Kingston 23 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the announcement of the Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, that his Ministry is providing J$25 million towards the further development of the Jamaica Music Museum, also referred to as the Reggae Museum.
The Jamaica Music Museum, which was launched by Minister Grange and brought into operation in 2009, is a division of the Institute of Jamaica — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
Minister Grange said the support of the Ministry of Tourism will fast track the development of the Jamaica Music Museum which is “now housed in the corridors of the Institute of Jamaica”.
Minister Grange said:
“The inscription of the Reggae Music of Jamaica to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list makes it even more urgent for us to intensify our work on the Jamaica Music Museum as a major resource in promoting and preserving our music, and this support from Minister Bartlett will go a far way in helping us to establish, in a short period of time, a museum befitting Reggae’s global status. This is a great example of Ministers, Ministries and Agencies working together for the benefit of the people of Jamaica. It goes to show that when you put us [Minister Bartlett and I] together, nobody can beat us.”
Minister Bartlett said support for the further development of the Jamaica Music Museum will be provided through the Tourism Enhancement Fund. He said the sum of J$25 million has been set aside for the further “scoping, design and the development of the concept of a physical museum… then you give us the budget for what is required for the rest of it.”
Minister Bartlett explained that the investment in the Jamaica Music Museum is part of a broader strategy to develop the Reggae product. The strategy includes investment in the development of trails to sites that are significant in the history of the music and the use of Reggae in a new advertising campaign for the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Ministers Grange and Bartlett were speaking at the launch of Reggae Month 2019 on Sunday.
Reggae Month, celebrated annually in February, is being organised jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism.
Kingston 21 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says the Thanksgiving Service for the late Troy Caine is set for February 2, 2019.
The Minister is organising the service for Mr Caine who was a member of the Board of Management of the National Library of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, at the time of his passing.
The Thanksgiving Service will be held at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, 77 Half Way Tree Road on Saturday, February 2, 2019, starting at 11:00 am.
The renowned Political Historian and Analyst died suddenly on January 10.
Kingston, January 16 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange is urging the country’s sports bodies to register their athletes with the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan.
The Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan is the Government’s Group Health, Group Life and Personal Accident Plan for all eligible national athletes.
Speaking at the Opening of the upgraded Administrative Building of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) at Independence Park Complex today (Wednesday), Minister Grange said:
“It has been frequent that athletes with severe health problems turn to Government for help. And we have provided assistance in just about every case. But it is very troubling to realise that some of those very same athletes could have benefitted from coverage under the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan if only they were registered through their associations or federations, or had made direct contact with the Ministry to initiate the process.”
The Minister referred to the case of the boxer, Sakima Mullings, who is severely ill but is not on the Insurance Plan. Sakima was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary condition affecting the retina in his left eye, which also causes sensitivity to light.
“When I hear about cases such as Sakima’s, it pains my heart and I would like him to know that we are praying for his full recovery. More than that, already we have decided to provide Sakima with $1M to help him to meet his medical expenses. The Ministry is in close contact with the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control as we seek to find out what further assistance we could give,” Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange said that getting athletes registered with the Plan was very important, so much so that there is a full-time administrator working on the Athletes’ Insurance Plan in the Ministry.
“The Ministry has constantly called for sporting associations to join the plan to insure national athletes or those in development squads preparing to represent Jamaica. I make the appeal, persons in my Ministry make the appeal, but still there are many eligible athletes who have not been registered,” the Minister said.
So far, only 1300 athletes are registered with the Insurance Plan and according to the Minister, “for a country like Jamaica with such outstanding athletes we should have more than 1300”.
Sports people eligible to be covered under the Plan must be a member in good standing with the national association or federation. They must be enrolled in the national development programme for a specific sporting discipline. They must participate in at least two Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission training sessions per year.
Kingston, January 14, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said the Government of Jamaica is willing to provide funding support to the cricket franchise Jamaica Tallawahs, as it has done in the past.
However, Minister Grange said her Ministry is unable to provide the level of funding required.
