19 Mar 2019

Kingston, March 19 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has contributed 3.5 million dollars to Netball Jamaica to help send the Sunshine Girls to the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

The Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange presented the cheque to Patricia Robinson, 1st Vice President of Netball Jamaica today.

“I am happy to present this cheque of 3.5 million dollars to Netball Jamaica which will be of great assistance as you prepare for the World Cup. Jamaica is fortunate. This is the year of the girls, our Sunshine Girls are going to England in July and our Reggae Girls to France in June. We are looking for great things,“

Minister Grange said.

The Sunshine Girls who are ranked third in the world have qualified for the World Cup every year since 2015.

The Ministry’s contribution to the Sunshine Girls is being provided through the Sports Development Foundation.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston, March 12 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Kingston is among the first group of cities selected by UNESCO to participate in its community based Inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in urban contexts pilot project.

The Minister made the announcement at the opening of a week-long workshop examining the types of intangible cultural heritage that exists within communities in Kingston on Monday at the Trench Town Multipurpose Centre.

“Many Jamaicans associate intangible cultural heritage with the rural areas and of a past era when our elders would transmit to us, knowledge about plants, Anansi stories, duppies and how to make the best run dung. This workshop, will, however, for the first time, examine what intangible cultural heritage exists within an urban space. The fact that Jamaica and Kingston, in particular, was selected for this pilot is a signal from UNESCO of the respect it has for the island’s culture and cultural elements,” Minister Grange said.

The workshop includes participants from the communities of Trench Town and Port Royal.

The UNESCO project seeks to contribute to the international debate on safeguarding living heritage in urban contexts with links to sustainable development through community based inventories of intangible cultural heritage in nine cities in different regions of the world. 

The first group of pilot cities will also involve communities in George Town (Malaysia) and Harare (Zimbabwe).

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 1 March 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a special allocation to Special Olympics Jamaica to enable the national team to compete at the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi later this month.

“As Minister of Sport, I commit to supporting the Special Olympics programme in Jamaica. And in times like these when our athletes are preparing to represent us in the world games, special funding is also made available. We have provided this time around J$2M,” said Minister Grange at a handing over ceremony at the Ministry’s headquarters today (Friday).

The special allocation is provided by the Ministry through the Sports Development Foundation and is in addition to the subvention that Special Olympics Jamaica receives each month from the SDF to fund its programme.

Wishing the athletes well ahead of their departure, Minister Grange told them that they “represent the best of Jamaica — our heart, our spirit, our strength and we are extremely proud of you.”

The 2019 games, which will take place in the UAE capital between March 8 and 22, is being billed as the most unified Special Olympics World Games in the history of the Special Olympics.

Jamaica will send a 98 member delegation — with our athletes competing in Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Football, Volleyball, and Rollerskating.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 22 February 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed shock and sadness at the passing of playwright, cultural practitioner, and member of the Board of Commissioners of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Aston Cooke.

Minister Grange said:

“The news of Aston’s passing on this Jamaica Day is a blow for us all. But Aston would be proud of the glorious display and embrace of Jamaican culture in our schools and communities. Our culture was his life. He displayed a level of commitment to his culture that must be emulated and admired.

“In the midst of our cultural celebrations today, we say farewell to a gentleman who has left us a proud legacy that echoes the makings of a cultural icon. We are sure the spirit and legacy of Aston Cooke will live on.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the JCDC, I wish to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Aston Cooke. Be comforted in the fact that his legacy is untouchable and that he has given his best years to what he loved dearly, his culture.”

Minister Grange has been joined in expressing condolences by Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the JCDC, Mexine Bissasor, who has been equally saddened at the loss.

Mrs. Bissasor said:

“Many giants go about their lives quietly whilst others can be heard shouting from their lofty heights as they journey through life’s ups and downs. Aston Cooke was a quiet giant who contributed to Jamaica’s culture and specifically, theatre, without fuss or clamour. He did what he felt was his duty to country and culture regardless of any hindrances.”

“His legacy is one that speaks to love, passion and honour. His deep love for the artform saw him being a part of all the veins of the heart of the industry; he has served the Commission three different times up to the day of his death. He also served at its highest level having been chairman for the period 2013-2016.”

Aston Cooke was one of Jamaica’s leading playwrights and the recipient of nine national Actor Boy Awards for outstanding achievement in various categories of theatre in Jamaica. Cooke was an inductee to the Caribbean Hall of Fame for Arts and Culture for his contribution to Jamaican theatre over the years.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston, February 14, 2019 (JIS): During the new legislative year, the Government will seek to amend the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) Act to align Jamaica’s valuable cultural heritage with global designation benchmarks and further promote the country’s culture.

The Cultural and Creative Economy Act as well as the Entertainment Industry Act will also be brought to the House for approval.

This was announced by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who delivered the Throne Speech during the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Thursday (February 14) under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.

