Jamaica News, Public-private partnership will be on full display during the annual staging of ‘Fireworks on the Waterfront’.
The event, which is in its 17th year, is being hosted by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) in collaboration with several entities.
These include the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund; Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF); Digicel; Jamaica Properties/Pan Jamaican Investment Trust; Airports Authority of Jamaica; Jamaica Freight & Shipping; GraceKennedy Limited; Main Event Entertainment Group; Pepsi Jamaica; National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Television Jamaica.
CHASE, which is a major sponsor, has increased its support from $3 million to $5 million this year. The funds will be used to cover the cost of some service providers.
“We believe in the power of partnership,” said Public Relations and Administrative Manager of the CHASE Fund, Hilary Coulton, while addressing a recent JIS Think Tank.
“We, as an agency of the Government, are happy to work hand in hand with another agency of the Government, the other public and private partners to achieve a spectacular event that heralds in the New Year for us with some optimism and hope for 2019,” she noted.
“When we look at Fireworks on the Waterfront… and the possibility of short-term work that is given to the people in the area and the general blend of people from all strata of our society, who participate in this event, it is what the CHASE Fund is mandated to do. It is really, through its funding, to be an agency that promotes inclusion and support for our cultural and national activities,” Ms. Coulton added.
Director of Corporate Communications at the UDC, Lorna Clarke, told JIS News that Fireworks on the Waterfront involves the input of surrounding communities, with a number of residents gaining temporary employment.
“We have about 30 persons, whom we refer to as marshalls, whom we have trained over the years. They are assigned to different areas. We introduced, a couple of years ago, the ‘vendor transport’ system, where persons help the vendors to move items (into the venue). The number can range anywhere between 50 and 80 depending on what is happening,” she pointed out.
That number does not include offsite suppliers, community vendors, and entertainers who will perform on the night.
Last year, the cumulative cost to stage Fireworks on the Waterfront was approximately $32 million. Much of the cost is covered through sponsorships garnered from partners and suppliers of the event.
“Everybody that participates in the Fireworks contributes something. All our service providers, the entertainers (for example) their fees are discounted. That is translated into sponsorship, so you will find that the cost is 50 per cent cash and 50 per cent kind. This ($32 million) is the cost of the event if we had to pay for everything. The fact that we have these wonderful sponsors on board allows us to responsibly host the events,” Ms. Clarke explained.
Fireworks on the Waterfront is being held under the theme ‘Feel the Magic, Be the GLOW.’
A similar event, dubbed ‘Fireworks on the Bay’, will be staged in Ocho Rios.