Minister Grange said:
“I am in discussions with the Tallawahs and hope to find a way to give some support as I stretch the little that we have. The Tallawahs need in excess of USD 1 million each year for the next three years. We cannot find that. I have to be clear and up front about that. We cannot find that. In fact, it’s in excess of US$1.5 million. But, working with the private sector we could find a way. So this evening, I make a special appeal to corporate Jamaica to come on board with the Jamaica Tallawahs.”
Minister Grange was speaking at the Melbourne Cricket Club’s Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony.
The Minister disclosed that the government had been involved in efforts to court sponsors for the Tallawahs at the highest level.
“I must tell you we went as far as having the Prime Minister himself arrange a meeting with the Tallawahs and a private entity in Jamaica which also has an international connection. Several meetings were held. Unfortunately, just maybe a couple weeks ago, the Tallawahs were told that this company is unable to assist.”
The requirement of the Tallawahs is greater than the total subventions that the Ministry provides for more than 40 national sports federations each year.
Minister Grange said the if the government were to “give the Tallawahs what they need to keep the game in Jamaica, then we would have to shut down shop and give support to no one else — and that’s not possible. But we’re still trying. The little that we have, we will stretch it and give them something. Yes, we have put something in the budget for them.”
In response to requests for assistance from the Tallawahs, the Government was able to provide support in the sum of US$25,000 in 2015. In 2017, again in response to requests for help, we provided support in the amount of US$35,000. Last year, the request came in after the budget process was completed and the government was unable to give financial support.
Kingston, January 11, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says that a committee has been established to oversee the execution of the development of the Drax Hall Sports Complex in St Ann.
Minister Grange was speaking yesterday (January 10) following a meeting with the Member of Parliament for North East St Ann, the Honourable Shahine Robinson; Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Michael Belnavis; President, St Ann Football Association, Danny Beckford; representatives from the Mount Pleasant Football Academy and other key stakeholders to discuss plans for the Drax Hall Sports Complex.
“We have initiated a programme of sports infrastructure development and Drax Hall was one of those facilities identified as one of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Projects. We have set up a committee to see to the execution of the development of the facility,” Minister Grange said.
The Drax Hall Sports Complex is now being used by the Mount Pleasant Football Academy for training and for home matches in the Premier League.
The proposed development for Drax Hall included two football fields, a multipurpose court, swimming pool and a number of other facilities to accommodate other sporting disciplines.
Minister Grange said the committee will review the design in light of works done at the facility by the Mount Pleasant Football Academy.
“This is going to be a perfect example of private/public partnership,” the Minister added.
The committee will include representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Sport Development Foundation, Independence Park Limited, the St Ann Municipal Corporation, the St Ann Football Association and the Mount Pleasant Football Academy.
“This is really a broad-based group coming together in the interest of the development of football in this parish – working together to ensure that we have a first-class multipurpose sporting facility in St Ann,”
Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange said that the committee has been given a year to execute the development at Drax Hall.
Kingston, January 8, 2019 (JIS) - There are plans for the installation of additional running tracks in Kingston and central Jamaica.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the disclosure during her visit to observe repair work at the Stadium East running track in Kingston on January 7th.
The upgrading work is scheduled to be completed before the upcoming Gibson McCook Relays, the Minister noted.
Ms. Grange said that discussions regarding the installation of additional tracks have been “very fruitful”.
“Where we are now is that we are looking at a couple of other tracks being done, one at a high school, maybe in partnership with a private-sector entity, and another track, which will be sited to facilitate athletes in central Jamaica,”
Minister Grange said.
The Minister pointed out that the installation of the synthetic tracks will be two main objectives of the Ministry for the next fiscal year.
“We are still going to pursue our infrastructure development programme at various other sporting and entertainment facilities… but I hope we will be able to install two additional tracks in locations to be announced in the next fiscal year,” she added.
Ms. Grange said she has received reports with the possibility of developing four to six running tracks across Jamaica. She noted that the reports were done following visits to the locations by officials of the Sports Development Foundation and representatives from the BSW GmbH, the company contracted to repair the Stadium East running track.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the running track at Catherine Hall in St James will be refurbished.
