Kingston, 24 July 2019 (JIS): Jamaica is to celebrate the centenary of Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou) over a period of 100 days, with special activities across the country.
These will be organised by various agencies, including the National Library of Jamaica, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the Bureau of Gender Aﬀairs.
This was disclosed by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 23.
“This year, on September 7, we will celebrate the centenary of our beloved Miss Lou. [She] will be celebrated as social commentator, poet and advocate, and in particular, as chief exponent and proponent of the Jamaican language,” Ms. Grange said.
She also noted that in a tribute to Miss Lou, the Ministry has engaged the University of the West Indies to use the celebration of her life as the catalyst of a national dialogue on the status of the Jamaican patois.
“This will have implication for how patois is positioned in social and oﬃcial discourse,” Ms. Grange said.
Additionally, the Minister announced that March 21 is to be celebrated each year as National Poetry Day.
She also thanked Jamaica’s National Poet Laureate, Dr. Lorna Goodison, for her work in the promotion of poetry.
Kingston, 18 July 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed deep sadness at the passing of the Jamaican singer Pat Kelly.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“I feel a deep sense of personal loss at the passing of Pat Kelly. He and I go back a long way to our days at Chocomo Lawn, a place where so many of our artistes and musicians got their start, thanks to Edward Seaga.
I was the president of the Victor’s Youth Club at Chocomo Lawn and Pat was a member. It was there that he began developing his talent which has seen him become a great Jamaican singer and outstanding audio engineer.
I have been very proud of his success with The Techniques and in his solo career; and satisfied with his contribution to our music.
I offer sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this time.”
Kingston, 11 July 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has moved to address issues regarding the National Senior Women’s Football Team, the Reggae Girlz.
Specifically, the Minister Grange has taken steps to repair the relationship between the Jamaica Football Federation and Cedella Marley, who backed the Reggae Girlz in the successful qualification campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Following dialogue with both sides, Minister Grange released the following statement:
“As Minister, I want the best environment for our Reggae Gilz and I’m aware of certain issues.
I’ve spoken to both Cedella Marley and the President of the JFF [Michael Ricketts] and they both have certain concerns.
I’m going to use my best efforts to address those [issues] and to see how we can resolve the differences because I want to ensure that the Reggae Girlz can have the best environment within which to train so that they can represent Jamaica.”
Kingston 28 June 2019 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has described as “outstanding” the performance of Joydane White and Nyouka Baugh who have won Jamaica’s first medals at the Central American and Caribbean Confederation Artistic Swimming Championship taking place in Barbados.
White, who won the silver medal in the 12 and Under Solo Routine, is the youngest member on the Jamaica team. Baugh, who is 16, won silver in the Junior Solo Technical Routine.
The Sport Minister said White and Baugh are among the sports women and sports men representing Jamaica’s increasing prominence in sporting disciplines outside of the track. “They show that we are making real gains in Artistic Swimming and we should all laud them and encourage them to strive for even higher heights in the sport.
“I wish also to commend the coaches, the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) and the sponsors whose support allowed Jamaica to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Confederation Artistic Swimming Championship.”
White and Baugh will join the Jamaican contingent in the People’s Republic of China under the Jamaica-China Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching.
Kingston 27 June 2019 - Jamaica’s 57th anniversary of Independence is to be celebrated under the theme “One Nation, One People.”
This has been disclosed by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
Minister Grange said the theme was chosen because it speaks to a very important area of focus on which the nation must pay attention:
“We are at a very critical time in our life as a nation. We are witnessing the transition from one generation to the next and I believe that unity has to be a very important ingredient in the process to help us to solidify the gains we have made so far and build on them for the future.”
Ms. Grange said that while the country continues to celebrate the International Decade for People of African Ancestry, it is very important in the wider Jamaican context to observe the tenets of the national motto, ‘Out of Many, One People’.
“We must always be reminded that this nation is a melting pot of cultures, built by people from many different ancestries. It is remarkable what we have been able to achieve by working together and it is that spirit of unity that we want to engender as we celebrate our Independence and look to the future,” she added.
