Peter Tosh Pioneer Awardee

CanEx 2017, before its opening, announced the launch of the “Pioneer Award”. An award created to recognise those who played a pioneering role in establishing and enhancing Jamaica’s reputation as an international cannabis culture capital! The CanEx Jamaica – Business Conference & Expo was held on Friday, September 1, 2017 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The conference, expo and job fair sought to bring together high-level cannabis professionals from across the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe & North America and discussed opportunities for investment, medical development and the legal landscape.

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Joan Webley, who sits on the CanEx Pioneer Committee shared, “Many have paid a significant personal and social cost to establish the industry we are exploring today. In recognizing these pioneers, CanEx pays tribute to their efforts and is leading way to destigmatise Jamaica’s marijuana history and opportunity.”

Jamaica’s long-standing association with marijuana, derives in no small part due to the worldwide regard for Reggae music and Rastafari. As such the CanEx Jamaica organisers awarded Peter Tosh, the inaugural Pioneer Award. His marijuana anthem “Legalize It”, released in 1976, was an early siren call to the government of the then conservative island nation (and indeed the world) to develop cannabis industries which could be promoted by the music industry.

CanEx Jamaica producer, Douglas Gordon said, “It’s an honour to be able to bestow this award on one of Jamaica’s great icons. We celebrate all that Peter Tosh’s work and advocacy have done to establish a foundation for understanding about the power of the plant. We also recognize the significant sacrifice he and so many others have paid in promoting something that was once deemed illegal, but is now being recognized for its tremendous benefits.”

Niambe Tosh, daughter of Peter Tosh, shared details on the developments in the Peter Tosh 420 marijuana product line at the conference, now in its second year. Niambe joined Montel Williams, John Salley, Nikki Z, Imani Duncan, Ras Iyah V, Gappy Ranks, Dr. Uma Dhanbalan, Michael Minardi and a number of other public figures and marijuana advocates who also converged on the island for the event. |P

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The One & Only… DJ Courtney

Photography by DJ Courtney

In everyone’s life, there is always that one person who can affect your whole mood or reset your day with just one touch. When DJ Courtney puts his hand to the music he does just that.
Courtney can transform the dullest of spaces and places in minutes with the pulsating selection he plays. Beyond the impressive collection of tracks from the 70s, 80s and 90s genre that pull a more mature audience to places like Ribbiz on their ‘Big People Sundays’. DJ Courtney is first a great Dad- NOTHING means more to him than his son. This devoted father is many things…a realist and lover of the simple things in life. So after years of waiting, we’re happy he’s decided to share a little more about the man behind the music.

 

Where did your love of music come from? My mom died when I was four years old and my dad always had music playing in the house, it was always associated with happiness.

What inspired or motivated you to get into this business? I was an avid collector of Dancehall cassettes & eventually started to go to dances, where I met Selector Webba, who encouraged me to try it based on my knowledge of music.

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What events/parties do you do… you have a strong following at Ribbiz’s Big People Sundays and several top locales across Jamaica… When and where can people find you?Yes, I am in the regular rotation at Big People Sundays at Ribbiz and once a month at Pulse for Pepperseed Wednesdays. Other than that I play at various parties, weddings, events across the island. Follow me on IG @djcourtneyjm for up to date info.

Outside of DJing/Spinning…you ever thought about producing? I’ve assisted in music production in the past, but the music business is too much politics in Jamaica, so I decided not to, the less stress the better.

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What attracts you most to the genres of music you spin…70s, 80s, 90s…? It’s less violent & more fun, simple.

What are thoughts on the music industry today? While there are works of a few producers in the industry today that I do enjoy, I typically find the genre too violent, which is why I prefer the oldies.

 

The Chef #RealMenCook

“My favourite cuisine is Jamaican, then Chinese, & I actually love to replicate every good cuisine that I’ve tried. My favourite dish is curried goat.” -DJ Courtney

You’re an IT guy… let’s touch on that a bit… tell us what are your thoughts on net neutrality and more importantly how has social media helped or hindered you? Net Neutrality is the best thing to happen, especially in JA, it has made us more accessible globally, as for SM, Twitter & IG are my favourites to showcase my views & promotions.

Now back to music- How important is that connection with the crowd when you play? That’s the hardest part of playing, every crowd is different, & you have to figure out how to bring the different personalities together through the music, that’s called the art of reading the crowd.

