STATEMENT TO THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
By the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport
The Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Mr Speaker, 153 years ago, on this date — October 23, 1865 — George William Gordon, member of the House of Assembly and the man in whose honour this Honourable House has been named, was hanged.
The following day — October 24 1865 — Paul Bogle, Baptist Deacon, the man who led the war in which George William Gordon was implicated, was also hanged.
Today, a grateful nation recalls with a mixture of pride and humility the fierce determination and selfless dedication of these two Jamaicans.
Mr. Speaker, words penned by George William Gordon on the day before his execution in a letter to his dear wife Lucy, bear great significance:
“It is… the will of my Heavenly Father that I should… suffer in obeying his command to relieve the poor and needy, to protect, so far as I was able, the oppressed”.
This, I believe, Mr. Speaker, sums up very well his own sense of the mission to which he was called by his Creator and committed as a politician. George William Gordon saw the role of the parliament as an instrument and agency of the voice of the poor and oppressed - a voice for justice, social upliftment and overall national development. This was in contrast to the perception of the role of the House of Assembly by the British slave-owning establishment. Gordon was vociferous in his protestations and demanding of answers from the colonial powers, for which he suffered the ultimate sacrifice.
Mr. Speaker, Gordon’s mission is one which we ourselves must uphold as we continue in this Honourable House, to build upon the institutions of governance we have inherited, ensuring throughout that they work to the greater benefit of our people. Indeed, it is a tacit reminder of our cause to dedicate ourselves to the upliftment of the poor and needy, to protect and empower the vulnerable, and provide opportunities for sustainable prosperity for all our people. This we must do by ensuring that Parliament remains the agency of action for the creation of legislation and policy that enhance the quality of life of our people, assuring thereby that their creative imagination, industry and craft will achieve economic success within their personal and collective lives. To do less would be to dishonour the names of these our National Heroes in this George William Gordon House.
Mr. Speaker, in like manner, Paul Bogle, who commandeered the larger struggle that culminated in outright war in October 1865, points us to the levels of social and political activism that we must be prepared to replicate in the interest of the prosperity of the people. Bogle led hundreds of grassroots Jamaican people to confront the State in their search for those rights and freedoms they assumed would have accompanied Emancipation from enslavement in 1838, but which remained elusive decades later. By way of a litany of protests, those who had emerged from slavery and their descendants refused to live in a society that simply continued the slave relations of production. They lobbied, petitioned and protested for equal rights and justice, even marching from Stony Gut to Morant Bay and from Morant Bay to the capital in Spanish Town to seek audience with Governor Eyre.
Mr. Speaker, this level of political action has been replicated throughout the history of modern Jamaica, causing us to reflect on the challenges that our people continue to experience and our role in confronting and remedying them. As we pause to reflect on these our two National Heroes and their role in the Morant Bay struggle and war, their selfless devotion to the improved condition of the masses of the people, we are called upon to model in our own representation and management of the affairs of our people the examples of caring, consistency, sacrifice and gallantry exercised by Gordon and Bogle as they took to the trenches on behalf of the masses of our people.
Mr. Speaker, today, we pause in this Honourable House, on behalf of a grateful people, on this 23rd day of October 2018, 153 years later, to salute and pay homage to the Right Excellent George William Gordon and the Right Excellent Paul Bogle for their tireless and selfless dedication to the cause of the poor and propelling our nation to the makings of a new social, economic and political order, the forerunners of what we hold dear today.
May we who continue here in this Honourable House reflect on their sacrifice even as we also recognise that our stewardship is also within the will of our Heavenly Father. May we pledge our sweat, our tears and our lives to the greater good of the people of Jamaica, at home and abroad.
Paris, 11 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has accepted the prestigious UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education which has been awarded to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.
The prize is given annually to individuals, institutions non-governmental organisations and other entities engaged in activities in girls’ and women’s education and is sponsored by the People’s Republic of China.
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation was recognised for helping adolescent mothers to continue their education and awarded US$50,000 to help further its work. This year’s other awardee, the Misr El-Kheir Foundation, supports girls' education in some of the poorest villages of Egypt.
Accepting the prize at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France today — on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child — Minister Grange said the award was in recognition of “the value of the Foundation’s work in re-writing the script of the lives of adolescent mothers.”
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — was established 40 years ago to devise programmes and activities to address the needs of adolescent mothers, including equipping them to take care of their children and helping them to complete their education at its centres across the country and through re-integration into the formal school system, thereby increasing their job prospects.
