Monday, 16 July 2018 18:59

Kingston, 12 July 2018 – “We promised a bigger and better Festival Song competition for 2018 and we are delivering on it,” said the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, as she announced plans for the staging of the first major event of Jamaica Festival — celebrating the nation’s 56th anniversary of Independence.

The Festival Song competition will culminate on Sunday, 15 July 2018 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre after months of training workshops, selection and development of finalists from more than 200 entries, studio recordings, music video productions, roadshows across the island and a motorcade in the Corporate Area.

According to the Culture and Entertainment Minister, “the crowd response has been tremendous” and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission is making preparation to accommodate a large crowd for the final on Sunday, which will be free to the public.

“It was important to put the energy back into the Festival Song competition,” said the Minister who made the decision to cancel last year’s competition — in part due to the dearth of quality entries — and order the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission to begin a series of developmental workshops.  The result has been a marked improvement in the quality of entries.

Additionally, as part of moves to revive the competition, the Minister ordered a review of the prizes and has now announced that “the writer of the winning song will take home one million dollars and the singer(s) of the winning song will take home one million dollars; so for the winning song the prize money is two million dollars.”

Minister Grange has also announced other prizes: best performer (J$300,000); best vocalist (J$300,000); and best social media campaign (J$200,000).  Each of the ten finalists will receive J$150,000 while all writers, producers and singers will receive plaques in recognition of their efforts.

Gates open at 6pm for the Festival Song Final on Sunday.

Minister Grange has indicated that similar review of the Gospel Song Competition will begin immediately after this year’s Jamaica Festival. “We are going rekindle the spirit of Gospel Festival and take it back to a level where it plays its pastoral and nurturing role in society,” said the Minister.

END

Friday, 13 July 2018 21:31

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sorrow at the passing of Suzanne Couch, well-known Jamaican singer, pianist, composer and producer, who was equally famous as a speciality caterer.

Minister Grange recalled that Mrs Couch joined the band ‘Native’ as a keyboard player with her husband Peter and lyricist Brian Jobson in 1980 and began writing songs together including ‘Fortunes of Love,’ which appeared on the soundtrack of Stephanie Black's famous documentary on Jamaica’s economic problems ‘Life and Debt’.   

Suzanne became a featured singer on several Jamaican record releases, including Steely & Clevie's version of the Carly Simon song ‘Why’, Monty Alexander's album ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ and singles with Maxi Priest, Toots Hibbert, Mutabaruka, among others.

I was happy when Suzanne’s debut album - ‘Lifeline’ - appeared in 2001. Its excellence was praised in Jamaica and across the world, with some reviews recommending it for the Reggae Grammy award. She continued singing, composing and playing the piano, with special solo performances at Red Bones Café and, most recently, at a special benefit concert featuring Joss Stone at Strawberry Hill Hotel just a few weeks before her death.

Suzanne’s generous hospitality at her home studio introduced her friends to her tasty cuisine and they persuaded her to use this second talent profitably, so Suzanne grew into one of the best-known caterers for special events. 

Suzanne Couch was more than a great Jamaican musician, songwriter and singer. She was a great Jamaican woman. I shall miss her, but Jamaica will be forever enriched by the music she left for us to enjoy.  I send my condolences to Peter and their daughter Sarah.  Rest well Suzanne Couch.

END

Friday, 13 July 2018 21:25

Kingston, July 12 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that events such as Gosplash“reinforce the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to the economy.”

According to the Minister several stakeholders, including owners and operators, suppliers of goods and services, hoteliers, taxi operators, the peanut man, jerk chicken man among others derive economic and social benefits from the hosting of events such as Gosplash which will be held on August 1.

Minister Grange was speaking at the launch function on July 11 at the LiguaneaGolf Club in New Kingston.

Citing a report by the Jamaica Constabulary Force the Minister said that “19,158 event permits were granted in 2017, a one percent increase over the 2016 figures. These events provided more than 30,000 temporary jobs.”

Between 2013 and 2017 the value of entertainment to the economy was estimated to be J$107 billion/ [US$836 million].”

The Minister said that such figure was “an undervaluation” since not all the entertainment sub-sectors were accounted for.

She said the staging of the Auto Channel Gosplash in Kingston is a welcome addition to the calendar of events for the UNESCO designated Creative City of Music.

Gosplash, now in its sixth year, has changed venue location from Portmore in St. Catherine to the Liguanea Golf Club in New Kingston.

