Denise Jones, the face behind some of Canada’s largest Caribbean events and festivals, died late Thursday (December 3).
Jones, who was 64 years old at the time of her death, had been ailing for some time and leaves behind her sons, Jesse and Jerimi Jones, as well as her former husband, Allan Jones.
After moving to Canada in the early 80s, Jones, alongside her then-husband Allan, founded Jones & Jones Productions in 1984.
Her event and entertainment company played a key role in the staging of several Caribbean festivals including Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto ( formerly Caribana), CHIN Picnic and Jone’s signature event, Jambana – One World Festival.
The first Jambana, presented by Air Jamaica, was produced by Jones & Jones Productions in 2009 with over 45,000 individuals having attended the event.
The festival has grown to be one of Canada’s premier Caribbean events with the likes of Beenie Man, Luciano, Bounty Killer, and Tiger having graced the Jambana stage.
Jones was the founding chair of the Reggae Category of the Juno awards, an annual award show that recognises Canadian musical artistes and bands.
She later went on to win a Juno for her contribution to the Canadian music and entertainment industries.
Jones also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada for her contribution to the development of the Canadian music industry.
The Portland native played a vital role in not only promoting reggae and dancehall in Canada but helped to launch the career of several Jamaican Canadian artistes, including the award-winning act Exco Levi.