Kingston, 1 November 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has released the following statement on the passing of the former Jamaican boxer, Bunny Grant.
“I have just received news of the passing of Bunny Grant, the Jamaican boxing pioneer. Long before Lennox Lewis, before Mike McCallum, before Shrimpy Clarke, there was Bunny Grant.
We will forever remember his victory over Dave Charnley, the Commonwealth Lightweight Champion, at the National Stadium on August 4, 1962 — just two days before Jamaica’s Independence Day. The happy impact of that victory on the entire country is a feeling I can never forget.
Bunny’s passion and humility endeared him to all. We all followed and celebrated with him throughout his 19 year career. Each of his victories was a victory for the Jamaican people.
I am always proud to speak about Bunny Grant, and I was honoured as the Minister to ensure that he was able to spend his final days in comfort.
We have lost a great champion.
I offer condolences to his family and friends.”
In October 2017, Minister Grange presented the former Jamaica boxing champion George ‘Bunny’ Grant with the keys to his newly refurbished home. The refurbishing project was undertaken by the Sports Development Foundation as part of the Jamaica 55 celebrations.
Kingston, 1 November 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to Sam Clayton — the Griot or storyteller for the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari group of drummers — who has passed away.
"Brother Sam was a personal friend; I had a close relationship with him and I will miss him. I was pleased to nominate him in 2008 for the Order of Distinction in recognition of his stellar contribution to Jamaican culture,” said Minister Grange.
Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, led by Brother Sam, did several well-received tours of Europe throughout the 1990s and helped put Wareika Hills and nearby Rockfort on the map as a musical hot spot.
Minister Grange said:
“In recent weeks I arranged for his friend Sister Barbara Makeda Blake-Hannah to visit him and see how he was doing. Though he was retired from performing and had been in failing health, he was still in good spirits.
The Jamaican music community has been enriched by the contribution of Brother Sam Clayton, and he will be remembered and respected as part of Jamaica’s music history.”
The Minister also recalled that Brother Sam participated in one of the most important acts in Rastafari history when he, along with Philmore Alvaranga and Douglas Mack, travelled on the 1961 Mission to Africa financed by the Jamaican Government to discuss the possibility of Jamaican Rastafari relocating to Ethiopia. The team had planned to stay for a few weeks, but ended up spending six months as guests of the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. When the Emperor made a visit to Jamaica in 1966, Brother Sam was one of 12 Rastafari to whom he presented gold medals.
Kingston, 17 October 2018 –The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has hailed the “historic achievement” of Jamaica’s team which qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this evening after defeating Panama on penalty kicks in Texas.
Minister noted that “the Reggae Girls have become the first Caribbean team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, an achievement that is well deserved and comes after overcoming several challenges and working very hard.”
Jamaica defeated Panama in a penalty-kick shootout in the third-place match of the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship.
The Reggae Girlz won the tie-breaker 4-2.
Minister Grange said:
“This is a glorious day. Words cannot truly describe this historic achievement by this group of young ladies, who through sheer grit and determination in a game in which both teams went all out for victory, came out victorious. Dallas, USA may be miles away, but at my office, we followed every kick, every tackle, every goal until that final penalty kick landed in the back of the goal.
“It was a total team effort. But special commendation to the goal scorers Khadija Shaw and 16 year old Jody Brown.
"The Reggae Girls have represented Jamaica well and we look forward to welcoming them home and to their performance in France in 2019.”
Minister Grange also congratulated the JFF as well as the coaching and support staff.
Paris, 12 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has committed J$5million towards the medical care of Jamaican footballer Luton Shelton.
Minister Statement follows:
"I've been made aware of Luton's illness through social media (no one has been directly in touch with me). Based on what I've seen, I am concerned and I am committing five million dollars towards his medical expenses.
I will ask the officers in the Ministry to reach out to his family so I can get further details."
It's been reported that Shelton was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Paris, 9 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the statue of Jamaican Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce will be unveiled on Sunday, 14 October 2018.
