JIS News

The Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, through the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is actively promoting the revitalization and repositioning of the annual National Festival of the Performing and Visual Arts programmes.
Culture Minister, Olivia Grange, in her contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 17), said that so far this year, a total of 7,968 entries have been received and the Ministry is determined to increase these figures by next year.
“While we recognize the powerful product we have in the festival of the arts, especially for schools, which have been the mainstay of the festival, we are also determined that with the help of the SDC (Social Development Commission) we will ensure that more youth clubs and community organizations are included in the near future,” she told colleague members.
In this regard, the Minister indicated that she has given instructions for the Culture Division of the Ministry, the JCDC and the SDC to collaborate on the re-establishment of parish development foundations as a platform for the generation of strategic and integrated activities that would foster pride, patriotism and self-knowledge at the level of communities.
“We are returning the festival to the communities with their wealth of knowledge and volunteerism. It is my belief that if we achieve integration of the work of the JCDC and SDC field officers in culture and sports at the community level, we will be able to achieve a level of community involvement, which will engender peace, harmony, solidarity and prosperity in our country,” she stated.
Minister Grange said the JCDC has continued to impact the lives of Jamaicans of all ages and locations across Jamaica, as they participate in the training and development provided, and showcase their skills and talents in the annual festival and other events staged by the Commission.
Meanwhile, she informed that this year, the Ministry is ensuring that the celebration of Jamaica’s Independence in 2008 will again reflect the pageantry, glitter, and glamour befitting the occasion.
Emancipation and Independence celebrations will be held in all parishes with the national celebrations having as its centre piece ‘Jamaica Festival 2008’, which will run from July 31 to Independence Day, August 6.
“We are going to have our float parades, our costume groups, and naturally, we expect that the festival song this year will be one that will rock the nation. Our theme this year is ‘One Love, One Family’.

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