flow challenge that necessitated cancelling the event this year, in order to secure additional financing and restructure the festival to ensure that, going forward, it would be viable, indefinitely, one of the STDP founders told Pride News Magazine Publisher, Michael Van Cooten, last Thursday.
“STDP’s decision to cancel the event was difficult however, this pause will provide an opportunity for the organization to reconcile, restructure and revamp the brand for 2017,” the statement added.
It continued: “The founders established this festival in 1991 to present a family, fun, uplifting atmosphere that promotes the rich culture of Jamaica in activities, music, arts and spoken word; maintaining their commitment to host the event despite the financial challenges faced over the years.”
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused and wish to share that our commitment in presenting the arts and culture of Jamaicans and our neighboring Caribbean nations firmly remains,” said the STDP founders in a joint statement.
“STDP will re-launch in 2017 and continue to present the Jamaica Day Family Cultural and Music Fest that serves to promote the beauty of Jamaica, offers scholarships, develops and fosters new talents, showcases outstanding Canadian and International talents, while encouraging peace, love and unity,” the statement concluded.