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Community Last Updated: Jan 20, 2020 - 9:59:41 AM

CIBC FirstCaribbean investing in Bahamian Culture
By Serena Williams
Jan 20, 2020 - 9:51:21 AM

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CIBC FirstCaribbean Retail District Manager Inger Johnson and CIBC FirstCaribbean Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary Sherrylyn Bastian presented cheques to representatives from Genesis, One Family, Prodigal Sons, Roots, Valley Boys, Body of Christ, Colours, Conquerors for Christ, Fancy Dancers and Foundation. Not Pictured is Percy Francis from the Saxons. Photo Credit: Serena Williams Media & Public Relations

Nassau, Bahamas - Thousands of Bahamians gather down town, Nassau every year to celebrate the exciting cultural experience of Junkanoo. The Christmas and New Year parade permits Bahamians to display their creative talents through colorful costumes and massive themed structures.

For more than 20 years, CIBC FirstCaribbean has supported Junkanoo A and B groups with the objective of preserving the cultural expression while supporting community building and creativity. As Junkanoo groups continue to expand, along with their competitors, group leaders hope to receive more financial support through sponsorships and partnerships from organizations like CIBC FirstCaribbean.

For groups like Prodigal Sons, the only category A group without a sponsor, the annual CIBC FirstCaribbean donation goes “a long way."

“The money was used to help us defray our costs taking part in the parades. All of our expenses are usually paid with money we raised or directly out of our pockets,” Derrick Knowles, the Prodigal Sons Leader, said during a cheque presentation at CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Head Office.

Anthony Coakley, One Family events and public relations coordinator, said the cost of producing Junkanoo has risen and every bit of financial support they received went a long way.

"Junkanoo is one of the key components of our culture. It is something that brings the entire Bahamian community together. Persons that participated in Junkanoo groups were from all walks of life and various communities. So, those parades are a critical part of the cultural fabric of The Bahamas."

Marie Rodland-Allen, Managing Director of CIBC FirstCaribbean Bahamas and TCI said the bank remains dedicated to investing in Bahamian culture.

“We know that it’s a labour of love for Junkanooers who use their talents, time and even personal funds to make the parade enjoyable for Bahamians and visitors alike during the holiday season. We are pleased to do our part every year to ensure that Bahamian culture is on full display for us all to celebrate and enjoy.”

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