Kingston 7 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment. Even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, he offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts. Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue.
Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.
I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into an economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond.
He will be sorely missed.”
Mr Crooks died on Friday. He was 69.
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, November 1 – The Government is making it easier for adolescent mothers to complete their education.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says,
“The Policy for the Reintegration of School-Age Mothers into the Formal School System makes it mandatory for adolescent mothers to return to the education system after the birth of their babies.”
Minister Grange was speaking at a Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation at the Jamaica Conference Centre today (Thursday), where she signed a Letter of Commitment with the Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the Honourable Floyd Green.
The policy will ensure automatic referral of all pregnant girls to the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, reintegration of all adolescent mothers into the formal school system, either in their former school or in another school at the same level and the monitoring of adolescent mothers to ensure that they complete their education.
Prior to this policy, the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport was responsible for negotiating spaces with schools.
Minister Grange said that over that past five years two thousand and two adolescent mothers have been reintegrated into the formal school system.
Kingston, September 25 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has extended condolences to the family and close friends of iconic record producer of Channel One fame – Joseph “Joe Joe” Hoo Kim.
“He was one of a kind,” said Grange.
Hoo Kim died peacefully in the arms of his wife Joyce at his Long Island New York home last week Thursday, September 20, 2018, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Grange said the loss of Hoo Kim signals the departure of another of our pioneers in the creation of this great art form we gave to the world called Reggae Music.
Born on Maxfield Avenue to parents of Chinese and Chinese-Jewish descent, Joe Joe went into the music business in the early 70s. He founded the Channel One Sound System before building a studio with the same name in 1972, along with younger brothers Paul, Kenneth and Ernest.
The studio worked closely with the legendary Sly Dunbar, a collaboration which was responsible for the creation of the rhythm for the Mighty Diamonds mega hit “when the right time come”. It was unique in many ways, including the introduction of a new drumming style with emphasis on the rim shots. Robbie Shakespeare later teamed up with Sly, to signal the start of perhaps Reggae’s best known and celebrated rhythm duo.
The studio band at Channel One in the 1970s was The Revolutionaries, one of the most sought-after backing bands of the time.
The label was to achieve more success with many other well-known artistes including Leroy Smart, Freddy McKay, Wailing Souls, Black Uhuru, Horace Andy, and Delroy Wilson.
Joe Joe produced the first Jamaican 12-inch single which was a mix that combined versions of “Truly” by The Jays and Ranking Trevor, sung or deejayed by a slew of recording artistes. This is a clear prototype for the modern dancehall song as it evolved over time.
Joe Joe's footprints extended to New York where he, along with wife Joyce, operated HIT BOUND, a pressing plant for vinyl records and later CDs.
Minister Grange said, “Joe Joe Hoo Kim was without question one of Jamaica’s greats of the music business. He has left behind a lasting legacy, particularly the rich Channel One catalogue, for which generations of musicians will be eternally grateful. Walk good my friend”.
Kingston, August 31 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has said that Fedrick Dacres winning of the 2018 Diamond League Trophy for discuss, “highlights the progress that Jamaica’s field athletics has made in international track and field competition.”
“Not only has Dacres performed well throughout his career, he has been having a wonderful season in 2018 and it was predictable that he would score big time. Today, when he won the first ever Diamond League Trophy for a field event by a Jamaican, he did just that.”
“In winning the Diamond League trophy, Dacres is also showing other field athletes what is possible with hard work and dedication and that Jamaica is capable of being much more than ‘The Sprint Factory’.
The Sport Minister said that Government would be moving to improve the physical infrastructure to support and advance field events.
Miss Grange praised the other athletes who participated in the Diamond League meet saying that,
“All we require of you is that you put your best foot forward for yourself and your country, whenever you take to the field or the track.”
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.
Sport Minister Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says she is thrilled by the recent performances of national teams which represented Jamaica in international tournaments over the weekend.
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, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, has expressed sorrow at the sudden passing of the Assignment Co-Ordinator at the Jamaica Gleaner, Glenroy Sinclair.
Jamaica and Ethiopia have agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the areas of sport and culture.