Kingston, March 29 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the renaming of Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay will inspire generations of singers, musicians and cultural practitioners.
The Minister was speaking at the official renaming ceremony of the popular stretch commonly called the “Hip Strip” on Thursday, March 28.
Minister Grange said: “Reggae music was able to propel Jimmy Cliff from Somerton District to fame and name recognition from Brazil, to other parts of South America to Europe, Asia and the Home Continent of Africa. I know that the significance of this renaming exercise will have great impact on many of our aspiring talents and they too, in time, will be propelled to greater heights.
“As we in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport continue to strengthen our musical heritage through the re-telling of stories, the celebration of our pioneers and the establishments of circuits where our people and visitors to our shores may experience the power of the heritage, it is my pleasure to rename Gloucester Avenue in honour of this cultural icon,” she said.
“Tonight we hail the man Jimmy Cliff in a special way. Because of Jimmy Cliff we can all see clearly now the road ahead for a successful and highly prized culture and tourism product that is paved with powerful sounds and images pulsating with the sweet Reggae beat,” the Minister added.
Minister Grange was joined in the renaming ceremony by the Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, the Mayor of Montego Bay, His Worship Councillor Homer Davis, Mr. Charles Sinclair who represented Minister of National Security and MP for North West St. James Dr. Horace Chang and the honouree, Dr. the Honourable James Chambers, “Jimmy Cliff”.
The renaming of the “Hip Strip” to Jimmy Cliff Boulevard signals the start of a greater thrust to improve the cultural landscape of western Jamaica through a partnership between the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism.
The Government of Jamaica is at an advanced stage of planning to build or refurbish facilities in the western city to create more spaces for cultural expressions and leisure activities. The projects include a series of entertainment centres to be named in honour of the country’s cultural legends as well as a first world concert hall.
Following the official unveiling of the sign that now stands at the entrance of the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, there were performances by a number of acts including Karen Smith, Dean Fraser, Dwight Richards, Richie Spice and Tessanne Chin.
Kingston 28 March 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed deep sadness at the sudden passing of famous guitarist Winston “Bo Pee” Bowen who passed away on Tuesday.
Bowen, 62, was a sought-after touring and session guitarist.
Minister Grange described Bowen as a one-of-a-kind personality and a special musician.
Minister Grange said:
“Winston emerged out of the West Kingston Culture Group of which I was a part and he was a member of the New Vibrations Band along with Dean Fraser, Ronald Robinson and Chico Chin. Many other musicians and singers came out of that experience at a time when the music was just finding its feet. The struggle was real but people like Winston Bowen made it easier because of his wonderful character and his dedication to the music. He provided musical support for the who’s who in Reggae music and he is now sorely missed.
“I wish to extend my deepest condolences to his widow Lorna, his children, grandchildren and the wider family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Kingston, March 26 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is continuing its preparation for the National Sport Museum by acquiring 3D scanners for digitising artefacts that will be on display in the National Sport Museum, when established.
The Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange, made the disclosure at a Digital Asset Workshop organised by the Ministry at the Creative Production and Training Centre today.
“I should inform you that the two 3D Scanners that you see being used here in the training were just acquired by the Ministry. For the time being, the scanners will be used by the Institute of Jamaica and the National Library of Jamaica which will hold them in safekeeping for the Museum,”
Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange said that the Workshop will provide “a pool of trained digitisers” who the Ministry can call on to do work for the National Sport Museum even as they put their training to use in their own organisations.
The National Sport Museum will serve as a knowledge bank, collecting and documenting material pertinent to Jamaicans who have dedicated their lives as athletes and support personnel.
Minister Grange said also that not only will there be a Virtual Museum that will precede the physical museum, but her Ministry “plans to stage periodic exhibitions of the artefacts now in the National Sport Museum collection.”
Meanwhile, former Hockey Player and Administrator, Kay Wilson donated a number of her trophies and personal items to the National Sport Museum. The items will be digitised tomorrow during the third day of the Workshop.
Other items being digitised are: a replica of the London 2012 Olympic Torch, a pair of Veronica Campbell Brown’s running shoes, two ice hockey pucks, a baseball cap and the competition suit of Namibian 200-metre star, Frankie Fredericks.
Kingston, March 21 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has described as “a great display” the performance by Jamaica’s team to the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi.
The Sport Minister’s comment follows Jamaica’s 15 gold in its 33 medal haul at the Special Olympics which exceeds all previous performances by a Jamaica Special Olympics team. With the gold medals, there were 10 silver and eight bronze.
“Our Special Olympians have consistently done well, giving us much to celebrate and have certainly played their part in making Jamaica the great sporting nation that it is.
“I wish not only to congratulate the Special Olympians but to praise team support staff and officials for their dedicated service and leadership.
“I look forward to welcoming home from Abu Dhabi our valiant Special Olympians on behalf of a proud and grateful nation.”
Kingston, March 19 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has contributed 3.5 million dollars to Netball Jamaica to help send the Sunshine Girls to the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.
The Minister, the Honourable Olivia Grange presented the cheque to Tricia Robinson, 1st Vice President of Netball Jamaica today.
“I am happy to present this cheque of 3.5 million dollars to Netball Jamaica which will be of great assistance as you prepare for the World Cup. Jamaica is fortunate. This is the year of the girls, our Sunshine Girls are going to England in July and our Reggae Girls to France in June. We are looking for great things,“
Minister Grange said.
