• JIS News

    Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange has said that the music industry must be strengthened so that the country can fully tap into its potential.
    The Minister was speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop for music professionals on (Jan. 21) at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston.
    According to Miss Grange, the music industry can rival any traditional sector in the country but “the ability to fully exploit all this potential has continued to elude us. We have been successful in many ways but we still have to recognise that this is a business,” she stated.
    She noted that the music industry contributes significantly towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is ranked higher than some of the more traditional sectors. She argued that because of the tremendous potential that the sector holds, it is “time to encourage and facilitate a more formal relationship between the music industry and the mainstream economy.”
    “This will require a change in attitudes by all concerned. Government will need to expeditiously, put necessary legislation in place to guide and encourage further development within the sector and the industry will also need to adopt better corporate systems and practices,” Miss Grange stated.
    Citing areas of concern, the Information Minister pointed to the need for a structural framework and support mechanisms that can help artistes “take their craft to the next level.”
    A crucial element of that support structure, she said, is the accounting side of the industry, noting that “artistes have long complained of unfair treatment from producers, and producers have similarly been bitten by disloyalty and unprofessional conduct from artistes”.
    “We need to strengthen the systems in order to afford all stakeholders security, and the promise that they will get maximum return for their creative output,” Miss Grange said.
    She further pointed to the need to professionalise the industry and help young practitioners understand the importance of doing things “on the record and by the book”.
    “We need to strive for better standards, more accountability and a broadening of the base to ensure that the industry stands up to scrutiny,” she added.
    The Information Minister indicated that the Government will be meeting with industry stakeholders to chart the way forward, but noted that any agreement reached will require equal commitment from all stakeholders.
    She called on stakeholders, who are participating in the workshop, to open their minds to the wealth of information and experience that is available to them.
    The workshop, which concludes on Wednesday (Jan. 23), is organised by the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliated Unions. Among the areas for discussion are the professional status of musicians and intellectual property rights.

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