On July 15, the streets of Bridgetown, Barbados willbe washed in thecolors of the rainbow as members of theLGBT community host the first Pride Paradetocelebratediversity and inclusiveness. Organizers of the event, BarbadosPride have sought out the support ofnon-governmentalorganizations and ally groups including Life in Leggings and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Barbados. Pride Committee member, Michael Rapley told Loop News that,although the LGBT community has put on other marches in the past, this is the first year the Pride Parade will be hosted on a large scale. He said while the human rights aspect is always at the forefront of the fight for the LGBT community, this event is a celebration of what LGBT represents. "The parade is about beingable to show the world who they are and just enjoy themselves out in the open, it is a little more light-hearted." While the exact route is still to be determined by the Barbados Pride Committee, Rapley said the parade will feature a heavy police presence, so those taking part need not fear for their safety. [related node_id='5da36c80-09d2-4a8d-b8d8-facaca4f2153'] "We want people to be comfortable," Rapley said while adding, "The idea behind this year's event is that no one can really tell if you are in the community or not, unless of course you express yourself in that manner. The idea is that allies and community members will all go down together." Rapley also said the committee chose Sunday as the date for the parade specifically for this reason, as The City will be less busy, giving participants the opportunity to freely express themselves without the fear of harassment. Pride parades are being held all over the US and Canada this weekend asLGBTQ people celebrate Pride Month.

Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, the father of slain rapper XXXTentacion.

The father of slain Jamaican-American rapperXXXTentacion has spoken out publicly for the first time sincehis son's death earlier this week. In a video posted to social media Thursday,Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy said he will be mourning XXXTentacion's death for seven days beforecelebrating his son's life. "I will mourn my child from Monday to Monday, seven days, and after seven days, I will forever celebrate my child's life, all he accomplished (and) everything and everyone that he touched," Onfroy said. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/AOop2uNPN7c.jpg?itok=yFwJnTou","video_url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOop2uNPN7c","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} A 22-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with XXXTentacion's murder days after the killing of the 20-year-old rising rap star (real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy), who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership in Florida on Monday. Dedrick Devonshay Williams of Pompano Beach was arrested shortly before 7 pmWednesday after a traffic stop, the Broward Sheriff's Office said a statement Thursday. Authorities said the rapper was ambushed by two suspects. They did not give a motive in announcing Williams' arrest but had previously said the shooting was an apparent robbery attempt. XXXTentacion After Williams' arrest, Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said homicide detectives also were seeking additional suspects. An arrest report said Williams was alone in the silver 2004 Honda and driving without a license when he was spotted by an officer in Pompano Beach. He was taken into custody on an active felony warrant. For the latest news, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


Kerry-Ann Stewart was recently appointed to the role of Branch Manager at Massy United Insurance’s newly opened location in George Town. The company, which since inception has paid out multi-millions of US dollars in claims in response to destruction caused by major hurricanes and other acts of God, recently expanded its operations to the Cayman Islands, providing Caymanians with tailored insurance solutions to help them protect their livelihood. "When hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean in 2017, Massy United Insurance was there for our customers, paying out over 250Million USD to hundreds of people who lost so much in those disasters. That’s what being a reliable insurance company is about," Stewart said. She explained that the company is ready to help Caymanians find the best insurance solution to meet their needs, whether it is marine, motor, home or commercial insurance. Massy United Insurance is one of the Caribbean’s leading insurance providers andoffers a wide range of general insurance products and services to customers in 18 territories throughout the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. The financially strong and reliable company has maintained a rating of ‘A-’ (Excellent) by A.M. Best, one of the most reputable provider of ratings and financial data in the insurance sector, for 11 consecutive years. Massy United Insurance is a part the Massy Group, which is a regional conglomerate of over 60 companies. For more information, visit the Massy United Insurance website athttps://www.massyunitedinsurance.com/