The unveiling will take place at a special ceremony at Statue Park in the National Stadium, where the statue will be mounted.
Minister Grange said the unveiling of the statue "was timed to coincide with the commemoration of Heritage Week.”
According to Minister Grange:
“Shelly-Ann is one of our modern day heroes whose accomplishments are an inspiration for the entire nation. It is quite fitting that we should unveil Shelly Ann’s statue at this time when we celebrate and highlight Jamaica’s rich heritage in all areas, including sport.”
Minister Grange has invited the public to attend the ceremony and witness the unveiling of Shelly Ann’s statue. “The statue is here in Jamaica; it has been installed and we’re all set for the unveiling on Sunday at the National Stadium. I look forward to welcoming members of the public as we celebrate this happy occasion with the outstanding pocket rocket,” said the Minister.
The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, will unveil the statue in the ceremony which will begin at 4:00 pm.
The bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — was designed by renowned sculptor Basil Watson.
Watson has been engaged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to design statues of four of Jamaica’s outstanding sports stars under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme. The statue in honour of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce is the second to be completed under the Programme. The first statue (of Usain Bolt) was completed and installed last December. The remaining statues — of Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell — are now in the design stage.
Paris, 8 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has praised the Jamaican fashion pioneer Ivy Ralph who passed away today (Monday).
Minister Grange described Mrs Ralph, the inventor of the Kareeba, as "one of the most creative Jamaicans."
Minister Grange said:
"Ivy Ralph took Jamaican fashion to the world in the 1970s when she created the Kareeba, elegant men's attire, to give men an alternative to the traditional jacket and tie — and it was a tremendous success across the world.
"Mrs Ralph stands tall as a pioneer of the native Jamaican fashion industry. Whenever and wherever there is talk of the Jamaican fashion industry, the name Ivy Ralph must be called. She laid the platform for the success of several of our fashion designers.
"Today, we salute her creative imagination that knew no boundaries.
"I also honour her as an outstanding mother who nurtured the talents of her children, supported them in their every endeavour and, in so doing, allowed them to take their rightful place in international arts and culture."
Minister Grange has expressed condolences to Mrs Ralph's family and friends.
Paris, 6 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Jamaica's Alia Atkinson who set a world record in the women's 50m Breaststroke at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Hungary today (Saturday).
Atkinson sped to victory in 28.56 seconds to better the old world record of 28.64 which she had established in 2016.
Minister Grange described Atkinson as a "phenomenal athlete who continues to do extraordinary things."
According to Minister Grange:
"This is an extraordinary achievement for Alia. I know she felt personal disappointment with her performance at the Commonwealth Games, but we were proud of her silver medal. But now here she is five months later breaking her world record. It goes to show, we must never give up. Alia continues to be an inspiration for us all and we are all very proud of this latest achievement."
Kingston, September 25 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, says the Government is taking the business of providing proper infrastructure for sports development very seriously.
The Minister was speaking at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the installation of an artificial turf at the football field at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence at the University of the West Indies on Tuesday.
“We have put plans in place to improve and maintain our sport infrastructure in a major way. A submission to resurface and upgrade the Stadium East facilities is now at Cabinet for sign off. We have just completed the procurement process and have selected a consultant who will prepare the business plan for the National Stadium,” Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange said that she was instructed by the Prime Minister to fast-track the redevelopment of the National Stadium and as such work will begin very soon in Stadium East and is to be completed before the start of the track season next year.
“For the National Stadium, we are now going to be moving quickly into the design stage. Once it’s complete most of the stadium will be covered and we will have good anti-doping facilities, proper dressing rooms, gym and all the other equipment that you will find in a first world facility,”
Miss Grange said.
She also said that the Ministry is in discussion with partners for the redevelopment of Chedwin Park, Drax Hall and Prison Oval.
“We are into a very exciting time for sports development. Let us all work together to take sports in Jamaica to greater heights with opportunities for all,” the Minister said.
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.