Kingston 29 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the passing of the celebrated photojournalist and portrait photographer, Maria LaYacona.
LaYacona, who was a long-serving member of the Board of Directors of the National Gallery of Jamaica, passed away on Sunday.
Minister Grange said LaYacona was an “outstanding photographer who showcased her enduring passion for the people of Jamaica and its landscape.”
The Minister recalled that LaYacona — who was originally from Ohio in the United States — came to Jamaica in 1955 for an assignment, fell in love with the island and made it her home until her passing.
Minister Grange said:
“Maria LaYacona contributed significantly to documenting Jamaican heritage through her lens. She was known for her sensitive and engaging portraiture which made her the portraitist of choice for several Jamaicans, including Prime Ministers. She was also the official photographer for the National Dance Theatre Company and leaves behind an impressive and extensive visual collection that captures essential people, places and things in the development of modern Jamaica.”
Minister Grange has extended condolences to Maria LaYacona’s family and friends.
Kingston 26 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says she’s optimistic about finding solutions to address the ongoing conflict between the police and promoters/producers of events.
Minister Grange was speaking today (Friday) after meeting the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr Horace Chang, the police, NEPA and other stakeholders to consider amendments to the Noise Abatement Act which regulates entertainment events.
According to Minister Grange, the meeting “looked at hours that would be approved, days, the extensions, entertainment zones, and other relevant matters. I’m happy to say that we have arrived at a framework within which we will work.”
Minister Chang noted that “we have been having major challenges in our entertainment activities throughout the country and some places are particularly difficult, especially places like Negril, because of the current law that controls entertainment.”
Dr Chang said today’s meeting was the beginning of a process to deal with the challenges.
Dr Chang said:
“Entertainment is one of our largest industries and an area [in which] we have more of our humble people with creative talent having the opportunity to develop and give individuals good income and improve their quality of life. And we have to ensure that we put Jamaica’s entertainment industry on a solid legal footing.”
The Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, who attended today’s meeting said he would discuss the proposals with the Commissioner, other members of the High Command as well as divisional commanders.
Mr Bailey said:
“We will have further dialogue because we believe that it’s a partnership approach that needs to be taken to treat with the issue of entertainment because it is important to the development of Jamaica.
We don’t want entertainers to see us as their enemies. We are friends. And we want to work as best as possible to resolve some of the issues that we are currently faced with.”
Minister Grange said the next step is for a small working group to “look at the immediate amendments that can be made to the noise abatement legislation and to see how we can, within the immediate future, address some of the problems and arrive at solutions in relation to events.”
Kingston 24 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a “new approach to how the Ministry makes decisions” and how it will "direct investments in sport.”
Minister Grange outlined the new approach in a meeting with national sports federations and associations on Wednesday (today).
In explaining the reason for the changes, Minister Grange said:
"Public funding of sports is an investment for which good returns are expected. Therefore, we must review and update our processes to ensure that public money that is invested with sport governing bodies is well managed. At the end of the day, we must all be able to say we received value for money from our expenditure on sport.”
Under the new arrangements, the Sports Development Foundation will no longer consider requests for funding from sports federations/associations without a full accounting for monies being requested. Federations/associations are also now required to submit outstanding financial reports to be eligible for further financial support.
Minister Grange made clear that the new requirement will also apply in the case of requests to use national sports facilities. The new approach also has implications not only for sports governing bodies but for other entities that organise and promote competitions and which seek sponsorship from the SDF and from the Ministry.
“I believe this new requirement will help us to bring about greater accountability — which is something that we all desire,” said Minister Grange. She continued: “Greater accountability will also make local federations more attractive to private sector sponsors. There is no downside to having greater accountability.”
The Minister pointed out that some national federations/associations do not routinely submit financial reports, and urged them to move swiftly to become compliant with the reporting requirements.
Minister Grange said:
“If you receive over five million dollars from the Sports Development Foundation as subvention, you must provide audited financial statements annually. If you receive below five million dollars, you need to submit a financial statement.
“The organisations that receive monthly subventions must submit quarterly reports.
“And so I’m putting everybody on notice. If [your quarterly reports are] not submitted, your monthly subvention will be held. In other words, I’m saying to you, we have to get our house in order, we have to respond to you when you call on us, so you need to get your house in order so that we, as a team, can proudly say to the people of Jamaica ‘your money is being wisely spent’”.
Kingston 17 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is urging anyone with information about the death of eight-year-old Shante Skyers to make a report to the police.
The girl’s body was found in Sterling Castle Heights, St Andrew on Tuesday. She was reported missing on Thursday, 11 April 2019.
Minister Grange has urged people in the community to “say what they know about Shante’s death.”
According to her:
“We cannot remain silent. Any piece of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can help the investigators to bring the perpetrator to justice and prevent them from harming other children.”
Kingston, 17 April 2019 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has told newly-elected President of Cricket West Indies, Mr Ricky Skerritt, that she has two major concerns that she wishes the regional body to address as priority.
Miss Grange spoke with Mr Skerritt who called on her at her New Kingston offices today.
