Kingston, 18 January 2022 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Jamaica’s team to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China “demonstrates that nothing is impossible.”

“‘We don’t have no snow’ yet here we are competing against the world’s best on ice,” said Minister Grange at a news conference to announce the members of Jamaica’s team who have qualified for the games.

Minister Grange said:
“These are the first Olympics in which Jamaica will be represented in three bobsleigh events. In addition to the women’s monobob [a new event at the Olympics], we’ve qualified for the two-man event; and for the first time in 24 years we’re back in the four-man competition.”

There’s the possibility that Jamaica could compete in a fourth bobsleigh event as the two-woman team missed out on a tiebreaker but could still compete as first alternate if one of the qualifying nations withdraws.

“So we keep our fingers crossed.”

Minister Grange told the bobsleigh team during a news conference on Tuesday (this morning) that members of Jamaica’s growing winter sports programme were simply inspirational.

Minister Grange said:
“This generation — and others to come — will look up to you and be inspired by you because of your unlikely presence at the Winter Games representing a tropical country and doing well. You are stories of dedication and commitment filled with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Your hard work has already paid off.”

Minister Grange also used the opportunity to highlight Jamaica’s success in skiing.
“For the first time at the Winter Olympics, Jamaica will have a competitor in Alpine Skiing and I want to congratulate Benjamin Alexander on this wonderful achievement for our country.”

Alexander is the second skier to represent Jamaica at the Winter Games following Errol Kerr who finished ninth in the Ski Cross at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

“As you go to Beijing, please know that the entire country is cheering you on; and you can continue to count on the support of the Ministry and the Government of Jamaica,” said Minister Grange.

The Ministry has been supporting Jamaica’s winter sports programme through direct funding and the provision of equipment.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games begin on February 4.

END

Kingston, 15 January 2022 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the Ministry’s ECCI Covid-19 Grants programme has been oversubscribed and has stopped taking new applications.

“We anticipated about one thousand applications for the individual grants of $60,000 each to members of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries. We’ve had a very good response in a very short time and we have now surpassed our target for applications,” said Minister Grange.

The Ministry announced the opening of applications for its ECCI Covid-19 Grants on December 17, 2021. Since then, it has received nearly 1,400 applications from a wide cross section of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries practitioners including sound system operators, musicians, singers, sound engineers, stage hands, film and video producers, writers, journalists, among others.

“Up to yesterday afternoon, 331 members of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries had already received their grants which means that so far we’ve paid out more than 19 million dollars. By Wednesday an additional 170 people should see the grants in their accounts. That would take us to 500 paid out. And then we would have another 800 or so applications left with the majority of those already processed and have met the criteria, and will be awarded grants,” said Minister Grange.

The award of individual grants is being funded by the Ninety Million Dollar special support package for entertainment, culture, and creative industries practitioners. The special support package will also benefit organisations in the sectors. Minister Grange will announce details of the support programme for organisations at a later date.

END

Kingston, 4 January 2022 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to the Chairman of the Council of the Institute of Jamaica, James Moss-Solomon.

Minister’s Statement

“We are deeply saddened at the passing of James Moss-Solomon, the Chairman of the Council of the Institute of Jamaica.

He was one of our great business leaders, and we recently appointed him to Chair the Council. Quickly, Jimmy started a process to make the IOJ more nimble and responsive to the people of Jamaica. The IOJ and the Ministry will miss his leadership, but we will continue the necessary transformational work that he started.

Jimmy was also a creative with extraordinary talent. He was an excellent bass guitarist and keyboard player and once led a band that included Dr. Aggrey Irons.

I join with all those who mourn the passing of this outstanding Jamaican today.

Let us keep his family in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”

END

Kingston, 3 January 2022 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the gender activist, Dr Glenda Simms — who passed away on New Year’s Eve — was “a trailblazing figure in the fight for women’s rights.”

In her tribute, Minister Grange reflected on Dr Simms’ “dedicated and passionate leadership” of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (now the Bureau of Gender Affairs) and her “immense contribution towards the struggle for gender equality.”

During her time at the Bureau from 1996 and 2005, Dr Simms started the consultations towards the development of the National Policy on Gender Equality, revitalised Parish Advisory Committees, established the National Gender Advisory Committee and developed public education initiatives on gender-based violence.

“Dr Simms never stopped advocating for women’s rights and for the removal of barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their full potential. She gave dedicated and passionate leadership to her cause and has been a trailblazing figure in the fight for women’s rights. She will be missed,” said Minister Grange.