Three tunes you could not live without? Dennis Brown – Love & Hate; Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come; Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross

If you could have a sound clash with anyone who would it be? Squingy – Bass Odyssey (RIP)

If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? Dead – Martin Luther King; Alive – Barack Obama

Finally, what’s been your greatest achievement in life? My Son. |P

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Contact Info for bookings:
DJ Courtney™
Jamaican DJ versatile in all genres #WhoIsHere
Instagram: @djcourtneyjm
Twitter: @djcourtneyjm
Email: djcourtney@live.com

Trisha Williams-Singh: The Children’s Champion

Photography by Craig Harley

Our October Cover Star, Trisha Williams-Singh, Chairman of the Early Childhood Commission, shares on the importance of early childhood education, the work of the commission, family, life and more….

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Photography by Craig Harley

PANACHE: What is the Early Childhood Commission (ECC)?
Trisha Williams-Singh (TWS): The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is the regulatory body for the early childhood sector in Jamaica and was created by an Act of Parliament, the ECC Act 2003. The ECC is charged with the responsibility for coordinating all early childhood programmes and services within the early childhood sector. One of the ECC’s major functions is the regulation of all early childhood institutions (ECIs), to ensure the fulfilment of the health, safety and developmental needs of Jamaica’s children. The Commission, therefore, has responsibility for institutions with children within the 0 – 6 years age cohort, and for early childhood policy affecting children in the 6 – 8 age cohort.

 

PANACHE: What are the goals and objectives of the ECC?
TWS: The major goals and objectives of the ECC are to facilitate the development of (a) critically thinking, socially competent, healthy children ready for life, and (b) parents who are informed, educated, involved and supported in meeting children’s early development needs.
This is accomplished through the following legislated functions:

  • Advise the Minister on policy matters relating to early childhood care, education and development in Jamaica, including initiatives and actions to achieve national early childhood development goals;
  • Assist in the preparation of plans and programmes concerning early childhood development;
  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plans and programmes and make to the Minister such recommendations as it deems fit;
  • Act as coordinating agency to ensure effective streamlining of all activities relating to early childhood development;
  • Convene consultations with relevant stakeholders as appropriate;
  • Analyse needs and submit recommendations for budgetary allocations for early childhood development;
  • Identify alternative financing through negotiation with donor agencies and liaise with such agencies to ensure effective and efficient use of donor funds;
    Supervise and regulate early childhood institutions.

In order to successfully achieve the above mandate, the ECC conducts research on early childhood development.

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Trisha Williams-Singh, Chairman, Early Childhood Commission (Photography by Craig Harley)

 

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Trisha Williams-Singh & little Zachary Grant

PANACHE: The Jamaica Observer published in February 2017 that the ECC was seeking to “to certify approximately 300 basic schools by 2019.” What is the latest update on that?
TWS: To date, there are 77 ECIs that have been certified and several others working toward achieving that status.

PANACHE: Why is it important for early childhood institutions to get certified?
TWS: Early Childhood is the most important period in a child’s life, as it’s the period of the most rapid brain development. It is therefore important to guarantee a solid foundation for each child in order to improve performance at the other levels in the education system and into adulthood.
It is therefore important for ECIs to be certified because certification is the standard that assures stakeholders of quality early childhood development. These stakeholders include parents, donors, GOJ and management committees as well as the wider society.

PANACHE: Tell us more about these operational standards that institutions need to adhere to?
TWS:
Staffing
The staff at early childhood institutions has the training, knowledge, skills and attitude to help children achieve their full potential.
Development and Educational Programmes
Early childhood institutions have comprehensive programmes designed to meet the language, physical, cognitive, creative, socio-emotional, spiritual, cultural and school readiness needs of children.
Interactions and Relationships with Children
Early childhood staff has the training, knowledge, skills and attitude to promote positive behaviours in children.
Physical Environment
Early childhood institutions have physical environments that meet building, health and safety requirements, allow adequate space for children, and facilitate the development of children and staff.
Indoor and Outdoor Equipment
Early childhood institutions have indoor and outdoor equipment and furnishings that are safe, child-friendly and promote the optimal development of children.
Health
Early childhood institutions have physical facilities, policies, programmes and procedures that promote healthy lifestyles, and protect children and staff from illnesses.
Nutrition
Early childhood institutions provide children in their care with nutritious meals and model good nutritional practices for children and families.
Safety
Early childhood institutions provide safe indoor and outdoor environments for children, staff, stakeholders and visitors to the institutions.
Child Rights, Child Protection and Equality
Early childhood institutions uphold the rights of children and protect them from harm and also ensure that all children have equal access to services.
Parent and Stakeholder Participation
The management and staff of early childhood institutions have good relationships with parents, caregivers, family members and the community.
Administration
Early childhood institutions have management structures that ensure good administration. There are plans, policies, procedures and programmes that ensure child, family and staff well-being.
Finance
Early childhood institutions have financial practices that adhere to standard accounting principles.