The Sunshine Girls who are ranked third in the world have qualified for the World Cup every year since 2015.
The Ministry’s contribution to the Sunshine Girls is being provided through the Sports Development Foundation.
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 1 March 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a special allocation to Special Olympics Jamaica to enable the national team to compete at the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi later this month.
“As Minister of Sport, I commit to supporting the Special Olympics programme in Jamaica. And in times like these when our athletes are preparing to represent us in the world games, special funding is also made available. We have provided this time around J$2M,” said Minister Grange at a handing over ceremony at the Ministry’s headquarters today (Friday).
The special allocation is provided by the Ministry through the Sports Development Foundation and is in addition to the subvention that Special Olympics Jamaica receives each month from the SDF to fund its programme.
Wishing the athletes well ahead of their departure, Minister Grange told them that they “represent the best of Jamaica — our heart, our spirit, our strength and we are extremely proud of you.”
The 2019 games, which will take place in the UAE capital between March 8 and 22, is being billed as the most unified Special Olympics World Games in the history of the Special Olympics.
Jamaica will send a 98 member delegation — with our athletes competing in Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Football, Volleyball, and Rollerskating.
Kingston 22 February 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed shock and sadness at the passing of playwright, cultural practitioner, and member of the Board of Commissioners of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Aston Cooke.
Minister Grange said:
“The news of Aston’s passing on this Jamaica Day is a blow for us all. But Aston would be proud of the glorious display and embrace of Jamaican culture in our schools and communities. Our culture was his life. He displayed a level of commitment to his culture that must be emulated and admired.
“In the midst of our cultural celebrations today, we say farewell to a gentleman who has left us a proud legacy that echoes the makings of a cultural icon. We are sure the spirit and legacy of Aston Cooke will live on.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the JCDC, I wish to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Aston Cooke. Be comforted in the fact that his legacy is untouchable and that he has given his best years to what he loved dearly, his culture.”
Minister Grange has been joined in expressing condolences by Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the JCDC, Mexine Bissasor, who has been equally saddened at the loss.
Mrs. Bissasor said:
“Many giants go about their lives quietly whilst others can be heard shouting from their lofty heights as they journey through life’s ups and downs. Aston Cooke was a quiet giant who contributed to Jamaica’s culture and specifically, theatre, without fuss or clamour. He did what he felt was his duty to country and culture regardless of any hindrances.”
“His legacy is one that speaks to love, passion and honour. His deep love for the artform saw him being a part of all the veins of the heart of the industry; he has served the Commission three different times up to the day of his death. He also served at its highest level having been chairman for the period 2013-2016.”
Aston Cooke was one of Jamaica’s leading playwrights and the recipient of nine national Actor Boy Awards for outstanding achievement in various categories of theatre in Jamaica. Cooke was an inductee to the Caribbean Hall of Fame for Arts and Culture for his contribution to Jamaican theatre over the years.
Kingston, February 14, 2019 (JIS): During the new legislative year, the Government will seek to amend the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) Act to align Jamaica’s valuable cultural heritage with global designation benchmarks and further promote the country’s culture.
The Cultural and Creative Economy Act as well as the Entertainment Industry Act will also be brought to the House for approval.
This was announced by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who delivered the Throne Speech during the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Thursday (February 14) under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.
“Jamaica scored a major victory with the inscription of reggae music on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,”
the Governor-General said.
This, he said, demonstrates that reggae “has served to foster a better understanding of musical art as a tool for promoting dialogue among people and appreciating cultural diversity among ethnic groups worldwide”.
Also to be undertaken during the new legislative year is continued review of key pieces of legislation to support the elimination of gender-based violence, including the Domestic Violence Act, Offences Against the Person Act, and the Sexual Offences Act. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill is to be tabled.
In the area of Sport, the Government will seek to conclude a review of the National Sport Policy along with a study on the contribution of sport to national development and employment.
Kingston, 12 February 2019 – As part of its ongoing programme of support to the development of local community radio, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO (an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport) and the UNESCO Caribbean Office recently sponsored a 3-day training workshop for volunteers of the Accompong Maroon community radio station, Abeng 88.7 FM.
Conducted under the theme: ‘Building a Sustainable Community Radio Station’, the participants received training in news and script-writing, programme production, interview techniques, digital editing, on-air presentation, and studio equipment maintenance.
30 volunteers from the Accompong community benefitted from the training.
Station Manager for Abeng 88.7 FM, Mrs Norma Rowe Edwards, said the training of the station volunteers was timely and welcomed as it equipped them with important skills and techniques they can use to better contribute to the work and functioning of the station.
“As a community radio station, volunteer effort is essential,” Mrs Rowe noted, adding that “the training of the volunteers forms an important part of the strategy towards making Abeng 88.7 FM a viable community radio station.”
The Honourable Olivia Grange, Chair of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Culture, underscored the commitment of the Commission in building a sustainable Accompong community radio station.
Minister Grange said,
“The capacity of the station has been strengthened as a result of the training and the people of Accompong and adjoining communities can anticipate not only better programmes but greater people participation in creating content for the radio station.”
Secretary-General, Everton Hannam, said the National Commission remains committed to supporting the further development of Abeng 88.7 FM so it can become a model station within the UNESCO family of community radio stations.
The station was set up two years ago with funding from UNESCO.