Minister Grange noted that prior to the establishment of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, pregnancy was like a death sentence for the adolescent girl: her health was endangered; her education would stop; her hopes and dreams would vanish; and she faced a life of poverty and dependence.
During the last 40 years, the Women’s Centre has served 46-thousand adolescent mothers — most of whom never had a second child during their adolescent years.
This year’s International Day of the Girl Child was observed under the theme “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce” which called attention to the need to develop the skills of girls to enter the workforce on equal terms.
Minister Grange called on everyone to “commit to doing all in our power to create a world that is fit for a girl. A world that values her. A world that protects her. A world that shows her possibilities and helps her to be all that she can and wants to be.”
Kingston, 10 October 2018 – Staff members and community volunteers at Abeng Radio 88.7 FM in Accompong, St Elizabeth are to benefit from a three-day training workshop from October 11-13. The workshop, sponsored by UNESCO and the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — is being held under the theme: 'Building a Sustainable Community Radio Station'.
Over the three days, the participants will be exposed to issues pertinent to the management and operations of community radio, in addition to getting practical, hands-on tools and techniques in areas such as news writing, programme production and editing, on-air presentation, equipment maintenance and advertising and sales, among others.
Programme Manager at the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Maria Smith, said: "participants will also have an opportunity for knowledge sharing with representatives from other UNESCO-supported community stations such as Roots and Jet FM being in attendance to share best practices."
The workshop will be conducted by a local team of media specialists and communication practitioners including Lincoln Robinson, Rosamond Brown, Wayne Donaldson, Elizabeth Gordon, Dahlia Harris and Owen Brown. The workshop is part of the thrust to support cultural communities as mandated by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
Abeng Radio 88.7 FM was established with funding support from UNESCO and went on air two years ago. It was set up specifically to serve the interests and development needs of the Accompong Maroons and seeks through its programming to promote the rich indigenous culture, history and heritage of the Trelawny Town Maroons, the people of Accompong and adjoining communities.
Kingston, 5 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is now in Paris, France attending the 205th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.
Minister Grange was elected earlier this year to the powerful Executive Board which focuses on the development of policies and programmes to direct UNESCO’s activities. This meeting of the Executive Board will consider, among other things: the budgetary situation of UNESCO, the strategic transformation of the organisation as well as the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.
Minister Grange is also chairing meetings of the influential Conventions and Recommendations Committee — one of the permanent committees of the Executive Board. The Conventions and Recommendations Committee considers all questions entrusted to the Executive Board concerning the implementation of UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments, as well as examines communications relating to cases and questions concerning the exercise of human rights in UNESCO’s fields of competence.
Kingston, 2 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the designation by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust of the Blue Lagoon in Portland as a National Monument.
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — completed the process of declaration in August 2018 following what Minister Grange says has been “six decades of effort to protect the Blue Lagoon.”
Minister Grange said:
“We have long recognised the importance of this national treasure and efforts to protect it began as early as 1958. I am happy to be the Minister who has taken the process to this stage where the site is now declared a national monument. This designation is critical to the process of preserving and protecting the Blue Lagoon for future generations and guaranteeing access to all Jamaicans to this natural lagoon with an aesthetic and historic value that can stand above similar sites in the hemisphere.”
The Blue Lagoon was declared a National Monument on the basis of its aesthetic and scientific values.
The declaration comes following the expiration of a Preservation Notice — giving temporary legal protection to the property — which was issued under the signature of Minister Grange in October 2017 and renewed in April 2018. The declaration also follows consultation with stakeholders on the boundaries, purpose and effect of the declaration.
The Blue Lagoon National Monument declared area includes all those bodies of water up to the high water mark during high and low tide known as Unity Bay, Lime Kiln Bay and the inlet called the Blue Lagoon which together constitutes the Controlled Area. The boundary also includes the parochial access road known as the Blue Hole Road. It does not include the cay called Pellew Island.
Minister Grange has urged the JNHT to move to conclude consultations towards confirming the Preservation Scheme and Management Plan for the declared area as well as to move swiftly to conclude discussions with key government agencies regarding the sustainable management of activities at the national monument.
Kingston, October 1 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has expanded its Economic Opportunities Workshop series to the maroon community of Accompong, St Elizabeth.
The Economic Opportunities Workshops series has been providing entrepreneurial training and other types of support to enable people living in or close to cultural communities to earn from their cultural assets.
