20 Jun 2019

Kingston 4 June 2019 – The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honourable Karl Samuda says schools will recognise the passing of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga on Wednesday (June 5).

Minister Samuda who has responsibility for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information says “students will mark Mr Seaga’s passing through either a cultural or religious expression during the final hour of the school day on Wednesday.”

Wednesday marks nine days since the passing of Mr Seaga.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and has called on all Jamaicans to join the celebration of Mr Seaga’s life through their own observances.

Minister Grange says “each Jamaican can celebrate Mr Seaga’s life and contribution through musical or other cultural expressions, candle light services, prayer vigils, church services, sports or any community activity that provides safe spaces for residents to come together and reflect.”

Mr Seaga, who was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.


20 Jun 2019

Kingston 4 June 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is encouraging Jamaicans to observe ‘nine night’ in honour of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga.

“Wednesday will be nine days since the transition of Mr Seaga and, as you all know, our tradition is to observe the ninth night,” said Minister Grange who announced that a traditional ‘nine night’ for Mr Seaga will be held in the Tivoli Gardens Square on Wednesday evening, beginning at 7:30.

Minister Grange said Mr Seaga “spent much of his life studying, understanding, appreciating, preserving and promoting Jamaican culture and it was important to him that we take pride in our culture and participate in the rituals that our people have created, and the ‘nine night’ is an important ritual in our culture.”

The ‘nine night’, based on African tradition, is a wake that takes place on the ninth night after a person’s death.

Minister Grange has encouraged Jamaicans who are unable to attend the ‘nine night’ in Tivoli Gardens to organise their own tributes to the former Prime Minister on Wednesday.


20 Jun 2019

Remarks by the Minister of Culture, Gender, 

Entertainment and Sport

the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP 

at News Conference announcing plans to honour

former Prime Minister Seaga 

Jamaica House

3 June 2019




Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult time for all of us as a nation.


The passing of one of our great sons, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga — who has served us so well — is a time of sadness.  It is a moment for reflection which calls us as a national family to come together in celebration of a life that was devoted to outstanding service, for building Jamaica and enriching its people.


Edward Phillip George Seaga was elected Prime Minister of Jamaica on October 30, 1980 — he became the fifth person to hold that position.


He has also held the posts of:

  • Minister of Finance and Planning (1967-1972) 
  • Minister of Development and Welfare (1962-1967)


During his service to our country, he was responsible for developing a comprehensive range of financial institutions to make Jamaica's Capital Market network a model for developing countries. 

These include the: 

  • Jamaica Stock Exchange 
  • Introduction of merchant banking
  • Jamaica Development Bank Jamaica Mortgage Bank
  • Jamaica Unit Trust

Rural and urban planning and the environment have also been prime areas of focus for Mr Seaga.  He spearheaded waterfront development in the main coastal towns and cities, rural and urban township development programmes, and the development of parks and markets. 


Among his achievements are:

  • Reclamation and development of Ocho Rios waterfront (Turtle Beach)
  • transformation of ‘Back-o-Wall’ slum to develop Tivoli Garden, a modern, fully planned urban development; Hellshire Hills Development; Portmore Town Centre; Torrington Park Housing Scheme
  • Reclamation of Montego Bay waterfront


Mr Seaga also led the creation of a wide range of social programmes which expanded training in human resources, aided small enterprises and protected the poor and vulnerable. 


Achievements include:

  • Introduction of the National School Feeding Programme
  • Introduction of HEART (Human Employment & Resource Training)
  • development of Residential halls for UWI, UTECH and Cultural Training Centre (Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) 


In the area of Culture, Mr Seaga’s achievements are well known.  And he was the quintessential builder of institutions in this country — the majority of which still continue to serve us well today.


Edward Seaga's political career began in 1959, when the Founder of the Jamaica Labour Party, Sir Alexander Bustamante, invited him to serve in the Upper House of the Jamaican Legislature. The Legis­lative Council later became the Senate. His appointment at the age of 29 made him the youngest member in the history of the Legis­lative Council. He was also the youngest member among the architects of the 1962 Constitution which proclaimed Jamaica as an independent country. 


