Friday 22 December 2017

The British Council will be delivering for the first time in Jamaica, our international live music skills training programme for young people - Backstage to the Future: Caribbean - in partnership with the Rebel Salute Festival.   The British Council will support ten (10) young trainees from Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, offering them the opportunity to enhance their skills, and knowledge in stage management, lighting and sound, through on-site teaching of technical skills and hands-on shadowing, at Rebel Salute’s annual live music event on January 12-13, 2018.

“This partnership underscores the commitment of the British Council towards creating opportunities for cultural exchange that support social and economic development, through the arts and the creative economy, in Jamaica, “explained Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, British Council’s Country Director in Jamaica. “Rebel Salute was approached to partner with the British Council, for the first iteration of this initiative, because of its status as one of Jamaica’s premier live music events, providing an excellent training ground for the future generation of music event professionals”.

“Through this partnership, we are very pleased to support the growth and development of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean, by contributing to the continuing professionalization of the live music sector in Jamaica and the region, creating future opportunities for our young people.”  Jacobs-Bonnick outlined.

According to Reggae music icon and festival founder, Tony Rebel, this collaboration is a perfect fit: “It was intentional that we partner with the British Council to support the professional development of this diverse group of young people. For over 24 years, Rebel Salute has been motivating and inspiring people all over the world. Almost half of our audience comes from outside of Jamaica, so it’s a perfect fit to have a diverse group of young people, who can contribute diverse knowledge to the production of our show. There are socio-cultural benefits, as well as economic benefits for the interns, who will be better equipped to help deliver on-par live-events in their respective countries.”

Backstage to the Future: Caribbean is a British Council skills training programme for live music events that was launched in San Andres, Colombia, in August 2017, during the 30th anniversary of the Green Moon Festival. The programme is designed to develop and nurture future live-event producers and technicians across the outdoor and music live events sector in San Andres and Providencia (Colombia), Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, with a focus on building technical and soft skills for the performing arts and live events sector. It is intended to foster and strengthen relationships between the United Kingdom (UK), Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, by encouraging learning and knowledge transfer between the countries and building links between institutions. 

“Live music-events are an important way of leveraging Jamaica’s cultural capital and we hope to build on the success of the first phase of Backstage to the Future: Caribbean, which took place in Colombia, continuing the British Council's sustained commitment to capacity-building, in the cultural and creative sector in Jamaica and throughout the region,” explained British Council Arts Project Manager, Andrea Dempster-Chung.

The long-term aim is to develop a sustainable programme that nurtures future live-event producers and technicians across the outdoor live-events sector, with a focus on technical, as well as core skills, such as communication and networking for the performing arts and live-events.  

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

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