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(L-R) Carolyn Jackson- Jones (Senior Inspector Region One), Tanisha Miller (Community Relations Manager), David Ellis (Inspector Region One), Shelly-Ann Campbell (Inspector Region one), Trisha Williams-Singh (Chairman, ECC),Kayan Handy (Development Officer Supervisor Region one), Donna Nesbitt (Inspector Region One), Karlene Degrasse- Deslandes (Executive Director)

PANACHE: Once institutions are certified how do they manage to keep the certification?
TWS: Institutions are required to update legally required documents annually, such as police records, medicals and food handler’s permits. They are also inspected annually to ensure that the 12 Operating Standards are being maintained.
Through its Field Officers, the ECC provides continuous monitoring and specialized assistance to ECIs, assisting with identifying opportunities for donor involvement. The ECC also facilitates training workshops and assists early childhood practitioners in developing appropriate plans and programmes geared towards optimal outcomes for children.

PANACHE: What would you say has been the greatest achievement of the ECC to date?
TWS: The greatest achievement of the Early Childhood Commission has been to effectively create a more cohesive sector that is characterized by intense cross-sectoral collaboration, easily available data and increased efficiency through the increased use of ICT.

PANACHE: What major projects are you focused on for the remainder of the year?
TWS: The major projects for the remainder of the year encompass:
a. Certification Fair Region Four: This will allow practitioners to access the service providers they need, documentation and resources in order to be certified. Then to identify funding to create a “Certification Bus” to be able to facilitate the sharing of information regarding the different aspects of ECD.
b. School Leaders Development Seminars: To strengthen school leadership and to build capacity within ECIs across the six regions.
c. Execution of the second stage of the Jamaica School Readiness Assessment, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire – Jamaica (ASQ-J). This is the second level screening for four-year-old children that have been assessed by their teachers as needing further intervention. The first stage was completed in June 2017.
d. Greater emphasis on the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Development and implementation of a public education campaign geared towards educating all stakeholders, primarily parents, on the importance of this critical stage of child development.
e. The creation of more Infant Schools and Infant Departments to ensure greater access to high-quality early childhood programmes and services.

PANACHE: Where do you see the ECC in 10 years?
TWS: Within ten years the ECC will be coordinating a fully transformed early childhood sector characterized by stronger government ownership and support as well as less variation in the quality of the programs and services being offered across the island. Additionally, at least fifty percent of the ECIs operating have a Certificate of Registration and the remainder possessing Permits to Operate.

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Principal of the St. Paul’s United Early Childhood Institution Mrs. Harritt Coram- Joseph and Staff

PANACHE: How can people donate and/or support the ECC?
TWS: Donations can be made through the ECC or to the National Education Trust (NET). For persons who may wish to donate directly to an ECI, contact can be made with the ECC to request the latest inspection in order to ascertain the exact needs of the institution. Therefore, ensuring the best use of resources.

PANACHE: Where does your passion for youth and education come from?
TWS: My passion is driven by wanting to see a better Jamaica and this I truly believe can only happen through education. The change that Jamaica requires needs to be driven by youth. I love Jamaica, I’m extremely proud to be Jamaican and want to give back to my country that has done so much for me.

PANACHE: What does family mean to you?
TWS: Family means a lot to me. I strongly believe in a solid foundation for any structure and that’s what my family is for me. My family is my go-to for everything and I mean everything.

PANACHE: What life lessons would you like your children to hold on to forever?
TWS: Simple, I want them to be honourable citizens of whatever country they chose to call home and always give back.

PANACHE: What’s your favourite thing to eat?
TWS: Ackee and Saltfish 🙂 I can have that anytime of the day and will eat it every day.

PANACHE: Where’s is your favourite place to take family and friends?
TWS: Villa Point of View – Portland, Jamaica. I find Portland to be the most relaxing parish for me as I love the beauty of the contrast between the Caribbean Sea and the island’s mountains.