In April 1962, Mr. Seaga was elected Member of Parliament for Western Kingston in the first Parliament of Jamaica — he went on to serve the constituency for more than 40 years. He was made a member of the first Cabinet, and appointed Minister of Development and Welfare. 


The State Funeral accorded to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga continues the tradition of a grateful Nation bidding farewell to its leaders in a formal manner with appropriate dignity and ceremony. 


In the prevailing policy directive, the Government of Jamaica, through its Cabinet accords Official and State Funerals to the following persons:


  • Governors-General and Prime Ministers who die whilst in office
  • National Heroes
  • Members of Cabinet
  • Such other persons, including former Governors-General, former Prime Ministers, and Members of Cabinet who the Cabinet may from time to time determine to be eligible for such consideration.


The Office of the Prime Minister convenes and chairs the Inter-Ministerial Planning Committee to co-ordinate the detailed planning and execution of the Funeral. The Committee is comprised of Government entities that typically plan and execute such State ceremonial events.  The Committee may include inter alia the Office of the Governor-General, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as well as the Military (Jamaica Defence Force) and Security (Jamaica Constabulary Force) Arms of Government.


The Chancery and Protocol Division of the Office of the Prime Minister is therefore responsible for the planning and coordination of State and Official funerals. But it discharges this responsibility with the collaboration of relevant government departments and agencies consequent on the formal Decision taken by the Government through the deliberations of the appointed Inter-Ministerial Planning Committee for State ceremonials.


The Key elements of the process would customarily encompass, the formal announcement by the Prime Minister of the passing of the official of State or Government, and of the decision to accord a State or Official Funeral; the establishment of an Official Period of Mourning (flags at half mast, signing of condolence books); the agreement of a Funeral date, the convening of the Planning Committee; the preparation, coordination and execution in accordance with plans of the State or Official Funeral Service  activities and arrangements including formal interment elements such as  laying of wreaths by high officials of State and Government.


Official Activities:

Monday, June 3, 2019

10am - 3pm: Opening of Condolence Books

Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT)

Jamaica’s Missions overseas

Condolence Books will be opened at each Municipality Office in all Parish Capitals


Tuesday, June 4, 2019 – Friday June 21, 2019

10am - 3pm: Opening of Condolence Books

Houses of Parliament (Gordon House)


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Jamaica Labour Party Headquarters, Belmont Road 


Friday, June 7, 2019

9:00am - 12:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Civic Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, St James 

2:00pm - 5:00pm:  Lying-In-State

St John’s Anglican Church, Ocho Rios, St Ann

7:00pm:  Candlelight Vigil

Ocho Rios Pier, St Ann (members of Watt Town Revival Church will participate)


Monday, June 10, 2019

10:00am - 1:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Tivoli Gardens Community Centre 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

10:00am - 1:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Denham Town Community Centre 


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

7:30pm: The Arts in Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga

Little Theatre, Kingston 

(Featuring - NDTC, Jamaica Folk Singers, Tivoli Dance Troupe, et al, and Spoken Tributes from University of the West Indies and University of Technology)


Wednesday, June 19, 2019 to Saturday, June 22, 2019

Official Period of Mourning 

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

National Arena 

2:00pm: Special Sitting of Both Houses of Parliament in Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga

Gordon House 


Thursday, June 20, 2019

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

National Arena 


Sunday, June 23, 2019

12:00pm: State Funeral

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity


National Heroes Park (following Funeral Service)


Additionally, the West Kingston constituency will host a series of activities to celebrate the life of the late former Prime Minister as follows:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

7:30pm: Nine Night

Tivoli Gardens Square


Sunday, June 16, 2019

TBC Football tribute: Tivoli Gardens Invitational vs Premier League All-Stars

Edward Seaga Sports Complex


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

7:30pm: Revival Table

Tivoli Gardens Community Centre


Saturday, June 22, 2019

7:30pm: Set Up

Tivoli Gardens Square


Please note:

Candlelight Vigils are being planned for areas across the constituency, including Fletcher’s Land, Mid-Town and Denham Town 


Lying in state

As per Family’s wishes, the Casket will remain closed and draped with the National Flag. Those paying their respects will file past solemnly as directed within the ceremonial area.