Minister Grange said that Jamaicans at home and abroad should look forward to a very spirited Independence celebration as the Ministry is working hard to make sure that events such as the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, the Jamaica Festival Queen Competition, the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition and the Grand Gala are spectacles to be remembered.
“This year we will welcome various Heads of Government for Independence and we intend to display the best of Jamaica as the eyes of the world will be upon us. We will be streaming most of our activities to the Diaspora so that everyone feels a part of the Jamaica 57 celebrations. We are well advanced in our planning and things have been going well,” she said.
The Jamaica Festival Song Grand Final will be held on July 27, at the National Arena in Kingston, with the Emancipation Jubilee slated for July 31, at Seville in St. Ann. The National Arena will also host the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Grand Coronation on Emancipation Day, August 1, the World Reggae Dance Championship Grand Final on August 2, Mello-Go-Roun on August 3, the Jamaica Gospel Song Grand Final on August 4 and the Pop and Variety Grand Final on August 5. Grand Gala will be held on Independence Day, August 6 at the National Stadium.
For more information on the Independence celebrations, persons may contact the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission at: the JCDC Head Office at 3-5 Phoenix Avenue in Kingston Tel: (876) 926-5726-9, or on the JCDC’s website www.jcdc.gov.jm.
Kingston 26 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she’s seen major improvements in the performance of local sports people who have participated in first year of the sports cooperation agreement with the People’s Republic of China.
Minister Grange signed the agreement last year, under which more than 400 Jamaican sportspeople in seven disciplines will receive specialised training in China over three years.
The first batch of 138 athletes and coaches completed a 60-day training programme in September 2018.
Referring to early signs of the success of the project, Minister Grange said:
“Five of the [women’s] footballers trained have matriculated to the Under-20 national programme. Thalia Richardson from badminton has advanced to become the national female champion. It has also been shown that the times and techniques of the swimmers have improved since the training they have received through the project. We have seen that the gymnasts have shown great improvement performing in regional competitions.
“So the Report Card on the Jamaica/China Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching so far is most satisfying…"
Minister Grange was speaking at the official send-off for the second batch of 138 athletes and coaches who will begin travelling on Saturday to specialised training facilities across China.
The schedule of departures is as follows:
29 June - Women’s Football
30 June - Women’s Volleyball
2 July - Gymnastics
3 July - Women’s Basketball
6 July - Swimming and Synchronised Swimming
7 July - Badminton
Minister Grange urged the athletes and coaches to make the most of this training opportunity. “Get as much as you can as you hone your skills. I know you will never be the same after China. You will be better for it; Jamaica will be better for it.”
Minister Grange thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for providing training and equipment under the agreement.
The Minister also revealed that on the recommendation of the Chinese coaches, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has acquired the services of a personal trainer to do strength training work among the athletes. The Ministry is also facilitating the use of a gym at no cost to the athletes or their national federations.
The official send-off for the athletes was attended by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi. Minister Grange especially acknowledged the efforts of Ambassador Qi, the Chinese Embassy and the China Sport International Company (the state-owned sports cooperation agency) for facilitating the project.
Kingston 19 June 2019 (JIS) - The Government will continue to pursue strategic policies and initiatives geared towards advancing the cultural and creative industries for the benefit of all Jamaicans.
This was stated by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, while addressing a session of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston today (June 19).
“Recently, we got the green light to begin operationalising the National Cultural and Creative Industries Council. It represents a next step in providing meaningful support to our creatives, to ensure that they earn from their creations and abilities. The Council will be called Jamaica Creative or Creative Jamaica,” she said.
Miss Grange informed that the Council has been charged with the establishment of a digital distribution and promotion platform for Jamaican music, video and fashion; the establishment of a Kingston Creative Media Village for increased visibility and accessibility of creative practitioners; the establishment of the Creative Skills Council, and the establishment of a Culture and Creative Industries Fund for Jamaica.
