JIS News

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  • Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has applauded the efforts that went into this year’s staging of the Grand Gala and acknowledged the new features incorporated.
  • Miss Hanna added that the event also included a variety of lively and exciting performances, particularly by the youth, which were very appropriate for the theme: 'Proud and Free! Jamaica 53'.

Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has applauded the efforts that went into this year’s staging of the Grand Gala and acknowledged the new features incorporated.

“It was a great Grand Gala. We made sure that this year we showcased it in a different way – more history and  more audience interaction – and I think the audience liked it,” the Minister said.
Miss Hanna  added that the event  also included  a variety of  lively and exciting performances, particularly by the youth, which were very appropriate  for the theme: ‘Proud and Free! Jamaica 53’.
In an interview with JIS News at the gala, held at the National Stadium on Independence Day (August 6), Ms. Hanna  said that for next year, Jamaicans can expect another  exiting showcase of  the country’s cultural offerings.

“We have some more surprises. We actually have been planning for next year.  We have so many things in store for Jamaica. We are going to be making sure that Jamaicans understand why we must celebrate,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, told JIS News that the youth played an integral role in the planning of the Grand Gala celebrations.

“They were involved at all levels from planning through to execution. This year we had a particular kind of evaluation that involved quite a lot of young people, in order to get their views as to what would entice them and cause them to want to be a part of the celebrations,” said Mr. Gordon.

“We did an extensive review across the island and so that impacted our planning in terms of the kind of programme we would have prepared,” he added.

Mr. Gordon pointed out that the decision to utilize young persons in the planning and execution of the Gala was as a result of them “being the future and in the now.”

However, he noted  that the programme also  catered to persons from all age groups.

The Executive Director  informed that  $150 million was spent on the celebrations, including islandwide events, and also on training.

At the Grand Gala, there were performances by Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon, Ancient Priest, Fab 5, I-Octane, the  Jamaica Constabulary Force massed band and the  Portmore Dance Ensemble, among others.  Fireworks brought the curtains down on the event.