“First, I wish that CWI pay more attention to developing cricket at the national level “as you strive for the further of the development of West Indies cricket.
“Cricket West Indies should invest more in cricket in the various countries from which the West Indies team is drawn,”
the Sport Minister said,
“and the focus must be more so on cricket at the grass root levels right down to infant and prep schools.”
The Minister said there was also the pressing need for the Region to give more attention to women’s cricket. “There are no real leagues for women’s cricket in the Caribbean. There is the Senior and Junior Cups for male players in Jamaica; where is the Senior and Junior Cups for our females?” the Minister asked.
She said that it was to their great credit that the West Indies women had done so well in world cricket without “adequate supporting structures.”
The Minister also called for more women in the leadership of cricket.
She assured Mr Skerritt that the Ministry was looking forward to continued collaboration with the new administrations of Cricket West Indies and the Jamaica Cricket Association.
Mr Skerritt said that CWI was taking the Minister’s concerns on board and in fact had plans to invest more in grass root cricket with emphasis on “kiddies cricket”.
The new CWI President said also that improvements affecting women’s cricket were coming, noting that the process had already begun with increasing the salaries of West Indies women team to the level of those paid to the men.
Mr Skerritt also informed the Minister that the major objective for his visit to Jamaica was to raise funds. He said, “low inflows of cash in the last financial year because of the sparsity of international cricket in the Caribbean, has affected us.”
Mr Skerritt said that so far his visit had been “reaping fruits.”
The CWI President was accompanied to his meeting with Minister Grange by Mr Wilfred “Billy” Heaven, President of Jamaica Cricket Association; Mr Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies; Mr Jimmy Adams, Director of Cricket; and Mr Barry Thomas, Finance Director of Cricket West Indies.
Kingston 17 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has described the former West Indies Cricket Board President, Pat Rousseau, as one of the “greatest administrators” of the game.
Minister Grange was reacting to news of Mr Rousseau’s passing.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“I’ve received the very sad news of the passing of Pat Rousseau, the former President of the West Indies Cricket Board.
Much like our great players, Pat Rousseau was a great figure in West Indies cricket and he will be remembered as one of the greatest administrators of the game.
There were many important developments in West Indies cricket under his watch, including the staging of the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, the corporate transformation of the WICB to Cricket West Indies which led to improvements in many areas including the financial situation of the regional organisation, among others.
Pat Rousseau served well and made a considerable difference in the administration of cricket in the West Indies.
I offer sincerest condolences to his family and to the cricket fraternity in Jamaica and throughout the region at this time.”
Kingston 16 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the devastation by fire of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, France.
Minister Grange said she was “truly saddened to see images of the fire that ravaged the Notre-Dame” and that the “ruin of the World Heritage Site, which took centuries to construct, was a blow to humanity.”
She added: “I express sympathy to the people of France, particularly those who worship at the cathedral, which is considered one of the great architectural achievements of humanity."
Minister Grange noted that this devastation has come just a few days before we celebrate World Heritage Day on Thursday, 18 April 2019, by highlighting our important cultural monuments and sites.
Kingston 11 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has condemned recent acts of violence against women and has urged Jamaicans to do more to end the violence.
Minister Grange said the killing of 42 year old Roulene Clarke Cowan on Wednesday morning highlighted that “intimate partner violence is more common than we are willing to admit.”
The police report that Mrs Cowan was shot dead by her husband, Patrick Cowan, who later killed himself.
On Thursday morning, the police reported another incident in which a woman was attacked by her common-law husband, who later took his own life. The woman has been admitted to hospital in a serious condition.
“Let us remember the victims and their families in our prayers at this time. We are grateful to the neighbours who called the police this morning — that intervention might have saved this woman’s life.
But we can do more as a society to intervene and end the violence. If you know that someone is being abused, please do not remain silent. Do not look the other way. Call the police. Your intervention could save lives.”
Minister Grange also reminded women in violent relationships that the Government has established a national shelter “to help them leave violent living environments and to receive counselling and other assistance.”
She said the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport would establish two additional shelters for women in this financial year.
Kingston 9 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated the national team which competed in the Rally Trinidad on the weekend.
Minister Grange said:
“Last week I challenged you to come back home with more trophies than you did in Guyana a few months ago, and you have delivered. The entire team represented Jamaica very well, but I must say special congratulations to Kyle and Marcia who topped all competitors.”
Kyle ‘Speedy’ Gregg and Marcia Dawes emerged as overall winners of the rally.
Bobby Marshall and Michelle Laidlaw copped 2nd place in their group.
Paris, France 4 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is chairing the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations at the 206th Session of the powerful UNESCO Executive Board meeting underway in Paris, France.
The Committee on Conventions and Recommendations is considering, among other matters:
- the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society;
- the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage, including in Digital Form; and
- the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace.
Minister Grange is also participating in meetings of the UNESCO Executive Board which is considering the programme of work and budget for UNESCO.
While in Paris, Minister Grange will pay a courtesy call on the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, as well as chair a meeting of Caricom members currently serving on the Executive Board.
The 206th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board runs from April 3 to 17.