PANACHE: How do achieve work-life balance?
TWS: I have a simple routine in which family time is number one. I also live by the motto “less is best.” I am driven by results which makes doing both easier.

PANACHE: What quotes do you live by?
TWS: “Do unto others as you would like done unto you.”

PANACHE: If you could meet three people (dead or alive) who would they be and WHY?
TWS:

  • Marcus Garvey – he epitomized a belief of mine instilled in me by family – “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.”
  • Rosa Parkes – She demonstrated the courage and strength to effect change and that is something I find very inspiring and powerful.
  • Bill Gates – His innovation and hard work has made him the billionaire he is today and his philanthropic work is truly aligned with my passion for education. So having coffee with him would be an honour.

PANACHE: Any final words?
TWS: Our beautiful country Jamaica needs us all; her true potential can only be realized by a fully educated society. So I use my last words to plead that we do not politicize education. Education is a right for all our children.|P

Humayun’s Tomb – Poetry etched in red stone

Words and photos By Amitabh Sharma

Tucked behind a façade of thick stone walls, lies Humayun’s Tomb, a magnificent structure in red stone, pathway to which is lined with trees, in the midst sprawling manicured lawns, the structure that unfolds before the eyes is one that a visitor can’t help but see the semblance to India’s most recognizable and iconic landmarks – the Taj Mahal.IMG_0442

A jewel in the crown of India’s capital city of New Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb, built in the 1560’s, is an opulent, imposing and grandiose mausoleum built in the memory Humayun, the second emperor of the Mughal Empire. He ruled over an empire that spanned from modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1531–1540 and again from 1555–1556.

What many might not know is that Humayun’s Tomb, built in 1570, is the Indian sub-continent’s first garden-tomb and major architectural influence for Taj Mahal.

Humayun’s Tomb offers the visitors serenity, tranquillity, and as one walks in, the scramble, hustle bustle, and chaos of this metropolis packed with 14 million people. You walk into a time warp, which draws you in.

Unlike Taj, hordes of tourists seldom overrun the place, which gives it the added dose of tranquillity – one can soak in the richness, solitude and get kissed by the whiff of crisp cool breeze – a far cry from the excitement outside.

The sprawling complex of the Humayun’s Tomb houses other 16th century Mughal garden-tombs and a complex where the craftsmen employed for building Humayun’s Tomb lived.

The gardens are representative of Quranic paradise – Char Bagh (four quadrant garden with the four rivers), the pools joined by channels. These are both aesthetic and helped to keep the place cool in the hot Delhi summers when the temperatures shoot up to 46 degrees Celsius.

The entrance to the tomb is from lofty gateways on the south and from the west with pavilions located in the centre of the eastern and northern walls.

The main building – Humayun’s mausoleum, rises high, sitting on a wide terraced platform with two bay deep vaulted cells on all four sides.

The irregular octagon plan with four long sides and chamfered edges are surmounted by a double dome made from marble flanked by pillared domes (chhatris – or umbrellas) and the domes of the central chhatris are adorned with glazed ceramic tiles.

The middle of each side is deeply recessed by large arched vaults with a series of smaller ones set into the facade.

The interior house the final resting spots for the emperor, his wife under a large octagonal chamber with vaulted roof compartments, which are interconnected by galleries and corridors.

The structure is clad in red sandstone with white and black inlaid marble borders. Humayun’s Tomb is also referred to as the ‘dormitory of the Mughals’ over 150 Mughal family members are buried here.

In the vicinity is the shrine of 14th century Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the air filled with a heady blend of mysticism and spiritual consciousness. It is considered auspicious to be buried near a saint’s grave, and the seven centuries of tomb building has led to the area becoming the densest ensemble of medieval Islamic buildings in India.

According to historians, Humayun’s garden-tomb is built on a monumental scale, grandeur of design and garden setting with no precedence in the Islamic world for a mausoleum.

Humayun’s Tomb, in essence is the symbol and perhaps the turning point of Indian architecture style, confluence of the Persian into the sub-continent’s style of building.

This outstanding Islamic garden-tomb personifies the Mughal Dynasty, under whose rule; most of the sub-continent was unified.|P

DIVE RIGHT IN TO GRENADA’S ‘PURE DIVE FEST 2017’

Explore beneath the surface of Grenada’s pristine blue waters during the first ever Pure Dive Fest taking place from October 11 –14. From free beach dives and beginner lessons to charity dives and a closing party, this four-day festival appeals to divers, visitors and spectators wishing to support Grenada’s diving industry. In addition to the robust schedule of activities, the event is also designed to increase awareness of the island’s marine environment and sustainable tourism efforts.

