While the Independence Day celebrations are over, the mission of 'Jamaica 50' continues and will now focus on the legacy component of the programme planned to commemorate the nation’s special anniversary.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, told journalists at a press conference on August 15 at the Wyndham Kingston hotel, that there are a number of projects in education, heritage, infrastructure, culture, academia, literature and the arts, which will be implemented over the rest of this year.
These projects will be undertaken by the legacy committee, which is being chaired by Chief Executive Officer of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, Billy Heaven. The Culture Minister said that the Jamaica 50 Secretariat will remain in place to assist with these legacy projects.
"The Jamaica 50 Secretariat will be tasked to do some additional work as it relates to the legacy going forward, because this is now a blueprint for revenue generation, economic growth and for really interlocking those areas of creative, cultural and other kinds of entertainment to be built as an industry for the mission going forward, and to create that robust model coming out of Jamaica 50,” Minister Hanna explained.
She noted that this is part of the larger mission for the country over the next 50 years, “or what I would like to refer as Mission 2062.”
Minister Hanna said the team will be focusing attention on the creation of the policy environment to support the institutionalization of this objective. “I have tasked the Jamaica 50 Secretariat to frame this plan and once I have had the chance to carry it through the necessary discussions and approvals at the Cabinet level, I will provide them to you accordingly,” she told reporters.
The Youth and Culture Minister, who fielded questions on the just concluded events to mark Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee, from August 1-6, said the celebrations, held under the theme: ‘Nation on a Mission’ was a call to action by Jamaicans in the island and in the Diaspora, and to foster national pride.
The Minister explained that from the onset, The Jamaica 50 Secretariat had set several objectives, among them: to encourage serious national introspection on the achievements as a nation since 1962; create a national celebration emphasising the history and culture as a people; brand Jamaica internationally and improve the country’s standard and image, particularly leveraging the opportunity presented by the London Olympics; and create events, memorabilia and merchandise so that the spirit of Jamaica 50 could resonate within people’s minds now and for years to come.
“We feel strongly that we achieved these objectives and Jamaicans at home and abroad can feel proud about our celebrations and how Jamaica was presented to the world at 50,” Minister Hanna said.
Activities included the setting up of the Golden Jubilee Village at Independence Park; establishment of parish villages across the island and a television broadcast linking Jamaica to its Diaspora in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States; and the Grand Gala, which saw thousands enjoying the cultural spectacle inside the National Stadium on August 6.