The Minister said the recent successful nomination of the Reggae Music of Jamaica to the intangible cultural heritage list of UNESCO, the successful nomination of the Blue and John Crow Mountains to the World Heritage list and the current bid for Port Royal to be inscribed on the World Heritage list should be seen as the Government facilitating and creating opportunities for the people to lift themselves using cultural and physical assets.
She noted that the Government has been investing in preparing Jamaicans to benefit from the economic activities that will come with the inscriptions, adding that several economic opportunity workshops are being staged in communities close to a designated, nominated or soon to be nominated site for world heritage list inscription.
The Minister said the island’s creative and athletic talents have done well on the world stage, and that it is a priority of the Government to ensure that earnings are realised.
Ms. Grange said many Jamaicans have been able to use the cultural and creative industries to move from poverty to prosperity.
The cultural and creative industries, also known as the ‘orange economy’, include activities such as architecture, audiovisual arts, digital services, fashion, graphic and industrial design, handicrafts, music and software.
In 2012, the global income generated from the orange economy was estimated at US$547 billion.
The Diaspora Conference is being held from June 16 to 20, under the theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Pathways for Sustainable Development’.
Kingston 17 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of Conroy Cooper, the founder of Fab 5 band.
Minister Grange said:
“I was sad to hear of the passing of Conroy Cooper, an exceptionally talented musician, producer, composer and arranger, whose contribution to the development of Jamaican music has been immense.
Cooper was instrumental in introducing our music to new audiences abroad when he led the first tour of Germany by a Jamaican band, the Reggaes (which later became Fab 5).
His work in advertising, creating memorable radio jingles; his work in the theatre composing and arranging music for several productions, including national pantomimes; his work in the studio as a performer and with several artistes including Ernie Smith, Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari attest to his vision, his creativity and the range of his contribution to Jamaica’s music.
I offer sincerest condolences to his family, especially to his children and his brother Grub, the current leader of Fab 5.”
Conroy Cooper was 74.
Paris, France 8 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her government is embarked on a programme to provide greater support for and give better access to women and girls in sport.
Addressing the FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Paris, France on Friday, Minister Grange said the Government of Jamaica was “leading the way” in creating a more friendly environment for women in sport.
Minister Grange said:
“Women in sport do not get as much support [as men] and so women’s football has its challenge in Jamaica. However, the government leads the way in [providing greater access]. In introducing our various sports competitions at the primary and kindergarten school level, we’ve insisted that at least three girls must play on the team with the boys. So we’re institutionalising recognition and promoting of women in sport.”
Minister Grange also told the FIFA Convention that the government was working “very closely with the Jamaica Football Federation to ensure that the support is there for women’s football.”
Minister Grange is in France as a special guest of FIFA. She will attend the senior Jamaican team’s inaugural game at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.
Minister Grange said the Reggae Girlz historic qualification to the Women’s World Cup had “created waves throughout the country and throughout the Jamaican Diaspora and the Caribbean. They are icons and we are extremely proud of them and they have served to inspire many young girls who now want to play football."
Recently, Minister Grange announced new rules for local sports federations to access funding from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (including the Sports Development Foundation). The rules require federations to give greater support to special olympians, paralympians, women and girls.
The Ministry, through the Institute of Sports, has also awarded equal prize money for girls and boys teams in its Primary Schools football and netball competitions.
Kingston 4 June 2019 – The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honourable Karl Samuda says schools will recognise the passing of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga on Wednesday (June 5).
Minister Samuda who has responsibility for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information says “students will mark Mr Seaga’s passing through either a cultural or religious expression during the final hour of the school day on Wednesday.”
Wednesday marks nine days since the passing of Mr Seaga.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and has called on all Jamaicans to join the celebration of Mr Seaga’s life through their own observances.
Minister Grange says “each Jamaican can celebrate Mr Seaga’s life and contribution through musical or other cultural expressions, candle light services, prayer vigils, church services, sports or any community activity that provides safe spaces for residents to come together and reflect.”
Mr Seaga, who was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.