The Minister has offered condolences to Dr Simms’ family.

END

Kingston, 17 December 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a Ninety Million Dollar special support package for members of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries.

The new J$90M package is double the J$40M that was originally announced.

Minister Grange said:
“Early in the year, we were able to give small grants to individuals. We were not able to access the $40 million that was allocated by the Ministry of Finance that we could have given a larger number of persons. So the Ministry of Finance has now finalised arrangements to not just to give us the 40 million — that we were not able to use last year — but an increase. So we are looking at a total of $90 million at this time, out of which the individual grants will be given. And then next year we will look at other categories that would be eligible for the grants.”

Minister Grange thanked the Minister of Finance, Dr Honourable Nigel Clarke, for responding to her consistent representations on behalf of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries.

Effective immediately, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is accepting applications for “grants of $60,000 per individual.”

Minister Grange estimated that one thousand individual grants will be awarded.

Minister Grange said:
“Whatever your skills are; as long as you're a practitioner in the industry, you can benefit. If you’re an actor, a singer, a songwriter; we’re talking about the stagehands, engineers, selectors, sound system operators, owners of sound systems, people in film. So it's a variety. Once you meet the criteria, you will benefit.”

There are three main criteria. The beneficiary must be registered on the Ministry’s e-Registry. Those who are not on the e-Registry can register within a few minutes on the Ministry’s website (www.mcges.gov.jm). Additionally, the beneficiary must be a member of an established industry organisation such as JaRIA or JAFTA; and must either have an account with any Jamaican bank or an NCB Prepaid Mastercard to facilitate payment of the grant.

“I think that the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries sector was probably greatly impacted more than any other sector and so it was necessary for us to see what we can do. Even now as the restrictions are eased, entertainment events are still restricted,” said Minister Grange.

Minister Grange is encouraging members of the sectors to go to the Ministry’s website at www.mcges.gov.jm and click on ‘ECCI Covid-19 Grant Application’ to apply for the grants.

“It's an easy process, and it's a process that we're hoping will help persons in the sector.”

END

Please note, this initiative is oversubscribed and the Ministry has stopped accepting applications.

 

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport invites Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries practitioners who have been affected by the pandemic to apply for a one-off ECCI Covid-19 Grant of $60,000.00.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be signed up to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport's e-Registry.

If you're not signed up to the e-Registry, or registered before April 2020, or uncertain about when you were registered, please sign up here.

Once you've successfully signed up to the e-Registry, you will receive a PDF file in your email.  You will need that file to complete your ECCI Covid-19 Grant application.

 

  • You must have a bank account (with any local bank) in Jamaican currency, or must be the holder of a NCB Prepaid Mastercard.

If you do not have a bank account, please contact any commercial bank to sign up.  If you prefer to apply for an NCB Prepaid Mastercard, see instructions here.

 

  • You must be a registered member of one of the established industry organisations (most are listed on the online grant application form).

Once you have satisfied the criteria, you can move to filling out the ECCI Covid-19 Grant Application form here.

 

Should you require any assistance to complete the application process, please call our Covid-19 Grant Hotline at 876-553-0550 or 876-553-0560; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kingston, 15 December 2021 – “I’m so happy we have a second shelter that is ready” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, as she opened the second government-run shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

The Minister cut the ribbon, symbolising the opening of the facility, in the presence of the High Commissioner of Canada, as well as representatives of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, the UNFPA and UN Women who have been assisting the Ministry to establish safe spaces for women.

Minister Grange said this latest shelter — the second of three being established by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — “is ready to accept women and their children who have had abusive situations and need to move from that kind of situation into a shelter where they get protection.”

The Minister said this second shelter was in a remote location and would focus on housing “very high risk victims”. However any woman who needs the shelter should call the National Helpline on 876-553-0372.

The opening and tour of the new facility took place on Human Rights Day — at the end of the 16 Days of Activism towards eliminating violence against women.

“We are celebrating 16 Days of Activism against violence against women and I scheduled this tour so that I could demonstrate that we are doing something about protecting our women and that we have facilities that are ready to be occupied. So here we have additional facilities. This facility can house approximately 13 persons. It’s a comfortable facility… What we have been able to do is to say to the public that we are ensuring that our women are protected — that we create safe spaces for them,” said Minister Grange.

Women who go to government shelters will receive counselling in an environment free from violence or judgment.

