Tuesday 17 July, 2018

Over 100 exhibitors for 'Christmas in July'

Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald-Riley and CEO of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Valerie Viera discuss the contents of the 2017 Christmas in July corporate gift catalogue, following the opening ceremony of the assessment session for this year’s Christmas in July event.

Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald-Riley and CEO of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Valerie Viera discuss the contents of the 2017 Christmas in July corporate gift catalogue, following the opening ceremony of the assessment session for this year’s Christmas in July event.

As Wizzard sang: ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’.

Unfortunately, it can’t be – but in Kingston, Jamaica, it will be Christmas in July!

Thursday, July 19 will see the famous Jamaica Pegasus hotel being transformed into a tropical wonderland for the fourth staging of the popular event.

Some of Jamaica’s greatest talent will be gathered under one roof to showcase their locally-produced corporate gifts and souvenir wares to the world.

The exhibition has been designed so that representatives from the tourism sector, corporate Jamaica, embassies and overseas missions - as well as government Ministries and agencies – can view the unique corporate gift ideas.

And what a treat they have in store for them next week. Over 100 hand-picked local manufacturers and artisans will showcase their most authentic Jamaican crafts, from fine arts, natural fibres, décor, souvenirs, aromatherapy and spa products, to desktop solutions and processed foods.

The unique authenticity of the exhibition lies in the fact that all products on display have to be made with materials sourced locally, proven to be at least 70 per cent locally-manufactured or assembled and highlighting strong Jamaican cultural influences and themes.

Abstract artist, Alicia Thomas – aka A Marie Arts – will be back among those showcasing the fruits of her unique talent, and she said Christmas in July is essential for helping “grow and develop passions”.

She added: “Christmas in July has definitely benefitted me as I have received a few corporate orders for gifts from some of my larger pieces and, as it relates to some of my smaller pieces, I have been able to solidify a few outlets on the north coast”.

The equally talented Garfield Williams, from Trench Town Ceramics and Arts Centre, is relishing the opportunity to be part of Christmas in July.

He revealed: “What Christmas in July means to me right now is a chance to expose what we’re doing here in Trench Town and also exposing Jamaican talent and Jamaican craft.”

While all the crafts and products on display will be very different, one thing they all have in common is that they each embody a very valuable part of Jamaican culture.

Apart from the wonderful exhibition, visitors can look forward to Emprezz Golding hosting the corporate event.

And her message is simply: “Buy Jamaica to build Jamaica.”

The Tourism Linkages Network of the Ministry of Tourism is leading this collaborative initiative in partnership with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said: “Christmas in July is an important initiative which offers support to our very talented local manufacturers. We give them a platform to market their goods which are unique corporate gifts. They will have the opportunity to showcase their goods to key tourism stakeholders, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Diaspora, and Mega-Corporate companies.

“The Christmas in July initiative is very crucial in helping my Ministry achieve its target of tackling the leakages in the economy and by extension create inclusive growth by the provision of jobs, which will lead to increased earning, consumption, tax revenues and the ability to better pay our debts.”

Make sure to tune in to Loop on Saturday and Monday for our behind-the-scenes interviews with exhibitors Alicia Thomas and Garfield Williams.

The Christmas in July event will be open to corporate Jamaica from 10am on Thursday July 19 and to interested parties from 1pm.

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