Music Industry tribute

The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and its Agencies (JCDC, Jamaica Music Museum, etc) will use International Reggae Day – July 1, 2019, to highlight and celebrate the contribution of the late Most Honourable Edward Seaga to the birth and development of Reggae Music.  The event will be called Music Industry Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga and will be staged at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.


Mr. Seaga’s pioneering recognition of the transformative power of the ARTS first came to international recognition when in the late 1960s, as Minister of Development and Welfare, he promoted  the concept of an international “cultural bank” leading to the establishment of the International Fund for the promotion of Culture by UNESCO in the 1970s. This paved the way for intangible cultural patrimony like Reggae Music to gain a foothold in the international arena. 


Recognition of regional and international communities

Notifications of the passing of the former Prime Minister are being issued by the Government through diplomatic channels as is customary.


Announcements will be made at a later date as to foreign personalities who will be in attendance at the funeral. But several tributes from regional and international Governments and Leaders have already been received by the Prime Minister.

20 Jun 2019

Kingston 28 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to the former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, who passed away today.

Minister’s statement follows:

“Some people make such a telling impact on people, communities and countries — and Edward Seaga was one of them.

He was the kindest, most caring, most brilliant man I’ve ever known and I loved him dearly. It has been my greatest pleasure to learn from him and to work with him.

He taught me to dine with kings and walk with beggars and to give respect to receive respect.

Today on his 89th birthday, Jamaica and the world lost a great leader; and I have lost my teacher, my mentor and my friend.

I give credit to Mr Seaga for much that I have achieved in my professional life. He saw great potential in me and invested his time and effort into helping me to rise and to contribute to the country that we both love.

Mr Seaga loved Jamaica and our people. He understood the value of our culture and way of life in a way that few other people do. He dedicated his life to advancing Jamaica in every way; and we have become a cultural powerhouse because of Mr Seaga’s vision and service.

All of us — especially those of us from West Kingston — are heartbroken today — he was ‘closer than a brother.’ But in this moment, we are also proud to have benefitted from, be associated with, and counted as family by Edward Seaga. And to us, he was and will always be family.

Thank you for your service, Mr Eddie. Thank you for loving us and working so hard for each of us every day. Walk good. I will always love you.”


20 Jun 2019

Kingston 11 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed deep concern about the reported maltreatment of Reggae artiste JahDore and his family by the police.

Minister Statement follows:

I am shocked and deeply concerned by the allegations against the police made by Rastafari Reggae artiste JahDore. The very serious allegations surround human rights abuses, including physical violence and the infringing of religious freedom involving the alleged feeding of meat which is forbidden by the family and the cutting of locks.

If these allegations are true, they are unacceptable and an affront to justice and the peaceful ‘livity’ that we all desire; they should be condemned in the strongest manner; and the perpetrators left to face the consequences.

Many Jamaicans, including members of the Ratafari community, share my concern about these allegations and are anxious for us to get to the bottom of what happened. I have been in touch with my colleague Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, on the matter and I welcome the quick intervention of the Commissioner of Police to order an immediate investigation.

I have also spoken with JahDore and assured him of the Government’s commitment to investigate and take appropriate action where necessary. I also assured him of my respect for and commitment to the Rastafari community and its beliefs and will fight any act to deprive Rastas of their rights.


20 Jun 2019





30 April 2019


Today, we celebrate International Jazz Day and the power of the music to bring people together in love, peace and unity.

We also celebrate the influence of Jazz on Jamaican music and the contribution of Jamaican musicians to Jazz internationally.

Our musicians such as Bertie King, Dizzy Reece, Monty Alexander and Ernie Ranglin established themselves internationally — long before ska, rock steady and Reggae captivated the world.

Those early Jazz musicians set the foundation for Bob Marley and others to place Jamaica at the top of the international music scene.

Today the Reggae music of Jamaica is at the centre of brand Jamaica.

In celebration of International Jazz Day, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport joins the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts in staging a Concert at Devon House this evening.

