- The celebrations are vital given the role of culture in empowering the spirit of the nation
- Minister Hanna dismissed comments by some that the money is a waste of resources at this time.
- Plans are in high gear for the celebrations in the western region
Western Regional Coordinator for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Natalie Morris, has welcomed the $100 million allocated by the Government towards Emancipation and Independence celebrations this year.
She said that the money, while less than the sum provided in 2012, will be well spent in promoting the country’s culture and heritage.
Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, announced the $100 million budget during the launch of Emancipation and Independence activities on Monday, July 21, at the Office of the Prime Minister.
She said that despite fiscal constraints, the celebrations are vital given the role of culture in empowering the spirit of the nation during these times.
Miss Morris, who was addressing a Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service’ s (JIS) Montego Bay Regional Office on July 24, lauded Government’s commitment to supporting the development of the arts and culture even as it faces budgetary constraints.
“We know that from an economic perspective, we are having financial challenges and so even in the local business community, people are cutting back. The allotment is reflective of how tight the economy is and what is happening around us and indeed it is a cut back from last year, (but still much can still be achieved) as we commemorate and celebrate our emancipation and independence,” Miss Morris told JIS News.
She dismissed comments by some that the money is a waste of resources at this time.
“I believe that there is a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation of the society as to how they view entertainment. For a country that boasts that our competitive advantage is our music and sports, we pay very little attention and place very little importance on that industry and the many persons that benefit from it … I don’t believe that this will be money wasted, it is money that will be well spent supporting an industry, a culture and our history, that can be a competitive advantage and that which can put us in the place where Jamaica needs to be, a developed nation by 2030,” Miss Morris asserts.
Meanwhile, she informed that plans are in high gear for the celebrations in the western region, which comprises Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
Activities include Emancipation vigils, staging of culture yards, church services, and Independence Day civic ceremonies.