05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 1 June 2020 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has been plunged into mourning this morning, upon learning of the death overnight of the former Permanent Secretary, Alison McLean.

Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange, said the news came as a shock:
"This really breaks my heart. Alison was the consummate professional in a career which spanned academics, administration and regional service.

I found her to be a rather pleasant person who had time for light hearted moments and humour.

I consider her death untimely as I am convinced she had much more to contribute to her country and the region.

We are certainly grateful for a life that was distinguished by service to country and region.”

Alison McLean was a former Business Development and Organisational Development Executive who successfully changed career paths to serve as the first Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

She was recognised and highly respected for her fearless advocacy for human rights and environmental stewardship. She blazed an unrivalled trail of activism and her unbridled passion for good corporate governance has been exemplified by many here in Jamaica as well as the wider Caribbean region.

Minister Grange added:
“I hail her contribution as a true gender champion, having led the charge as Head of UN Women, Multi-Caribbean Office.

On behalf of the government, I extend deepest condolences to her immediate and extended families, including our family in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.”

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 29 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has issued the following statement at the passing of the Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Honourable Shahine Robinson.

Minister’s Statement:

Today, my soul hurts deeply.

The passing of my dear sister and friend, Shahine Robinson, was not unexpected but still, it hits like a tornado.

My heart, my prayers and love go out to her family.

Shahine Robinson was quiet and unassuming, but she was very effective.

Over the past 20 years, we have walked a political journey in which we matched strides in reaching a common destination and achieving a common goal. We wanted to see a better way of life for our constituents, the people of Jamaica and particularly the women of this country.

When Shahine came to Parliament in 2001, after what is still one of the biggest political upsets in Jamaican history, she joined me as the only female on the Opposition side. She became my little sister.

Having directed the public relations aspect of her campaign, I knew her very well and I knew what she had to offer.

She was a gentle and kind soul who gave dedicated service to the people of North East St Ann as their MP.

Shahine led with her heart whether she handling constituency affairs or leading a Ministry. She did every duty with passion and compassion for the welfare of the most vulnerable. Her passionate advocacy on behalf of the poor will always be remembered.

I could readily call on Minister Robinson for support in any area of her portfolio responsibilities.

Shahine will be sorely missed in the Cabinet, in the Parliament, at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and in her beloved North East St Ann, where the people became part of her family.

Shahine, my sister, I will always love you. You are forever in my heart. You have served well and now your work is over. Sleep in peace and may the angels guide your path as you transition to a better place.

Blessings, always.

Babsy.

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 22 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Telethon Jamaica has so far raised J$60 million to purchase Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers.

The Minister made the announcement as she accepted a symbolic cheque for J$2 million from Restaurants of Jamaica Group (operators of KFC and Pizza Hut in Jamaica) on Friday (today) at her offices in New Kingston.

Minster Grange said:
“We are now up to 60 million dollars in collection and pledges. We have collected most of what has been pledged and today, KFC have delivered their cheque to us.”

The Brand Manager for Restaurants of Jamaica, Andrei Roper said:
“It was necessary for us to step up and make a contribution like this to show how much we value the contribution being made by those persons who are putting themselves at risk for all of us on a day-to-day basis.”

Minister Grange said she was heartened by the support that Telethon Jamaica continues to receive. “I am really happy to see how Corporate Jamaica and the Jamaica Diaspora have contributed tremendously to this effort,” said Minister Grange who highlighted the generosity of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organisations in the United States which originally pledged US$10,000 but wired US$11,000 into the account.

Minister Grange said the effort has also benefitted from sizeable contributions by the Bob Marley Foundation, Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League, Ziggy Marley, Rohan Marley, Alacran, Keith Duncan, the St Thomas Renaissance Foundation, Joe Bogdanovich, Usain Bolt, Blackpoint Electronics, DAN Industries and Robert Livingston.

The Minister said the process of transferring the money collected to the National Health Fund, which is the government agency procuring PPEs for frontline workers, has started.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Fund, Mr Everton Anderson, said the Telethon has really helped to equip frontline workers with the gear they need.

Mr Anderson said:
“To date, we’ve received in the region of US$80,000 yesterday, another US$47,000 prior and about J$12 million. This is a major initiative and a successful initiative and we must commend all the persons involved in coming up with this idea. It has really brought overseas Jamaicans, individuals and businesses, together, doing something positive for Jamaica and the health team, every single health worker, appreciates this.”

Minister Grange also thanked members of the entertainment community, at home and abroad, for contributing their time and effort towards equipping frontline workers with PPEs.

“A number of Jamaica artistes came on board and continue to give support,” said Minister Grange.

She said that the Telethon Jamaica Highlights show that will be broadcast on national television and on social media across the world on Monday, May 25 will feature some of the artistes who were not in the original broadcast.

The Minister said that people will be able to make a contribution to the effort to provide PPEs for frontline workers while enjoying the music.

