The Jamaica Tourist Board Canada (JTB) presented the Bob Marley One Love Experience, which made its North American debut on July 1, for trade partners Thursday night (July 7) at a unique event held at Lighthouse ArtSpace Toronto.
The JTB collaborated with the Marley family and teams from Paquin Entertainment and Lighthouse Group to give the travel trade and other guests a chance to see never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from the legendary singer's life.
A six-room immersive experience took guests through different points in Marley's life: a music room with lyrics, awards, and accolades, and one of the largest vinyl records commemorating the legend; One Love Forest sharing a multi-sensor experience of a lush forest including a swing; soul shakedown studio offering a silent disco listening experience of Marley’s music; the beautiful life zone celebrating all of Marley’s passions from soccer to family; concrete jungle street art expo, and the next-gen zone, which looks at Marley’s family and how his legacy is living through the generations following his.
Jamaica’s diamond jubilee
Under the banner of "one love," it was a perfect venue for honouring Jamaicans worldwide as the nation celebrates its 60th Independence Day Diamond Jubilee on Aug. 6.
“There's no denying that Bob Marley’s music has paved the way for brand Jamaica to be recognized globally,” said Lincoln Downer, Consul General for Jamaica. “It is on his shoulders that we stand.”
According to Downer, Jamaica has had many accomplishments due to the brilliance of its people and trade partners, despite the country's size and stature.
“We have demonstrated to the world our indomitable spirit and tenacity to overcome any adversity," Downer said.
Angella Bennett, regional director for Canada at the JTB, shared that Jamaica is celebrating its 60th Independence anniversary under the theme Reigniting a Nation for Greatness.
According to the JTB, this means seeing everyone as one family united by one love, which Bob Marley and Jamaica brought to the world.
As well as engaging everyone who calls Jamaica home, it also means engaging those who declare themselves friends of the country.
“We want to thank all of our Jamaica 60 sponsors here tonight that have helped us to encourage all Jamaicans living in Canada to come home rediscover our roots and reignite our passion for Jamaican culture,” said Bennett. “And to all our trade partners, visitors and guests, we invite you to come back to the little bit of Jamaica that’s inside all of us.”
Love from partners
Many of JTB’s trade partners were present at the One Love exhibition including sponsors, Air Canada Vacations (ACV) and Unique Vacations Canada Inc., the sales and marketing arm of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.
Dina Bertolo, vice-president product development at ACV, expressed:
“We at Air Canada vacations are extremely proud of our partnership, or rather I should say our love affair with Jamaica. We've been working closely with the Jamaica Tourist Board for well over 40 years. Jamaica as you know has so much to offer. Thank you, Jamaica, for being a top tourist destination for Canadians.”
Maureen Barnes-Smith, vice-president sales and marketing at Unique Vacations Canada, stated that Sandals and Jamaica are synonymous because "that’s where we started.”
The resort is in the middle of its 40th year anniversary, Barnes told the audience.
“We're so proud that yesterday, which would have been our late Chairman's birthday, we launched a beloved resort that we've had for so many years - we had it, we gave it up, and now we bought it and it’s 100 per cent ours," said Barnes. “We launched Sandals Dunn’s River yesterday, and it’s going to be the hottest resort.”
Time to celebrate!
Signature Diamond Jubilee events in Canada include a flag raising ceremonies in Toronto (July 31) and Brampton (Aug. 6), Illumination of Niagara Falls (Aug. 6), the Jamaica Foundation Hamilton flag raising (August 7), Diamond Jubilee cricket match, Jamaica XI vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Aug 20), and a cultural event — Canada Jamaica Connection “Talk Yuh Talk” (Sept. 17).
The JTB is also celebrating the Jamaica 60 diamond jubilee with a bag full of goodies and free trips for Canadian travel advisors. Click here for complete details.