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GBPA’s Jazz in The Square Transforms Downtown

“Back to School Family Friday’s” (BTS Friday’s), an initiative of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and its Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), brought Churchill Square to life on Friday past, with ‘Jazz in The Square’; event number two, in a series of four events planned for the month of August. 

Scores of Jazz enthusiast gathered in Churchill Square to enjoy the soulful performance of  Methice Rigby & Friends, which perfectly blended art and music with Spoken Word from Poets, ‘Esi Amani’, ‘T.O Gittens’, Siadra Sutherland, Antonio Smith and ‘Copy Written’.

“The evening was extremely entertaining, and should become a regular event in the Downtown area,” conveyed one attendee. “I love music, art and poetry, so I was really excited when I heard about the event. GBPA did an excellent job hosting it,” she continued.

According to Derek Newbold, GBPA’s Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama, “This event provided exceptional entertainment, as well as the opportunity for merchants to showcase their products and services,” he shared.

“The event was well attended and the performances were all first rate,” Newbold stated. “It really was a one of a kind event for Downtown, and the attendees loved it.  It’s important to us that our licencees and residents of this amazing island understand that we value their support. In fact, we established the IGBSBB to serve as a vehicle to provide the local business community with a more streamlined support mechanism geared toward delivering more tangible business solutions.” he said. 

Merchant stores Patrice’s and Steppin’ Out featured a combined display which offered Jewelry, Scarfs and other trinkets all affordably priced.  Nesbitt Rentals, Freeport Wild Wings, Chocolatess and Grill Masters were also present, offering tasty delights.

Business Services Manager for IGBSBB, LaShawn Dames says she hopes to make the BTS Friday’s an annual event. “This is the 2nd BTS Friday’s event and we are gaining great momentum. Tonight was amazing, and the artists and musicians did an excellent job keeping the crowd entertained. It was a true display of talent and a truly a wonderful evening.” Dames stated. “I’m already looking at how we can do it better for next summer.”

President, Ian Rolle shared that GBPA is pleased with the BTS Fridays’ initiative, and hopes that both merchants and consumers would continue to buy into the “BUY Local, SHOP at HOME message. 

“BTS Fridays is about creating opportunities that empower our Licencees, and encourage consumer spending," he said.  “These events are intended to promote economic activity for Licencees, while delivering a value based shopping experience for residents, so that more money is kept at home with Bahamian businesses.  But, we also want to create an environment that provides clean, fun entertainment for families and individuals," Rolle continued. “BTS Friday’s is about creating win/wins for both merchants and consumers.”

The BTS Vocalist Competition is scheduled for Friday, August 19th and is sure to be a hit. Vocalists will compete for a grand prize of $1,000.00 cash.  Vocalist interested in participating should register at no later than Wednesday 17th, August.


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.



GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.



Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.