Sandals Resorts International has dismissed as “misleading and downright spurious” a video criticizing the hotel chain’s entertainment hiring practices. The 10-minute long video accused Sandals of continuously showing disregard for Jamaican professionals by “putting foreign nationals in charge of entertainment, both at the corporate and contractor level”. It also accused the resort of racism in its hiring of senior managers including executive chefs and general managers. Sandals has however rubbished the accusations, stating that 80 per cent of performers in its Jamaican resorts are Jamaicans. “The remaining 20 per cent are used to execute circus shows, mainly as the local group capable of doing so is fully booked,” said the resort in a statement. It also said, “allegations surrounding racism could be no further from the truth as at SRI, the ratio of expats to Jamaicans is less than two per cent. “It is important to highlight that Sandals has several Jamaican General Managers and Hotel Managers leading resorts in other islands across the Caribbean,” the Gordon “Butch” Stewart-run hotel chain added. The Ministry of Tourism meanwhile said while it “reviews the concerns within the content, there is present misleading and erroneous information that must also be understood in the context of an increasingly competitive tourism sector." According to the ministry, the record growth in the industry has left “many hotels and attractions packed and bursting at the seams”. It also supported Sandals’ statement that 80 per cent of its entertainers are Jamaican. “We are working very closely with Entertainment and Culture Minister, Olivia Babsy Grange to meet with all relevant stakeholders to dissect and address upfront all concerns,” the ministry said. See full statement by Sandals published in the Jamaica Observer, which shares the same owner as the resort, below. Sandals Resorts International (SRI) categorically denies the assertions, as contained in an 'untagged' video currently making the rounds on social media regarding inter alia, the company's hiring practices. Indeed the World-Leading Resort chain considers the accusations misleading and downright spurious. SRI is a Jamaican-born and based organisation, proudly run by Jamaicans. For 37 years in operation, SRI has provided professional management services to 19 Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean and has built a reputation of providing world-class services to all its guests who visit from diverse origins. This has led to the company maintaining the highest return-guest rate of over 40 per cent year over year. This has been achieved only due to Sandals' constant evolution of its business practices, its product offerings and amenities. Stagnation leads to extinction. While Sandals prides itself on providing the aforesaid international flair, catering to the requirements of its visitors, the allegations surrounding racism could be no further from the truth as at SRI, the ratio of expats to Jamaicans is less than two per cent. Sandals goes further to refute the declaration that there were three Heads of Entertainment at Sandals and that the Jamaicans are no longer with the company. This is blatantly false and/or misleading as David Ellis currently spearheads all entertainment operations at Sandals' largest resort, Beaches Turks and Caicos, and has been in that position, on his own request, since leaving Jamaica in 2012. Weston Haughton, former Group Creative Director who has been a part of the Sandals family formally for over 17 years has since retired, however he remains a valued consultant, is frequently hired and is Sandals' preferred 'go to' for many company events. In fact, he only last evening (June 7) hosted the company's largest staff recognition event, its Ultimate Award Ceremony, honouring top team members from across the Caribbean who were flown in for a week of VIP treatment. Haughton is the creator of the company's premier team member artistic talent competition – Festival of the Arts (formerly ENCORE) which also just wrapped its 14th anniversary show on June 7. The Grand Finals moved beyond Jamaica's shores, taking our talented team members to Saint Lucia to perform for the public with wide reaching media coverage. Sandals maintains a diverse mix of cultures across its group in keeping with its commitment to provide guests with authentic offerings - both within the region as well as wider-afield. It is important to highlight that Sandals has several Jamaican General Managers and Hotel Managers leading resorts in other islands across the Caribbean. Sandals can also categorically declare that several General Managers highlighted within the said video are very much born and bred Jamaicans. Sandals is proud of its commitment to developing its team members. Where an international chef is employed to maintain and authenticate the resort company's award-winning Global Five Star dining options, (Sandals is confident Jamaicans would rather showcase a Jamaican offering our world-famous Jerk) at the centre of Sandals' many years of success is training, and this presents a perfect opportunity for hands-on skills transfer to our local team. Sandals Resorts International is a Jamaican company and prides itself on its very rich cultural heritage and offerings. Based on inconsistencies when directly booking performing acts for its growing and expanding group, in 2009 SRI made the decision to adjust its entertainment contracting process but at no time has it diverted from its firm commitment to emphasising our Jamaican culture and its people. This decision would allow Sandals a more standardised approach including insurance coverage and fluid communication channels and thus, several companies who were known to manage talents in the form of dancers, singers and musicians were approached. These included Alex Foster (ShowJams), Sharon Burke and Jackie Jackson, husband of the Jamaica Music Federation President, Karen Smith. At the end of the presentations, Hah-R-mony proved more feasible. Currently 80 per cent of performers in our Jamaican resorts are Jamaicans. The remaining 20 per cent are used to execute circus shows, mainly as the local group capable of doing so is fully booked. Sandals has provided avenues for talented Jamaicans to kick-start their careers. In July 2017 five graduates from the University of the West Indies who completed the Entertainment and Cultural Enterprises Management programme were selected to participate in an 18-month Sandals Management Trainee Programme. In addition, the Sandals Entertainment Division has a strong relationship with the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts as well as the Brown's Town Community College. That these assertions are now being circulated under the guise of 'rumours' without accreditation to the video creator, its source or its content, are scurrilous at best. We can recall back in 2015 a contingent of senior SRI representatives met with a group of local entertainers and recommended that they source CSME Certificates to facilitate exploring movement into our non-Jamaican properties to provide much-sought after Jamaican performers. Sandals has heard nothing back and no-one has approached the company to take up this offer. A closer inspection of the video indicates that this creation is a compilation of half-truths, purported rumours and blatant falsehoods, indicative of a lack of research; however we encourage the person or persons behind its creation and/or dissemination to contact us for further dialogue. For the latest news, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.