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Photos courtesy of Pure Dive Fest

The festival commences with the launch of an underwater photography competition at Coconut Beach Restaurant. The competition will run for the duration of the festival and prizes will be distributed for the most creative selfie, best reef picture, best wreck picture, and many more categories at the closing party. The second day of the festival is divided into either a wreck diving day for experienced divers or a local diving day for those who are ready to make the plunge for the first time with professional instructors.

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One of the unique events is an Environmental Day with Marine Protected Area Diving on October 13 in collaboration with Project AWARE—a campaign that focuses on global ocean protection and conservation through sustainable, eco-friendly, and conservation-conscious dive practices. In the morning, dive centers will participate in community and school outreach sessions in order to share information on scuba diving and freediving in Grenada as well as details on marine biology and conservation. Afternoon activities will include dive centers participating in a “Dive Against Debris” event to collect as much ocean trash as possible.

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The festival concludes on Saturday, October 14, also designated “Invasive Caribbean Lionfish Day” with a boat parade and send off at the Morne Rouge Bay/BBC Beach. In the evening, there will be a final party at Coconut Beach Restaurant, where Lionfish will be served and photos from the underwater photography competition will be on display, along with a few surprises throughout the night.

For more information about the Pure Dive Fest and to stay updated, visit http://www.facebook.com/grenadadiving and be sure to follow the Instagram and Twitter pages.|P

Frame of Reference: Colour Grading To Perfection

Photography courtesy of Frame of Reference

The Frame of Reference team underwent a two-day colour training with Colourist Alexis Van Hurkman in order to gain a broader knowledge of colour grading as well as to sharpen their skills. Alexis has graded features and shorts that have played at the Telluride and Sundance Film Festivals. He is the author of software documentation for DaVinci Resolve and the author of The Colour Correction Handbook.

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(2nd left) Alexis Van Hurkman; and from Frame of Reference Nick(l), Twain and Fonnique Richardson(r).

What is colour grading?
Simply put, Colour Grading is the process of altering and enhancing the colour of a motion picture/video. Colour grading encompasses both colour correction and the generation of artistic colour effects. If you aren’t applying any colour grading to either your videos, you are potentially missing a vital part of the process of the post-production process. Colour grading can be one of the most impactful tweaks you can make to your work once it’s been shot. It has the potential to elevate a good image to great, or a great image to outstanding. Colour conveys meaning, it affects a mood and feel of a piece, and therefore how we interpret the feature.

So why bring Alexis to Jamaica?
We wanted to learn how to not only be more efficient in how we grade our projects but also how to get more out of DaVinci Resolve and so it was a no-brainer bringing Alexis to Jamaica.

Over the two days, we covered topics like Grade Management Strategies, Different Ways to Build a Grade, Grading Skin Tones and more.

We also had a meetup where we met with other editors and filmmakers so we could educate them some more about colour grading. All in all, it was a great experience for Alexis and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.With the added training, we are even more confident that we can give our clients the best colour treatment for their projects.

If you have any questions about the process, be sure to contact us on social media @forpostprod or send us an email contact@forpostprod.com, you can also check out some of Alexis work on his website at alexisvanhurkman.com.|P

The MIIEGO Review

The M1 by MIIEGO is one of the best earphones I have ever experienced.

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Photography courtesy of MIIEGO

Sleek and modern in its feel and design, it is the perfect pair of earphones for the stylish modern music lover, who does not necessarily want to fit in by using the typical go- to options for an excellent listening experience. The Premium Isolation Eartips of the M1 has customized fit which holds effortlessly, cancelling external noise completely, thus taking the listening experience to another level. Using it is absolute sonic perfection!
The clear sound quality brings to the fore, every instrument, sound and rhythmic variation- and the powerful bass when listening to Dancehall, House or any other genre of music in the gym prompts me to bust a move in the middle of my workouts. The battery is long-lasting and it definitely lives up to expectations, and the battery indicator allows me to keep track of when the M1 needs to be charged.

M1’s Bluetooth v.41 wireless technology works like a dream and has had me leaving my phone behind at reasonable distances without disconnection.

Whether going for a run, weight training in the gym or working on my laptop- the M1 by MIIEGO has become a part of the electronic devices I refuse to leave behind on any given day.

MIIEGO has won a new loyal fan! #TEAMMIIEGO.|P