“Jamaica scored a major victory with the inscription of reggae music on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,”

the Governor-General said.

This, he said, demonstrates that reggae “has served to foster a better understanding of musical art as a tool for promoting dialogue among people and appreciating cultural diversity among ethnic groups worldwide”.

Also to be undertaken during the new legislative year is continued review of key pieces of legislation to support the elimination of gender-based violence, including the Domestic Violence Act, Offences Against the Person Act, and the Sexual Offences Act. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill is to be tabled.

In the area of Sport, the Government will seek to conclude a review of the National Sport Policy along with a study on the contribution of sport to national development and employment.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston, 12 February 2019 – As part of its ongoing programme of support to the development of local community radio, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO (an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport) and the UNESCO Caribbean Office recently sponsored a 3-day training workshop for volunteers of the Accompong Maroon community radio station, Abeng 88.7 FM.

Conducted under the theme: ‘Building a Sustainable Community Radio Station’, the participants received training in news and script-writing, programme production, interview techniques, digital editing, on-air presentation, and studio equipment maintenance.

30 volunteers from the Accompong community benefitted from the training.

Station Manager for Abeng 88.7 FM, Mrs Norma Rowe Edwards, said the training of the station volunteers was timely and welcomed as it equipped them with important skills and techniques they can use to better contribute to the work and functioning of the station.

“As a community radio station, volunteer effort is essential,” Mrs Rowe noted, adding that “the training of the volunteers forms an important part of the strategy towards making Abeng 88.7 FM a viable community radio station.”

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Chair of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Culture, underscored the commitment of the Commission in building a sustainable Accompong community radio station.

Minister Grange said,

“The capacity of the station has been strengthened as a result of the training and the people of Accompong and adjoining communities can anticipate not only better programmes but greater people participation in creating content for the radio station.”

Secretary-General, Everton Hannam, said the National Commission remains committed to supporting the further development of Abeng 88.7 FM so it can become a model station within the UNESCO family of community radio stations.

The station was set up two years ago with funding from UNESCO.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 10 February 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Jamaican superstar Shaggy and his English collaborator Sting on their 2019 Best Reggae Album win at the Grammy Awards taking place in Los Angeles this evening.

Minister Grange said:

“I’m very happy to send congratulations to Shaggy and Sting for winning the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Well done to them both for continuing the tradition of producing high quality Reggae music.”

The title of the winning album is 44/876 which refers to the area codes of the UK and Jamaica.

“In a way the title tells a bit of the story of our Reggae. It is a unique Jamaican creation, made on our island by our people. Reggae is a gift from the 876 to the people of the world who have embraced it in several ways, even as practitioners of the music,” said Minister Grange.

Minister Grange has also congratulated Black Uhuru, Etana, Ziggy Marley and Protoje who were in the running for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 5 February 2019 – The Chairman of the Entertainment Advisory Board, Howard McIntosh, is calling for “global support of Reggae Month by Jamaicans at home and abroad.”

McIntosh was speaking after the well-attended Reggae Month Church Service at Fellowship Tabernacle on Sunday.

He said he hoped to see “hundreds of thousands to visit our shores in February next year consistent with our objectives to have 5 million tourists visit our shores annually.”

McIntosh also encouraged the local media to support Reggae Month by playing more Jamaican music during the period. “We need to celebrate our music legacy in as many ways possible,” he said.

The Entertainment Advisory Board was appointed by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, as part of her programme to establish the appropriate infrastructure on which to construct a viable and vibrant creative economy.

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 5 February 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the passing of the Reggae singer Joel ‘Bunny’ Brown.

During his career, which began in 1968, Brown was a member of several groups including The Wildcats, Mighty Mystics, Dynamic Vision, The Falcons and Chosen Few — with whom he recorded the hit ‘Queen Majesty’. He also backed Luther Vandross, The Blow and Lisa Fisher.

Minister Grange said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of Bunny Brown’s passing. He was an ambassador for our music for 50 years. At this time when we celebrate Reggae Month and the pioneers of our music, we must remember and honour Bunny Brown’s contribution. I convey deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

19 Mar 2019

Kingston 1 February 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced financial support for local Premier League teams.

Minister Grange said she had “heard the cries of the clubs that are struggling financially and we have been able to arrange a special, one-off grant, in the sum of J$7.2 million dollars through the Sports Development Foundation to the 12 Premier League clubs.”

Each club will receive J$600,000 in total to be paid in monthly instalments of J$150,000.

In addition, the Premier League Clubs Association will receive a similar amount of J$600,000 to assist with Administrative Expenses during the season.

“The payments will begin immediately,” said Minister Grange.

“I believe that this special grant from the SDF will ease the pressure on both the clubs and the PLCA and ensure that we have a successful league season,”

added the Minister.

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We place people at the heart of everything we do.

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We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange


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