Speaking to a large group of participants at the most recent Workshop in Accompong, Minister Grange said history will recall that the leaders of the community “changed the course of history.”
The Minster said the Accompong celebrations on the 6th of January each year attract people from across Jamaica, the African Diaspora and across the world and that the community had “a unique cultural good which has economic potential to change the course of the community, the parish and the country.”
According to Minister Grange, the aim of the Economic Opportunities Workshop series was to “explore ways in which the unique, authentic and powerful culture and heritage of Accompong can bring prosperity to all of you.”
Minister Grange said that more people are travelling to Jamaica now than at any other time and many of the visitors are travelling to experience the authentic culture of the people. She said there would be more opportunities for the people of Accompong to exploit if Jamaica is successful in its bid to have sections of the Cockpit Country declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“World Heritage designation will bring more visitors to this area. So we are here today getting ready for it and we have to ensure that your skills are sharpened and that we prepare you for the opportunities that come with such a designation,”
Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange announced that residents of Accompong were eligible for grants from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport totalling J$1M to improve or start businesses.
She also announced that the Tourism Product Development Company would train 20 residents of Accompong under the Team Jamaica and Tour Guide training programmes.
More than 400 people living in or close to the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site in the parishes of Portland, St. Thomas and St. Andrew have benefitted from previous Economic Opportunities Workshops to strengthen and grow their businesses.
Partners include: the Jamaica National Funded Social Enterprise Boost Initiative, FHI 360, the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Product Development Company, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, the Rural Agricultural Development Fund, the Scientific Research Council, HEART Trust/NTA, NCTVET and the University of the West Indies, among other stakeholders.
Kingston, September 18 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport said this afternoon that she was deeply saddened by the death of renowned Jamaican Restaurateur, Minion Phillips, who was known to all as “Sister Minnie”.
Minister Grange said, “Sister Minnie was a strong Jamaica Rasta woman who was an expert at what she did and who showed great care for the people around her, not just for her immediate family.
“My sympathy goes out to Member of Parliament, Mikhail Phillips, her son and her other children and to Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, her former husband.”
Miss Grange also recalled that Sister Minnie, who she also described as a cultural pioneer had, “through the assistance of the Jamaican and Ghanaian governments returned to Ghana the remains of one of the former slaves, Lady Crystal, who had been brought to Jamaica, and Samuel Carson, an American whose remains were discovered by a group in New York.”
Minion Phillips, who died yesterday, was the proprietor of Kingston's first 'Ital' restaurant, a popular establishment for Rastafarians, musicians and visitors seeking a unique gastronomic experience.
The restaurant was built of lumber, bamboo and thatch, which surprised many by surviving Hurricane Gilbert completely intact, protected by its traditional 8-sided design and structure.
Kingston, September 18, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says that “Jamaica is strongly focused on establishing a National Register of Cultural Heritage Places and Objects through amendments to the Jamaica National Heritage Act.”
Minister Grange was addressing the Opening Ceremony of a three-day workshop on Effective Heritage Inventories and National Registers organised by the Ministry in partnership with the Organisation of American States (OAS) at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites on Tuesday (September 18).
Minister Grange said that the workshop is an outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the OAS to execute a project titled ‘Enhancing the Framework for the Development of a Heritage Economy in the Caribbean’. The project will train artisans and bring to the forefront the significant socio-economic potential of Jamaica’s cultural heritage.
“The focus of this workshop is to review and enhance where they already exist, registers of heritage places. A National Register of Heritage Places is a list of sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical value,”
the Minister said.
According to the Minister, the Registry will be developed through the use of ARCHES, an open-source, geospatially-enabled software platform for cultural heritage inventory and management.
“We hope that this workshop and the software that will be used across the Region will help to build capacity in our culture agencies and provide authentic, heritage experiences that are economically viable and sustainable.
“Cultural heritage tourism is valued at US$1 billion globally and is said to be responsible for more than 75 million jobs in the Asia Pacific region alone,” Minister Grange said.
The Culture Minister said also that another main component of the project is its focus on cultural communities such as the Maroons, Rastafari and Revivalists which contribute immensely to brand Jamaica.
This project is being implemented in Barbados, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
Kingston, September 10 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that the statue of Louise Bennett-Coverley will serve as an inspiration to many Jamaicans. Minister Grange was speaking at the Unveiling Ceremony in Gordon Town last Friday.