Minister Grange commended the organisers of Gosplash and praised the sponsors for seeing the value in it.

“It is resilience and creativity that have brought the event this far and so we are resolved that my Ministry will continue to work towards the creation of a facilitating and supportive environment where everyone has a place and an opportunity to be a part of the solution. All genres of Jamaican music will thrive,” Minister Grange said.

END

Friday, 27 April 2018 15:51

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport through its agency the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission has signed a multi-million dollar deal with fast food chain Tastee Limited in support of the 2018 Festival Song Competition.

Monday, 16 April 2018 23:16

The 2018 edition of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition continues to be one for the history books, from the record number of entries received to a 63-member church choir being named among the finalists. The choir along with the other nine finalists were selected at the competition’s semi-final concert, supported by a full house at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and with over 20,000 online viewers on Saturday, April 14.

Thursday, 01 March 2018 22:23

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says creative practitioners such as: musicians, dancers, visual artists, film makers, among others, must prepare themselves for retirement and death.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 16:20

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport was out for Saturday night’s viewing of the blockbuster film, Black Panther, hosted by Zip 103FM and the National Council of Reparations at Carib 5 Cinema. Minister Grange is photographed with the ‘Black Panther and members of ‘The Dora Milaje’ (female army depicted by the film).

Monday, 19 February 2018 17:56

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has identified Reggae music as Jamaica’s most valuable yet undervalued export.

Friday, 09 February 2018 22:40

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced Recording Artiste Etana as the first female recipient of financial support from the Ministry’s Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support Programme.

Monday, 29 January 2018 22:46

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has congratulated Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley on winning the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:39

Reggae Artiste J.C. Lodge (second right); husband Errol O'Meally (left) and daughter Gia paid a Courtesy Call on the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sport on Tuesday at her offices in Kingston.

JC Lodge, who is well known for her hit songs ‘Telephone Love’ and ‘Someone Loves You Honey’, is in Jamaica to perform at Rebel Salute this Friday night at Grizzlys Plantation Cove in St Ann.

Friday, 29 December 2017 17:51

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (second left) with recording artistes Charly Black, Capleton, Queen Ifrica and King Sounds (left to right) at the launch of Rebel Salute 2018 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Monday. Rebel Salute is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and will be held on January 12 and 13 at Grizzlys Plantation Cove in St. Ann.

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 18:08

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, has congratulated Damian Marley for winning the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Award for Best Reggae Act.

Monday, 04 December 2017 16:18

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has announced the return of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition which will now offer a record prize purse of $10 million in cash and prizes.

Monday, 04 December 2017 15:59

The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, says she is “happy the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union has been resuscitated.”

Friday, 24 November 2017 18:15

The Honourable Olivia Grange, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport shares a light moment with Recording Artistes Tommy Lee, Carlene Davis and Naomi Cowan (left-right) at last evening’s Caribbean Love Concert. The concert was held to raise funds to assist Caribbean Countries that were devastated by the recent hurricanes.

 

Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:03

The Honourable Olivia Grange Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport today announced Fort Rocky in Port Royal as Jamaica’s first Entertainment Zone.

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 23:21

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is pleased to announce that popular eclectic reggae band No-Maddz will represent Kingston at the World Music Festival in Hamamatsu, Japan, between November 2 and 6.

Friday, 23 September 2016 17:23

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia Grange has congratulated Freddie McGregor on his nomination for the ‘Guachupé de Oro’ award in Colombia saying, that “he truly embodies what the award is all about.”

Friday, 23 September 2016 17:15

The Honourable Olivia Grange has announced that the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in partnership with the family of the late Prince Buster, will host a special tribute to the legendary Ska icon at the Institute of Jamaica Auditorium on Saturday, September 24, 2015, beginning at 4 pm.

Friday, 20 May 2016 17:17

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kevin Downswell Ministries, creating a partnership between the two as Downswell promotes his new album ‘All the Way’ across the island.

Wednesday, 06 April 2016 19:53

Culture and Entertainment Minister, the Honourbale Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, speaking at the thanksgiving service for veteran reggae singer, Jimmy Riley, held at Webster Memorial United Church, pledged her commitment to making Jamaica’s music industry among the best in the world.

Saturday, 02 April 2016 17:16

Culture and Entertainment Minister, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, today, April 2, 2016 paid tribute to Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake and urged family members and friends to preserve his legacy and memory.

MCGES

We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange

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Jamaica, W.I.

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