Kingston, January 7 - The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that she was pleased that the work to install a new track at Stadium East in the Independence Park complex started today (January 7) as previously announced.
The Sport Minister spoke from Stadium East where grading work started to remove the old track which will be replaced by a new Regupol running track.
“Today as we start the process to replace this track we must remember that Stadium East has provided the training ground for some of Jamaica’s top class athletes including the legendary Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell Brown and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce among others. Indeed, it may have nurtured and produced the best athletes in the world.
“I must express gratitude to the Ministry of Finance and Planning for their level of cooperation with my Ministry to make this project a reality.”
Minister Grange added that the Ministry hopes to put in new running tracks in central and eastern Jamaica in the next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the contractor on the project, Peter Breuer, Director Export, BSW of Germany, said that the company was creating history in Jamaica by using newly developed durable material at the request of the Minister. The material will also be used for other locations in Jamaica.
Regupol running tracks which are manufactured in accordance with the IAAF quality standards are suitable for both international professional sports as well as for school and popular sports.
Kingston, January 7, 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her Ministry has begun promotion of the National Calendar of Festivals.
Minister Grange was speaking at the celebration of the 281st signing of the Treaty with the British and the birthday of Captain Kojo in Accompong Town, St Elizabeth on Sunday, January 6.
“We have begun our promotion of our National Calendar of Festivals, of which Accompong must play a signature role. Festivals worldwide are a source of economic advancement and cultural and community development. This celebration carries great promise for culture, heritage, community and eco-tourism,” Minister Grange said.
The calendar which will be marketed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Tourism includes entertainment activities and festivals that take place across the country.
The celebration of Sam Sharpe Flames of Freedom Festival in St. James; celebration of Captain Kojo and Accompong in St. Elizabeth; Rebel Salute in Richmond, St. Ann; Reggae Month, including the birthdays of King of Reggae Bob Marley and Crown Prince of Reggae Dennis Brown were some of the activities outlined by Minister Grange that are already included in the calendar.
“Our culture is what makes us who and what we are. It is the fuel of our creativity and innovation, the platform for the rise of Brand Jamaica, the glue that ties us together with our large and enduring Diaspora, and the energy that will propel us to even greater heights of global acclaim. It is what we celebrate every time we say the word Jamaica,” Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange invited the Maroon Colonels across the country to meet with the staff of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the National Council on Reparation “to develop a plan to revitalise and expand the various Maroon Festivals.”
Kingston 7 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment. Even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, he offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts. Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue.
Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.
I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into an economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond.
He will be sorely missed.”
Mr Crooks died on Friday. He was 69.
Kingston, January 2 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is urging participating sports associations in the Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching between Jamaica and China to make the best use of the opportunity.
Minister Grange was speaking today as she welcomed a new batch of Chinese coaches at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
“I want to charge the associations to ensure, as much as possible, that training starts on time, that athletes embrace the values of hard work and discipline and that your coaches learn as much as they can from this visit,”
Minister Grange said.
Seven coaches, representing seven disciplines: Synchronised Swimming, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Football and Women’s Basketball, a team manager and an interpreter are now in Jamaica to commence year two of the project which started last year with the arrival of the first batch of coaches.
During the summer of last year a delegation of 138 athletes, coaches and managers also travelled to China for a period of 60 days for specialised training and competition.
“I want to remind the associations of the goals that you set for yourselves – to qualify for and improve Jamaica’s ranking in major regional and international competitions including the PanAm Games this year and the Olympics next year,” Minister Grange added.
Under the agreement, the Chinese government has also donated equipment for the seven sporting disciplines. The donations include a completely outfitted gym for gymnastics, which is already landed.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Jamaica, I want to express our sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China for the equipment. They are securely stored and my office is working out the details with the Chinese Embassy for an official handing-over ceremony to be held before the end of the month,” Minister Grange said.