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).
Kingston 31 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she is happy to receive word that the Jamaican sculptor, Basil Watson, has been selected to create a monument in honour of the American civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr.
Watson who has created sculptures of Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frasier Pryce under contract with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was given the nod to design the tribute to Martin Luther King which will be erected in Atlanta, Georgia.
Minister Grange said:
“I am very proud that Basil Watson, an outstanding Jamaican artist, has been selected to develop a monument celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Basil has been one of our leading sculptors and this is a recognition of the great work that he does and an endorsement of Jamaican talent. I look forward to his design, which I know will be awesome and inspiring.”
Watson’s Martin Luther King monument is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
Watson is currently designing monuments in honour of Jamaican athletes Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell.
Kingston, December 10 – The Minister of Culture, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Kadijah Robinson, Jamaica's representative to the Miss World pageant, for her stellar showing as she finished in the top five of the competition held in Sanya, China.
Minister Grange said:
“It was an amazing feat securing a top 5 finish and gaining the Miss World Caribbean title, while being a wonderful exponent of our culture. Miss Robinson had the entire Asian continent doing Ding Dong popular dances to an authentic dancehall beat...simply amazing.
She has contributed to the brand of Jamaican excellence that has dominated the world. Kadijah is a true ambassador of our rich cultural heritage on the international stage.”
Vanessa Ponce de Leon from Mexico was declared the winner, becoming the first Mexican queen to win the coveted title.
Miss Robinson’s emphatic top five finish and the dance video have ignited widespread praise from Jamaicans across the Diaspora who have commended the daughter of Black River, St Elizabeth on her performance.
Robinson, a physiotherapist at the Black River hospital in St Elizabeth, was also crowned Miss World Caribbean.
Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius November 26, 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has arrived in the Republic of Mauritius for the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which began today (Monday, 26 November).
The Committee will consider, among other things, Jamaica's submission for the inscription of Reggae music on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to Minister Grange, “Reggae is uniquely Jamaican. It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world. It is important that we safeguard and protect Reggae music.”
Jamaica’s nomination is one of 40 to be decided on by the Committee which ensures the implementation to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003).
The Convention promotes the safeguarding of traditions and living expressions handed down from generation to generation, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
Minister Grange, who is first Jamaican Minister to be elected to the Committee, says she’s “happy to make the case to UNESCO for the inscription of Jamaica’s Reggae Music as our intangible cultural heritage.”
Minister Grange said the intention is to ensure that “Reggae music is recognised worldwide as the creative output of the Jamaican people.”
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity now has 399 elements including Maroon Heritage of Moore Town which was inscribed in 2008.
The Committee will end its deliberations on Saturday, 1 December 2018.
Kingston, October 26 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a new policy to honour former Prime Ministers of Jamaica.
According to Minister Grange effective immediately her Ministry will lead floral tributes on the birthdays of deceased former Prime Ministers.
Minister Grange announced the new policy today (Friday) at a Floral Tribute at National Heroes Park to commemorate the 107th Anniversary of the birth of the Most Honourable Sir Donald Sangster, the second Prime Minister of Jamaica.
“No longer should any of our former Prime Ministers be laid to rest and forgotten and their contributions to national development folded away in the pages of history books, only explored by those in academic pursuit or those who have a deep passion for their history.
“As we do for Sir Donald today, this initiative of my ministry will continue. We will also be observing and celebrating the life and work of the Most Honourable Michael Manley and the Most Honourable Hugh Shearer on the occasion of their birth anniversaries. Our Prime Ministers must not only be regarded in the living years. I am starting this tradition that no longer will they be forgotten. This is the standard for others to follow,” Minister Grange said.
Sir Donald Burns Sangster succeeded the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante in February 1967 and served until April of that year when he succumbed to sudden illness.
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, 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.
Kingston, November 14, 2017 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica has been elected to Unesco's Inter-governmental Council for the Information for All Programme for the period 2017-2021.
Jamaica has been elected to the Executive Board of Unesco following a successful campaign led by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.