We’re happy to have the acclaimed Trombonist Steve Turre join with our local Jazz musicians for what promises to be a great evening of music.

I hope you’ll join us.


Olivia Grange, CD, MP

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

20 Jun 2019

Kingston 27 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Jamaica endorses the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is an initiative of the Government of the Republic of Ghana which is intended to encourage people of African descent to visit Africa.

Speaking at the Caribbean launch of the Year of Return in Kingston on Sunday (today), Minister Grange said:

“Jamaica looks forward to a successful Year of Return and we will work with Ghana towards a successful year.  Jamaica observes the International Decade of People of African Descent and so it is all very timely that we work together.  

“We are connected. Ghana was a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and we are happy that you have opened the door this year for people in the African Diaspora to return.”

“And as Jamaicans, we’re proud to see that our Reggae music will form the soundtrack for the Year of Return.”

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Her Excellency Catherine Afeku said it was important to begin the Year of Return programme for the Caribbean in Jamaica.

Minister Afeku said:

“This is the Maroon country where liberation struggles started even before Independence.  So we started here for symbolism.  We want to invite you home, but we want to invite you coming back with that sense of strength that you are a descendant that survived.”

Minister Afeku said the Year of Return was an opportunity to highlight the strength of African peoples who survived the transatlantic slave trade.

According to her, “We have scientists who are the descendants of slaves, we have astronauts who are descendants of slaves.  We have the Bob Marleys who are the descendants of slaves.  We have the Usain Bolts who are the descendants of slaves.  That is a positive story.”

The Ghanaian Minister is encouraging Jamaicans to make a pilgrimage to Africa, beginning with her country, even once in their lifetime.

“Ghana is opening its arms.  Ghana is opening its doors.  We want you to come and take a heritage that belongs to you.  So it is not a favour, it is yours.  We are here to assure you that you can make a home on the continent starting with Ghana,” said Minister Afeku.

Minister Grange said consideration is being given for direct flights between Jamaica and Ghana in support of the Year of Return initiative.

The year-long celebrations include music and food festivals, summits, investment fora and product exhibitions.


The voice of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange


The voice of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Her Excellency Catherine Afeku
20 Jun 2019

Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness has expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Namibia for naming a street in the capital, Windhoek, in honour of Jamaica’s first national hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey.

The street renaming ceremony took place this afternoon (July 23) during Prime Minister Holness’ official working visit to Namibia.

“Naming a street in this capital city of Windhoek in honour of Marcus Garvey represents a demonstration of posterity of the value of the contribution of one who has played a lead role in countering negative appellations forced on black people in Africa and the Diaspora,” said Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister noted that the historic renaming of the street is a symbol of pride and honour.

“We in Jamaica are extremely proud yet deeply humbled that you have chosen to honour one of our own in this tangible way. This great gesture will undoubtably create curiosity among future generations, as they seek answers to the question, who was Marcus Garvey,” said the Prime Minister.

He said Jamaica continues to strengthening ties with its brothers and sisters on the African continent.

“It is a symbol of our geo cultural and spiritual unification. Further it is important for those of us African peoples dispersed far afield in places like the Caribbean and the Americas to have the opportunity to join in a gesture that re-establishes the original bonds of family and shared destinies. It is a truly good feeling that augurs well for ongoing and future collaboration.

The Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero was a celebrated Pan Africanist, philosopher and leading exponent of black pride and consciousness. He was a self-declared citizen of a global Africa.

Prime Minister Holness said he is encouraged by the impact of the naming of the street in honour of Mr. Garvey on the youth. He expressed the hope that it will cause stories of strength of conviction to be told again and again.

The Prime Minister also highlighted that it was fitting that the renaming was being done during the celebration of the Nelson Mandela centenary.



20 Jun 2019

Kingston, December 7 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has told the Argentinian Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Ariel Fernandez, that Jamaica is looking forward to building cooperation with Argentina in areas such as the exchange of professionals, specialists, researchers, students and creators in the different fields of culture and art, as well as in tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

20 Jun 2019

The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) are ramping up efforts, to promote and protect Jamaica’s artefacts. 

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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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Jamaica, W.I.

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