“It is a great joy for me to see this woman whom so many Jamaicans see as mother, being elevated both physically and psychologically in the minds of Jamaicans. Miss Lou now has a statue to celebrate her and those who pass by will look up to her for inspiration and encouragement as we continue the efforts to achieve sustainable prosperity for our people,”
the Minister said.
Miss Grange said that Miss Lou can be credited for her role in developing the Jamaican culture and for bringing humour to all through her poetry and other works.
“It was Miss Lou who reminded us that “rain a fall but dutty tough”, that even in good times there are hardships. It was Miss Lou who cast worthy amusement on those who would return from abroad with “no likkle twang”, depicting the many Jamaicans we know who only have to spend “few days a farrin” for them to sound more foreign than the foreigner. It was Miss Lou who brought us closer to that worthy hero of our folk tradition, the indomitable Anancy, emigrating with the rest of us from his homeland in Africa, to use cunning and craft, wit and humour, to overcome the struggles of life caused by a system that sought to devalue and undermine our creative integrity,” The Minister said.
The installation of the statue is part of the Government’s plan to establish Miss Lou Square in Gordon Town, as a fitting and lasting tribute to the mother of Jamaican culture.
Minister Grange thanked all the stakeholders who contributed to the project, including the residents of Gordon Town, the Member of Parliament, Mrs Juliet Holness, Mayor Delroy Williams and other Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation personnel, Miss Lou’s estate and Jamaicans in the Diaspora, particularly those in Canada and sculptor, Basil Watson.
Kingston, September 5 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has described as “historic” today’s signing of the Deed of Gift under which the Coverley Collection has been turned over to the National Library of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry.
The Coverley Collection includes a wide range of items from both Miss Lou and her husband Eric Coverley, who was a calligrapher and draughtsman. With the signing, the National Library of Jamaica has become the official repository of the Collection.
“This is a proud moment for me as Minister as we are just two days away from the 99th Anniversary of the birth of Miss Lou and from the unveiling of the statue in her honour at Gordon Town, the place where she grew up. And here we are signing this Deed of Gift,” Miss Grange said.
The Minister said that “the Collection is organised into ten main series including correspondences, legal and financial documents, writings and performance, published and printed material, personal and professional documents, academic papers, artefacts, photographic and audio-visual material, Eric Coverley papers and books and periodicals.”
Minister Grange thanked the Louise Bennett Coverley Estate for sharing the works of Jamaica’s cultural icon and expressed confidence that the Collection will be “secured, protected and preserved by the National Library of Jamaica and be made available to all who might wish to conduct research and for other purposes.”
She said also that the Miss Lou archives is housed in a Special Collections at the National Library of Jamaica and that “the intellectual property rights to the works of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley rest with her estate and in part the NLJ. Permission to copy, distribute, perform, broadcast, make adaptations or in any way utilise her works must be made with her estate through the National Library of Jamaica.”
Kingston, 3 September 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed disappointment at the lack of maintenance of the statue of National Hero, the Right Excellent Norman Manley at St William Grant Park.
Minister Grange has given instructions to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust to immediately begin conservation work on the statue and that the process must begin on Tuesday (tomorrow).
The Manley statue, as well as the Bustamante statue, were scheduled to be conserved at the same time. However, work on the Manley statue was delayed because someone had painted the sculpture and it therefore required a different and longer process of preservation and repair, which includes paint removal.
Minister Grange has expressed her displeasure that it took the JNHT several months to re-schedule the conservation of the Manley statue. She has instructed the agency to prioritise the conservation of monuments of our National Heroes to ensure that they are always in the best possible condition.
Kingston, 30 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says all is set for the unveiling of the statue in honour of the Jamaican cultural icon, Miss Lou.
Miss Lou’s statue will be mounted in Gordon Town, St Andrew where the cultural icon lived before moving to Toronto, Canada.
Minister Grange says she’s “happy to see this project finally coming to fruition and I thank all the stakeholders, including the residents of Gordon Town, the MP Mrs Juliet Holness, Mayor Delroy Williams, Miss Lou’s estate and Jamaicans in the Diaspora — particularly those in Canada — who have played a role in bringing this project forward.”
The statue, done by sculptor Basil Watson, will be unveiled by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness on 7 September 2018 — the 99th anniversary of the birth of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE.
Minister Grange said:
“The installation of the statue is part of the Government’s plan to establish Miss Lou Square in Gordon Town, as a fitting and lasting tribute to this outstanding woman, the mother of Jamaican culture. Miss Lou is well-respected, well-loved, well-revered across the world that I expect that unveiling of her statue in the next few days will immediately position Gordon Town as an attraction in Kingston which promotes community tourism. And I look forward to next year — on Miss Lou’s 100th birthday — when we will complete the development and transform Gordon Town Square into Miss Lou Square.”