“The environment is quite therapeutic; it is evident that this is a place to heal,” said the Programme Manager for the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Vanna Lawrence.

The European Union has provided €8M, under the Spotlight Initiative, “to support Jamaica in its fight against violence against women and the EU is very pleased to be associated with this second shelter because it does carry forward the EU’s passion for supporting women and girls in their fight against violence,” said Ms Lawrence.

The Spotlight Initiative is a partnership between the European Union and the United Nations. The Director for the United Nations Population Fund Caribbean Office, Alyson Drayton, said her organisation had been assisting the Ministry to produce a manual of special operating procedures for the shelters, providing equipment as well as training counsellors and hiring of staff who will work with women who come to the shelters.

Mrs Drayton explains that the shelters will provide a lifeline for some women. “Many women experience violence in the course of their relationship and, unfortunately for many of them, they remain in the relationship because they see no options, nowhere to go…The shelters are important in terms of providing an option that someone can go, they can be safe, and they can start to put their lives back together.”

Aside from counselling, women who attend the government shelters will also receive training to increase their economic options. One of the new training programmes, which will begin in the new year, will be sponsored by the High Commission of Canada.

“So we have something called the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives,” said the High Commissioner of Canada, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic. “There’ll be a project starting probably January that will do income generation or stuff to keep the women and their families busy including hydroponics… We’re looking at about 15 beneficiaries and it’ll be a small scale project but it’ll be enough to hopefully get people back on their feet.”

The establishment of the government-run shelters for women who need to leave violent relationships has been one of the priority programmes of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. Since 2018, the Ministry has been acquiring properties and transforming them into facilities to house women who are victims of gender-based violence and their children. This new shelter is the second of three that have been promised by Minister Grange.

The work to transform the third property into a shelter continues.
All the partners in the establishment of the government-run shelters have expressed satisfaction with what has been achieved so far.

High Commissioner Tudavic said “I want to commend the Ministry on the work they’ve done. This is largely funded by the Government of Jamaica themselves so really great work. It’s time to do this and I’m really glad that they’re in a position to do this and I wish them all the very best of luck.”

The Principal Director in the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Coburn-Robinson said “we’re extremely happy about this because for so many years persons have wanted to have this safe space.”

END

Kingston, 8 December 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced, with great sadness, the passing of Jamaican Reggae musician and record producer, Robbie Shakespeare of Sly and Robbie fame.

Minister’s Statement

“I am in shock and sorrow after just receiving the news that my friend and brother, the legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare has died.

Robbie and Sly Dunbar (the drummer) as Sly and Robbie, have been among Jamaica's greatest musicians.

This fantastic team took bass playing and drumming to the highest level as they made music for themselves as a group, and for many other artistes locally and internationally.

Robbie's loss will be felt by the industry at home and abroad. He will be sorely missed.

I offer my deepest condolences to those he leaves behind.

Love you, Robbie.

Rest in peace.”

END

Passionate about protecting cultural heritage from the threat of climate change?

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has launched a heritage animation competition in collaboration with UNESCO and the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, for you to share your ideas and win prizes.

We want you to make an animated film focusing on the impact of disasters and climate change on Jamaican Cultural Heritage.

Are you up to it?

 

Click here to enter  

 *Entries open on October 29, 2021 and close on December 10, 2021

Paris, 14 November 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has urged members States of UNESCO to give “moral and ethical issues… greater prominence in [the organisation’s] agenda”.

Minister Grange made the call during her address to the plenary meeting at the UNESCO General Conference now underway in Paris, France.

Minister Grange said that UNESCO was “the conscience of the UN and international framework” and must “resolve to construct a world built on the everlasting pursuit of peace, not war.”

In this regard, Minister Grange said that Jamaica was in full support of the UNESCO’s Slave Route Project which was working towards “de-racialising of our vision and the decolonising of our imaginations.”

The Culture Minister thanked UNESCO for assisting Jamaica to strengthen its legislative framework to protect its cultural assets, and highlighted progress on the EU UNESCO Project which is assisting in the development of the Creative Economy Act.

Representatives from 190 countries are attending the UNESCO General Conference which will, among other things, approve the organisation’s Programme and Budget for the next five years.

Meanwhile, Minister Grange has met with a high-level delegation from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the margins of the General Conference. The meeting explored possible cooperation in the creative and cultural industries as well as water management.

END

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Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

Contacts

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  +876.978.7654
  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

Keep in Touch