Wednesday 12 July 2017

British Council Jamaica will be supporting the participation of local music veteran Don McDowell in the development of Backstage to the Future: Caribbean, Skills Training for Outdoor Live Events programme, an initiative in San Andrés, Colombia, from July 10-15, 2017. The programme, an initiative of British Council Colombia, will focus on providing training and skills development opportunities to 15-25 young people from across the Caribbean, Colombia and Venezuela, through the delivery of a training session to be held in San Andrés from August 31st – September 8th, 2017.

With more than three decades of service in the entertainment industry, McDowell, who was nominated by the Alpha Institute, will along with colleagues from the UK, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, lend his experience and expertise to develop the Backstage to the Future programme. Trainees will then get the opportunity to put their new skills into practice, during the Green Moon Festival in San Andrés. This technical skills training programme will focus on sound engineering, light design, stage management, live event production and management, and community arts. 

“I'm excited at being selected by the British Council to participate in this initiative which will scope the future educational components and requirements of Jamaica and the Caribbean’s live music and performing arts panorama. These developments should augur well for Jamaica's music industry, especially in the area of training for live music productions. Coupled with Kingston being one of UNESCO’s designated Creative City of Music, this is a good thing,” explained McDowell.

The move to have local participation in this British Council programme is being endorsed by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), as the Jamaican government seeks to expand and improve the country’s Creative Industries sector to encourage investment and export. President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, said the Agency was also interested in expanding Jamaica’s ability to host large-scale live events, which would promote the reach of Jamaica’s culture and brand. Ms Edwards noted, “This programme will encourage knowledge transfer in the region, and will enhance our skills in delivering high-quality outdoor entertainment to a discerning global audience. We are pleased to endorse the British Council in this effort and we look forward to the possible future staging here in Jamaica, which will help us to improve our local skills in production and the arts, and raise Jamaica's profile on the international event circuit.”

The long-term objectives of the programme are to develop a technical skills training programme and to embed this training with local showcasing festivals. The long term aim of the of programme is to re-connect the islands of San Andrés and Providencia with mainland Colombia and the greater Caribbean through mutual respect and understanding of their culture, as well as to execute the programme in Jamaica.

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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