Kingston, 20 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has revealed that the Government is to offer houses and cash to the owners/occupants of the Marcus Garvey boyhood home in St Ann’s Bay, St Ann.
Minister Grange made the revelation in the wake of concerns that the Government would be evicting the residents from 32 Market Street now that it has executed compulsory acquisition of the property to begin establishment of the proposed living history museum in honour of the National Hero.
Minister Grange said:
“I assure the families there, and the rest of Jamaica, that we will not be moving them off the property and leaving them without making other arrangements for them to live in a comfortable way.”
The Minister also revealed that the Government has been proposing alternative accommodations to the occupants since 2011 when the former Prime Minister, Mr Bruce Golding, broke ground for the construction of the living history museum in tribute to Marcus Garvey at the site.
Minister Grange said:
“In 2011 a valuation was done on the property, and based on that valuation funds were identified [to purchase the property]. At that time, there were no owners. Subsequently, persons were able to get their names on the title — those are the individuals who have been living there.
“We have offered [the occupants] other accommodations. We have worked with the Housing Agency of Jamaica to identify, on more than one occasion, accommodation for them. Persons living there have made demands and we have not considered some of those demands to be reasonable.”
Minister Grange said the compulsory acquisition of the property follows years of negotiation with the occupants to clear the way for the project which has been stalled since 2011.
“We will relocate the families; and we will work with them to ensure that where they are relocated to, they will be comfortable. But it cannot continue like this; we must act,” said the Culture Minister who added that “the house is deteriorating, the conditions are not good, and it is bad for the image of Marcus Garvey and Jamaica to have the property deteriorate [instead of moving to start the development].”
Minister Grange said she had been working with the Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann, the Honourable Shahine Robinson, to find a suitable solution:
“The MP has identified two properties — a three bedroom and a two bedroom — and so will be making the offer [of the two properties] to the families. So they will be getting properties in exchange [for the Garvey home] and also the funds that have been set aside to pay for Garvey’s boyhood home.
I think we’re being more than reasonable.”
Kingston, 17 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Government of Jamaica has executed compulsory acquisition of the boyhood home of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey in St Ann’s Bay.
In her address at the annual UNIA Marcus Garvey Awards this (Friday) evening — on the 131st anniversary of the National Hero’s birth — Minister Grange said the Commissioner of Lands has been given ministerial direction to take possession of the property.
Minister Grange said this development “clears the way for the establishment of the proposed living history museum in honour of the National Hero.”
The property, located at 32 Market Street in St Ann, has long been earmarked as the site for the Garvey Museum. The former Prime Minister, Mr Bruce Golding, broke ground for the construction of the museum in 2011. However, construction has been delayed as the Government negotiated with the occupants (now owners) of the property and has been assisting them to find alternative accommodations.
Minister Grange said it was time to get on with the project:
“For many years, we have been talking among each other, researching current ownership and announcing every year our intention to take over that home and convert it into a museum and centre for reflection on the works of our Hero. We have talked for a long time. We have negotiated for a long time. Now it’s time for action. We have acted through the governance process of compulsory acquisition to take over that location and start the work to convert it into the haven it must be in the Garden Parish of St. Ann.”
Minister Grange says that in keeping with the commitment given by the former Prime Minister to assist the occupants to find alternative accommodations, the Government will be taking action to relocate them to property that has been identified.
“I have been working closely with the Member of Parliament and the Housing Agency of Jamaica to finalise the relocation. We are showing goodwill and I anticipate full co-operation as we move ahead with establishing this important national monument,” said Minister Grange.
The technical designs have been completed and funding sourced for the construction of the museum. Minister Grange has instructed the Jamaica National Heritage Trust — which is leading the development of the museum — to “move swiftly to take possession of the property, acquire all outstanding approvals and to begin construction before the end of the year.”
Kingston, August 8 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport has said that this year’s Festival Grand Gala “represented more than anything else, the movement of our people and our music through history up to this point.”
Speaking in an interview at the Gala at the National Stadium last night, Minister Grange said that, “We took the journey from the original Jamaicans, the Tainos, through enslavement of our African ancestors through to Emancipation to the Indians being brought in as indentured labourers and then we moved into the Chinese who came to Jamaica and enriched our country with their culture.
“We are country of diverse culture and a special people.
