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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, says protection of Jamaica’s music and creative works is critical to national development.
  • “We must protect our music, which is being marketed to the world, more so now than we have done in the past. The Government has moved to increase protection in revising the Copyright Act, which has increased the number of years of protection of your creative work from 50 to 95 years,” he noted.
  • Mr. Henry noted that the contribution of the music industry could be strengthened once the proper systems and structures are in place.

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, says protection of Jamaica’s music and creative works is critical to national development.

“We must protect our music, which is being marketed to the world, more so now than we have done in the past. The Government has moved to increase protection in revising the Copyright Act, which has increased the number of years of protection of your creative work from 50 to 95 years,” he noted.

Mr. Henry noted that the contribution of the music industry could be strengthened once the proper systems and structures are in place.

“We have to be strategic in our business approach to music and it has to be done with a sense of purpose. We know where there are so many rivers to cross but we are Jamaicans and we can cross it,” he added.

Mr. Henry was speaking at the eighth staging of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Heritage Competition Awards Ceremony, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, St. Andrew, on November 26.

The function was held under the theme: ‘Jamaica’s Music, the stage for growth and development’.

Mr. Henry, who has portfolio responsibility for the JIS, congratulated the agency, led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Donna-Marie Rowe, for staging the annual heritage competition.

He noted that it plays an important role in encouraging students to think about national issues and to express ideas about “where we are as a people and what our heritage means to our national identity”.

Mrs. Rowe, for her part, said that one of the objectives of the competition is to integrate the JIS brand into the fabric of the school community.

She congratulated the students for participating noting that “we do not underestimate (your) intelligence and capability.”

“In fact, we look forward to raising the bar each year and watching our students rise to the challenge every time,” she said.

She lauded the judges for their work and expressed gratitude to them for helping to evaluate the various submissions.

Mrs. Rowe also commended the sponsors and the parents for their support.

Opened to primary, secondary and tertiary students, the competition consists of essay, poster and photography components.

The essay segment targeted primary school students aged nine to 12, who were required to write on the topic ‘How has Jamaican music contributed to the country’s growth and development’. The essays were judged on relevance to the topic, originality, accuracy and analysis of research data, writing style and language skills.

The poster component targeted high school students and was judged based on interpretation of the topic, originality, neatness and presentation.

Meanwhile, the photography component was opened to tertiary level students, who were required to submit photographs depicting the theme. This category was judged on interpretation of the topic, originality, composition, technique and impact.

A total of 15 students were awarded for participation in the competition.

Gianni Willie of George Headley Primary School placed first in the essay component; Mahalia Ulett of Ardenne Prep and Extension High School won the poster component; and De’andra Calvert of the University of Technology took top honours in the photography component of the competition.

Other prizes were awarded for best researched entry, judge’s special award, best use of language and most creative entry, among others.

The function included a display of music artefacts from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).