The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has underscored the importance of empowering professionals in the creative industries to operate at an optimum level as it is the creative industries that are now driving modern economies.
Minister Grange was speaking on Wednesday at a seminar and workshop, labeled Festival X, which covered several topics designed to strengthen the capacity of festival organizers.
“I urge you to hone your craft, to be on the ball with the major trends in marketing the entertainment industry, using creative ways to raise funds and most important, making money from your festivals,” Minister Grange said.
“The role of my Ministry is to ensure that the appropriate opportunities are made available for the benefit of players. This is one such opportunity that can prove beneficial to your endeavours.”
The Culture Minister said the Ministry had assisted three of Jamaica’s Festival organizers, Enola Williams, Lesley-Ann Welsh and Michael Holgate, to travel to the United Kingdom to get expert training in coordinating festivals so that they could in turn train other festival organizers locally.
“We must discuss how Government, international partners and the private sector together can strengthen the entertainment economy in Jamaica. We are well aware that the summer months present a time to earn because of all the festivals that are held globally,” the minister said.
“In our own country, Style Week and Calabash have just ended and we are looking forward to Sumfest, Caribbean Fashion Week, Dream Weekend, our EMANCIPENDENCE Celebrations and the myriad of food festivals that happen during the summer time.
“Both locals and visitors want to experience, the music, food, literature, fashion, film and dance – the culture that defines our island home.
“I am committed to the Culture and Creative Industries because I know how important it is to the growth of our economy. Over the past two years we have been putting in the work to facilitate as many opportunities as possible for all sectors through initiatives like this, policy creation through Fiscal Incentives as well as exchanges through our Creative City of Music network.”
Minister Grange thanked the British Council for partnering with the Government of Jamaica in staging the workshop/seminar and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) for coordinating the island’s community festivals.