“Out of many we became one and in 2018, we are celebrating Jamaica 56 – One, Love One Family. So this year’s Grand Gala is not just about the great performances, there is a message in the movement, there is a message in the music, there is a message in the song.”
She said that the dancers who performed at the Grand Gala were drawn from young people in 20 communities in St. Andrew and St, Catherine and were coached through various workshops in movements representing the history of the Jamaican people.
With regards to the music, Minister Grange said Ska has been singled out for special recognition this year. “Ska is the first of Jamaica’s popular music form that was exposed internationally. Ska has become one of the biggest genres in the world especially in Europe. And so we are honouring Ska exponents, Strangah Cole and Richie Stephens.”
She said that Strangah Cole was one of the pioneers of Ska and that Richie Stephens, in the next generation, took Ska to another level.
The Minister said the group Ska-nation from Italy had been specially invited to be on the show with Richie Stephens.
Miss Grange said that the other honoree, Damian Junior Gong Marley, took the music of his father, Bob, and launched it into Dance Hall as a deejay.
“Jamaica 56 is special”, the Minister said, “and you should know that half the crowd was outside as was in the Stadium. We had to put up a big screen in the National Arena to accommodate them.”
She said there was the Western Grand Gala and other Festival activities, including street dances, taking place.
Kingston, 31 July 2018 – After many months of planning, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she’s satisfied that all is set for Jamaica Festival which begins on Tuesday evening with the annual Emancipation Jubilee, marking 180 years since Full Freedom.
Jamaica Festival, which runs from July 31 to August 6, is the official celebration period for Emancipation and Independence. Minister Grange has been leading a programme of renewal and revitalisation of Jamaica Festival with the aim of ensuring that the celebrations are relevant, participatory, inclusive, inspirational and highlighting the best of Jamaica’s culture, values and the achievements of her proud people.
Among the events slated for revitalisation and renewal is the annual Emancipation Jubilee, which takes place at the Seville Heritage Park in St Ann.
“Jubilee remains one of our most important celebrations. It is one of the most worthy commemorations on our national calendar,” said Minister Grange.
Emancipation Jubilee commemorates the freedom of the African ancestors from enslavement. The event celebrates the spirit and triumphs of the ancestors and pays homage to their sacrifice by highlighting significant people, activities, events and creations along the road to freedom.
According to Minister Grange, Emancipation Jubilee “calls us to remember all those who resisted slavery, who fought the oppressive system, who gave their lives in pursuit of the freedoms we enjoy today — and whom we must continue to honour.”
Major features of the event include the re-enactment of the reading of the Proclamation of Freedom which granted freedom from enslavement to all the inhabitants of Jamaica as of the grand Augus’ Mawnin (August 1, 1838); traditional drumming and dancing; traditional Jamaican food including chaaklit tea; and floral tributes to the ancestors.
Minister Grange notes that this year, on the 180th anniversary of Full Freedom, is “an opportune time to reflect on the liberation mission, to review our knowledge of the Emancipation struggle and to present findings from historical and archaeological research about the nature of the movement and the people who led it from conception to execution.”
As such, the Jamaica National Heritage Trust — the agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport which leads the Emancipation commemorations — has been hosting an exhibition at the St Ann Parish Library (since last Wednesday) focussing on the condition of the ancestors as they fought for Emancipation. The JNHT will also display, at Emancipation Jubilee, powerful and emotive artefacts that have been uncovered in the quest to know more about the ancestors: how they coped, how they resisted and how they succeeded.
Minister Grange said:
“The improvements that we will continue to make to the Emancipation Jubilee programme, as part of the entire Jamaica Festival revitalisation effort over the next three years, will help to re-position this event as a must-attend activity each year. And therefore, given the importance of Emancipation Jubilee, I am happy that we are able to say that it will be free of charge again this year.”
Emancipation Jubilee starts at 8pm on Tuesday evening and continues until the early hours of Augus’ Mawnin with traditional rites.
There will also be several Emancipation Vigils across the country on Tuesday evening.
The Emancipation Day calendar also includes the opening of the Official Independence Village at the National Arena in Kingston where there will be daily activities and nightly entertainment including the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation, Mento Night, World Reggae Dance Championship, Mello Go Roun, and the Jamaica Gospel Song Finals ahead of the Grand Gala in the National Stadium on Independence Day, August 6.