Students from the Cayman Islands School of Hospitality Studies (SHS) earned second place in the annual Caribbean Student Colloquium held in New York earlier this month. The event, which takes place as part of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Caribbean Week, challenges students to present well-researched, practical and financially viable sustainable tourism projects. SHS students submitted a business proposal for a sustainable Caymanian-themed village called Cocoplum, and were invited to present their idea before a panel of judges. They scooped second place, just behind a team of Caribbean students from upstate New York’s Monroe College. The University of the Bahamas came in third and Jamaica University of Technology placed fourth.

(Image courtesy of YMCA)

Registration is open for the YMCA summer camp programme, which offers sports, crafts, exploration and even cooking to children aged from 5 to 17. The camps, which run from 3 July until 24 August, take place in three locations on Grand Cayman - CI Little League Field of Dreams (FOD), Camana Bay Sports Complex (CBSC) and the Cayman Islands Baptist Church Youth Centre (CIBC) in Savannah - and one in Cayman Brac. Parents and children can choose from five different options this year which are: Traditional Day Camp (ages 5-12) – featuring activities include swimming, field games, arts & crafts, sports and camp songs. Island Explorer Camp (7-12) - campers will visit exciting attractions island-wide, from local heritage sites and some of Cayman’s top visitor attractions to a fun afternoon at the movies. Y Junior Chef Camp (9-12) – as well as enjoying the highlights of the traditional day camp programme, budding chefs will get hands-on experience in the kitchen as they explore and create different cultural and traditional foods. (Image courtesy of YMCA) Challenge Camp (9-12) and Teen Challenge Camp (13-17) – participants can take on a whole new kind of physical challenge by putting their outdoor skills to the test. Activities include taking on the Y’s new ropes course, climbing, archery and nature hikes. Programme organiser Jenny Stuesser describes the camps as a safe environment in which children can “stay active, learn new things and make new friends”. Registration is open every weekday from 11:00AM to 02:00PM at Field of Dreams until Friday 29 June. For more information about camp prices or registration details, log on to www.ymcacayman.ky. Scholarships are also available to those in financial need – please email ysummercamp@ymcacayman.ky.


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"2017-04-28","2017-05-06","2017-05-09","2017-07-28","2017-07-29"No Events Found