“It’s not only about the money,” said Minister Grange. “It’s also about sharing with others the inspiration that will come from the performances that we will see as we stand together in this time.”

The two-hour Telethon Jamaica Highlights Show will be broadcast and streamed online from 5pm on Monday on TVJ, 1 Spot Media, PBC Jamaica, OnStage TV, The Gleaner’s Website, VP Records’ YouTube channel, Caribbean Elite Magazine’s YouTube channel, Jamaicans Inspired UK Social Media Platforms, CEEN TV, C Core TV New York, Reggae Social Media Facebook page, Live Reggae TV’s Facebook page, Flexx FM Miami, Reggaeville’s Facebook page, SLEEK Jamaica’s Instagram page.

To make a donation online, visit www.jatogetherwestand.com or www.mypaymaster.com.

To donate by telephone, call 876-960-9632-4, 1-866-228-8393 (toll free from Jamaica, the United States or Canada) or +44 0808 189 6147 (toll free from UK and Europe).

Cash/cheque donations are accepted at any Paymaster location in Jamaica.

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 22 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the cleaning of the statues of the nation’s founding fathers — The Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante and the Right Excellent Norman Manley — at St William Grant Park in Downtown, Kingston will be this year’s National Labour Day Project.

The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, will lead a “small and social distanced team, taking all the safety precautions that will work to clean up, fix up and plant around the statues of the two National Heroes on Monday,” said Minister Grange.

The cleaning of the statues, which is quite an involved technical process, has already begun under the management of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust which is mandated to maintain and extend the life of national monuments as part of its conservation programme.

The scope of work for the National Project also includes repairs to the base of the statues, repair of electrical conduits and landscaping.

Minister Grange said the National Labour Day Committee was “careful to select national and parish projects which can be implemented by small teams, without putting anyone’s health at risk, while honouring the aim of the annual Labour Day observance which is to celebrate work and workers and volunteering our labour to make a difference in our communities.”

Labour Day is being observed on Monday, May 25 under the theme, Labour At Home: Clean Up, Fix Up, Plant Up!

Minister Grange is urging Jamaicans to work on their homes as the country prepares for the start of the hurricane season.

Parish projects, to be led by Mayors across the country, include the cleaning of the monument in tribute to National Hero, the Right Excellent Sam Sharpe, in Montego Bay, St James as well as the cleaning and sanitising of the Lucea Market in Hanover and the Junction Market in St Elizabeth.

Clean up and Fix up work will take place at the Mandeville Police Station in Manchester, the St Ann’s Bay Police Station in St Ann, the Savanna-la-Mar Fire Station in Westmoreland and the Indigent House in Martha Brae, Trelawny.

The Municipal Corporations in St Mary and Portland will focus on the infirmaries in their respective parishes.

The Clarendon Municipal Corporation will fix up and plant up the Mitchell Town Park while in St Thomas, the Municipal Corporation will build garbage receptacles in Airy Castle & Leith Hall and construct a bus shed at Prospect.

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 20 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the government will present Telethon Jamaica highlights instead of the traditional concert on Labour Day.

Minister Grange said the highlights package will be broadcast on national television and online.

Telethon Jamaica has raised more than J$55 million towards providing much-needed additional resources to Jamaica’s health services in the wake of covid-19.

Minister Grange said:
“I can announce that we have received the majority of the sums that have been pledged so far to Telethon Jamaica. I say ‘so far’ because we continue to get calls from people who want to contribute to this effort. During the broadcast on Labour Day, we will have a team on hand to take calls and guide people who want to contribute to this very important effort. But people don’t have to wait until Monday; they can contribute right now on the website — www.jatogetherwestand.com — and it will go straight into the account.”

The Telethon Jamaica Highlights show will be broadcast on Labour Day between 5pm and 7pm on TVJ and PBCJ and several social media platforms, including VP Records YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/VPRecords).

Minister Grange said:
“Although it’s a highlights show, it will include new performances from leading and upcoming Jamaican artistes who we were unable to include in the original telethon — such as Buju Banton; J-Summa; Tessellated and Miss World, Toni-Ann Singh — who have given so generously of their time and talent in this national effort. The broadcast will be anchored by Naomi Cowan.”

The programme will also feature performances by Skip Marley, Ziggy Marley, Gloria Estefan, Shaggy, Richie Spice whose song ‘Together We Stand’ was chosen as the theme music for the telethon.

To make a donation online, visit www.jatogetherwestand.com or www.mypaymaster.com.

To donate by telephone, call 876-960-9632-4, 1-866-228-8393 (toll free from Jamaica, the United States or Canada) or +44 0808 189 6147 (toll free from UK and Europe).

Cash/cheque donations are accepted at any Paymaster location in Jamaica.

Labour Day is being observed on Monday, 25 May 2020 under the theme, Labour At Home.

Minister Grange said the theme is in keeping with the need for social distancing and the ban on large gatherings as we fight the spread of covid-19.