Kingston, 12 July 2018 – “We promised a bigger and better Festival Song competition for 2018 and we are delivering on it,” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, as she announced plans for the staging of the first major event of Jamaica Festival — celebrating the nation’s 56th anniversary of Independence.
The Festival Song competition will culminate on Sunday, 15 July 2018 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre after months of training workshops, selection and development of finalists from more than 200 entries, studio recordings, music video productions, roadshows across the island and a motorcade in the Corporate Area.
According to the Culture and Entertainment Minister, “the crowd response has been tremendous” and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission is making preparation to accommodate a large crowd for the final on Sunday, which will be free to the public.
“It was important to put the energy back into the Festival Song competition,” said the Minister who made the decision to cancel last year’s competition — in part due to the dearth of quality entries — and order the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission to begin a series of developmental workshops. The result has been a marked improvement in the quality of entries.
Additionally, as part of moves to revive the competition, the Minister ordered a review of the prizes and has now announced that “the writer of the winning song will take home one million dollars and the singer(s) of the winning song will take home one million dollars; so for the winning song the prize money is two million dollars.”
Minister Grange has also announced other prizes: best performer (J$300,000); best vocalist (J$300,000); and best social media campaign (J$200,000). Each of the ten finalists will receive J$150,000 while all writers, producers and singers will receive plaques in recognition of their efforts.
Gates open at 6pm for the Festival Song Final on Sunday.
Minister Grange has indicated that similar review of the Gospel Song Competition will begin immediately after this year’s Jamaica Festival. “We are going rekindle the spirit of Gospel Festival and take it back to a level where it plays its pastoral and nurturing role in society,” said the Minister.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has underscored the importance of empowering professionals in the creative industries to operate at an optimum level as it is the creative industries that are now driving modern economies.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport celebrates the art of John Dunkley and also this genre that we call the 'Intuitives' in Jamaica.
The 2018 edition of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition continues to be one for the history books, from the record number of entries received to a 63-member church choir being named among the finalists. The choir along with the other nine finalists were selected at the competition’s semi-final concert, supported by a full house at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and with over 20,000 online viewers on Saturday, April 14.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport, says she is “delighted” that the Bustamante Museum has been “returned to a state that is befitting of the man for whom it is named.”
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, questions Professor Brian McFarlane on what inspired the paintings in his new exhibition ‘Fragments of time II’ now on display at Olympia Gallery in St Andrew. The exhibition, which marks the 40-year milestone of Professor McFarlane’s career, opened on Thursday, March 15.
Kingston, February 22 - Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange is bemoaning the destruction of the St. Ann’s Bay Methodist Church, in St. Ann that went up in flames early Tuesday morning.
History was made in the Jamaican Parliament today, when the Senate approved the Bill shortly entitled, 'The National Heroes and other Freedom Fighters (Absolution from Criminal Liability in Respect of Specified Acts) Act, 2017'.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport says the Ministry’s two-day workshop on Textile Conservation and Preservation which opened today at the Knutsford Court Hotel is part of the preparations for the establishment of the National Sport Museum.
Kingston, January 8, 2017 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says her Ministry will be expanding its Economic Opportunities Workshop programme to include the Maroon community of Accompong.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that thirty-one natural and cultural world heritage sites across 29 countries are vulnerable to a range of climate change related impacts.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has noted with sadness the passing of former Scotts Hall Maroon Colonel, Noel Prehay.
Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, announced that the Government is committed to the declaration and development of six lots on the Pinnacle lands in Sligoville, St. Catherine as a heritage site for the Rastafarian community.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has commenced discussions with members of the Rastafarian community in Jamaica on the issue of the preservation of Rastafarian intangible cultural heritage.
The CARICOM Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally started its Jamaica leg today with the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, handing over the Baton to the Head Boy and Head Girl of Paul Bogle High School in Morant Bay, St. Thomas.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, advises that Cabinet has approved the tabling of the bill entitled the National Heroes and Other Freedom Fighters (Absolution from Criminal Liability in Respect of Specified Events) Act in the Houses of Parliament.
October 5, 2017
Kingston Jamaica: National Heritage Week 2017 will kick-off with the Jamaica 55 National Heritage Week Interfaith Service on Sunday, October 8.
Kingston, October 4 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport today announced an expanded Culture Passport programme.
Plans are on track for the establishment of a permanent monument to Jamaica’s top cultural icon, Louise Bennett Coverley, Miss Lou.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says that she is looking forward to Devon House with a newly expanded ice-cream parlour and other developments there becoming one of the main locations for authentic Jamaican food.
