Culture Minister Cites Importance Of Advanced Training For Professionals In The Creative Industries

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; (third left) Orville Hill, Interim Executive Director, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (third right) and Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, Country Director, British Council Jamaica (second right) with Enola Williams, Michael Holgate and Lesley-Ann Welsh, (left to right) at the Festival X Workshop and Seminar held at the Knutsford Court Hotel Wednesday, June 13. The Festival X Workshop and Seminar covered several topics designed to strengthen the capacity of festival organizers.

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 Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport presents the trophy for the Marcus Garvey Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts to Ardenne High School. The trophy was received by Marsha Lawrence-Davids, teacher (centre); Nastacia Prendergast (left) and Celestine Lawal, students of the institution. Looking on is Orville Hill, Interim Executive Director, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (right). The Award was presented at the JCDC’s National Performing Arts Excellence Awards Ceremony held at the Little Theatre on Wednesday.

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.

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