Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
The category winners for the Heineken Inspire competition were selected yesterday at a secret location and will be announced during a major entertainment event set for the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) this weekend.
The talent competition began on March 9 and attracted the attention of a number of talented Jamaicans in four categories - art, fashion, music and film. According to Nasha Douglas, brand manager for Heineken, the competition was sort of a build-up on a long-running competition her brand is involved in.
"What we wanted to do is expand the Heineken Green Synergy (a contest between disc jockeys) into other forms of art. The momentum behind it has been great, we've had about 185 entrants for the competition that ended Sunday."
Douglas revealed that in addition to the number of likes each contestant received on the Facebook page that was set up for the competition, the respective category winners will be determined by a group of celebrity judges that will include William Richards, Stephen McGregor, Lonnie Jones and Mykal Kushnie.
Fair final decision
Judges, she said, will have the final decision as this will ensure that the competition is fair. "They're all going to be grouped together and they're going to go through every submission - of course, the 'likes' do matter - but the judges choose the Heineken Inspire piece."
But it doesn't end there. Heineken will be bringing international mentors to work with each of the winners. "Some time in May they're going to come down and host a symposium and they will give them guidance, how they approach the industry, basically how to be a star."
The winners, who will each receive $250,000, will be announced at the grand finals on Saturday at a transformed JRC headquarters on Barry Street. Douglas said the grand finals will be a memorable occasion for the winners, as well as all the entrants.
"It will be a celebration for all the entrants, not just the winners. The winners will be awarded before everyone, their pieces are going to be highlighted throughout the event," she said.
"Of course, there will be music and Heineken because it's a Heineken experience."
Douglas said Jamaicans will be given a chance to win tickets to the Heineken experience, through Irie FM, ZipFM and their Facebook page. She said there will be surprise guest performers and more, as it will be an entirely different experience for patrons. The fun on Saturday starts at 6:30 p.m.