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has welcomed cultural cooperation initiatives now under negotiation between the National Library of Jamaica and the Black Cultural Archives of the United Kingdom (UK).
“I am happy for the exposure and for the new markets that my designs will potentially be introduced to through this CARIFESTA experience,” said Paula Hurlock, Jamaican fashion designer, as she beamed with delight after showcasing her designs at the Grand Market Fashion at the weeklong Caribbean Arts Festival (CARIFESTA) being held in Barbados.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has announced that from this year, September 1 will be observed as the date on which the nation officially commemorates the Kendal Train Crash.
The National Gallery of Jamaica has received the sad news of the passing of Dr the Hon. David Boxer, O.J., one of the Caribbean region’s most eminent and influential art scholars, artists and art collectors. Dr Boxer served the National Gallery for some thirty-seven years, first as Director/Curator and from 1991 to 2013 as Chief Curator.
As she unveiled the Gateway sign leading to Jamaica’s first World Heritage site, the Blue and John Crow Mountains this morning, the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, promised to do more in the coming months to assist the parish of St. Thomas to earn more from its cultural assets.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced an expansion of the Culture Passport programme which enables holders to access some of Jamaica’s prominent heritage sites and cultural events free of charge or at a reduced cost.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says although Jamaica’s term on the World Heritage Committee is coming to an end, “Jamaica will continue to lobby for Small Island Developing States on matters relating to World Heritage.”
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for gifts that were handed over to the Institute of Jamaica.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says that entry to this year’s Emancipation Jubilee will be free of cost.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange, is travelling to Paraguay to participate in the VII Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities of the Organization of the American States (OAS) from November 17-18, 2016 in Asuncion.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange, today announced that the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) through the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ) will play a major role in bridging the gap between the Government of Jamaica and cultural communities across the island.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange, has officially launched the Miss Lou Archives at the National Library of Jamaica.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange, has described the new Peter Tosh Museum as one of the most important music heritage sites in Kingston.
The St. Catherine Parish Council was today (Thursday) named winner of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Spirit of Independence Competition in the category best decorated parish/town square.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through its agency, the National Gallery of Jamaica, will be moving to implement strategic programmes to encourage and facilitate the development of art to improve the quality of life for all Jamaicans.
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) are ramping up efforts, to promote and protect Jamaica’s artefacts.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says her Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Tourism towards maximising earnings from culture and entertainment.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has announced the inclusion of ‘Saga Boy’ and ‘Tan Tan’, two iconic pieces from the Trinidad carnival, by renowned Trinidadian artist, Peter Minshall, in this year’s Grand Gala.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has hailed the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) for its continued efforts in promoting Jamaica’s rich culture and creative talents.
Minister of Culture Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said the recent appointment of Senator the Honourable Thomas Tavares-Finson as Chairman of the new Board of Management of the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) forms part of the Ministry’s overall thrust to further develop and promote all aspects of culture in Jamaica.
Culture and Entertainment Minister, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says positioning the country’s culture at the centre of the Government’s Sustainable Development Agenda is a key objective of her Ministry.
Culture and Entertainment Minister, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, says the Government of Jamaica, through her Ministry, will be recommencing the maintenance programme for all sites belonging to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) starting with the Seville Great House, to be positioned at the centre of cultural activities in St Ann.
Culture Minister, the Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange has announced that Professor Verene Shepherd and Mrs. Laleta Davis Mattis will co-chair the National Commission on Reparations.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has officially launched the National Emancipation and Independence Celebrations – Jamaica 54 – announcing the theme, ‘Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright’ along with the wide range of activities that will take place across the island from July 31 to August 6.
As Jamaica joins the rest of the world in observing International Museum Day today May 18, under the theme, ‘Museums and Cultural landscapes,’ Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to public and private sector institutions and individuals who understand the value of museums and have sought to promote museums within the wider national community.
The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will lead the symbolic signing of the funding agreement between Jamaica and UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road office in Kingston. This agreement covers the revision of the National Culture Policy of Jamaica which was drafted in 2003.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, at a press conference at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), welcomed His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle - Selassie and his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, to Jamaica on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the State Visit of Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, to Jamaica on April 21, 1966.
“We are protecting the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage site not only for ourselves, but for the people of the world,” declared Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, as she unveiled the gateway signs, introducing the people of Papine and its surrounding communities to the fact that the university town is a major gateway to Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site.
Jamaica will join the rest of the world in observing World Heritage Day under the theme ‘The Heritage of Sport’.