Minister Grange is urging Jamaicans to stay home and clean up, paint up and fix up their own homes on Labour Day.

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 17 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the passing of the media mogul, the Honourable Oliver Clarke.

Minister’s Statement

“I knew Oliver well and I’m very sad by his passing. He was an outstanding businessman, an outstanding Jamaican who contributed in many ways to our nation’s development.

My relationship with Oliver Clarke goes back many years, from the time when I served as a Senator. I had to interface directly with him during my time as Minister of Information and found him to be a real champion of a free press.

He was meticulous about preserving the Gleaner archives, which is today a treasure trove of information about Jamaica’s heritage.

Oliver was fun to be around. He had a great sense of humour. I recall on one occasion he invited me to lunch. I arrived expecting the usual spread only to be told by him ‘today it is just the two of us and two patties.’

Oliver Clarke never lost the common touch, and that is what endeared him to so many of us.

I offer sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 13 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has written to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton, requesting an investigation into allegations that the beard of a Rastafarian Elder was cut at a public hospital.

Minister’s Statement
“It has come to my attention, that the beard of Ras Irie Lion, a Nyabinghi Elder, was cut without his consent while he was a patient at the Linstead Public Hospital. This allegation is deeply troubling and I’ve asked Minister Tufton to ascertain the circumstances surrounding this incident as it is not the policy of the Government to cut the hair of members of the Rastafari faith who seek medical attention at public facilities.

I also extend best wishes to Ras Irie Lion for a speedy recovery. I assure him that I am doing everything I can to expeditiously determine what occurred, and to assist in bringing the matter to resolution.

My Government has acknowledged the historic discrimination and injustice that Rastafarians have suffered in our country and has taken unprecedented action towards reconciling and resetting the relationship with our Rastafari brothers and sisters. This allegation goes against the new relationship that we are building.

While I await the report of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, I have directed that the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport continues to provide support to Ras Irie Lion through the Cultural Liaison for Rastafari Affairs.”

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 12 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says improvements will be made in the disbursement of Compassionate Grants at the Independence Park complex in Kingston.

People who selected GKMS/Western Union to receive their Compassionate Grants under the Government’s CARE programme began receiving their disbursements at Mas Camp in Independence Park this morning (Tuesday).

Mas Camp was selected after GKMS/Western Union outlets were unable to process the large number of beneficiaries while practising social distancing.

Minister Grange, who has responsibility for Independence Park, said hundreds of people were able to collect their grants at Mas Camp on Tuesday, but the government was concerned about the large crowd and lack of adherence to social distancing rules.

“The CARE programme is what the acronym says: the government cares about people and the funds that are being made available to these people are to assist them in this challenging period of covid-19; and it’s extremely important that they receive these contributions in a safe environment with dignity,” said Minister Grange.

Following her discussions with the Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness; the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr the Honourable Nigel Clarke; officials of the Ministry of Health and Wellness; the leadership of GKMS/Western Union; the leadership of the HOPE programme; and the Management of Independence Park Limited, Minister Grange announced improvements to the disbursement process with effect from Wednesday, 13 May 2020.

“Mas Camp and the car park area is large enough to facilitate the number of people who will come, primarily able-bodied people,” said Minister Grange who also announced that the National Arena will be made available to more vulnerable people to collect their grants.

“The National Arena will be used to facilitate the elderly, pregnant women and people with disabilities.”

Several additional tents will be erected in the car park to provide shelter for the CARE beneficiaries.

Hydration, sanitisation and medical stations are being set up across Independence Park.

Participants in the HOPE will monitor queues to ensure social distancing is observed and give general assistance to the CARE beneficiaries.

“It’s a team that has come together to ensure that all the things that are necessary are put in place and that the people who come will be able to receive their CARE packages in a manner that is befitting each Jamaican,” said Minister Grange.

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 8 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the passing of the psychiatrist, Professor Fredrick Hickling.

Minister Grange said:
"I knew Fred Hickling for many years. He was a kind and compassionate man; and certainly one of the giants in his field.

I feel deep sorrow at his passing and extend sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and the many students that he’s mentored and groomed over the years.”

END

05 Jun 2020

Kingston, 8 May 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says this year’s Labour Day will be celebrated under the theme, Labour at Home.

Minister Grange said the theme is in keeping with "the need for social distancing and the ban on large gatherings as we fight the spread of Covid-19.”

Minister Grange said “Jamaicans will be asked to use Labour Day to clean up, paint up and fix up their own home environments.”

However, she said the National Workers’ Week and Labour Day Committee is giving consideration to having national and parish projects which can be implemented without putting anyone’s health at risk or breaching the Disaster Risk Management Regulations.

Labour Day will be observed on Monday, 25 May 2020 as the culmination of Workers’ Week from May 17 to 25.

Workers’ Week and Labour Day activities are coordinated by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

END

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MCGES

We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

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

Contacts

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  +876.978.7654
  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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