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YOUTH and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna says sponsorship from private sector and government agencies for the staging of Jamaica 50 celebrations has been very encouraging, with some $134 million of the targeted $195 million already committed.

Hanna said from all indications the target will soon be met, leaving Government to find only $493 million to fund the total budget for the slew of activities planned for both home and abroad during the country’s celebration of 50 years of Independence from British rule.

Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna

“We have come up with some creative ways for the private sector to sponsor in collaboration with those agencies. We have raised $134 million so far and we are still in negotiations with some other private sector companies and two other government agencies,” Hanna said.

The minister, who was addressing journalists at the weekly Jamaica House Press Briefing in Kingston, said all efforts will be made to ensure that the activities are kept within the planned budget, which now stands at $688 million.

Meanwhile, Hanna said the budget for the London 02 event — being staged to showcase brand Jamaica during the summer Olympics — will be £250,000.

With the sponsorship commitments coming out of London and excitement for 02 , Hanna said the momentum will gather to build out that space with many persons expected to take advantage of the opportunity.

Last month, Hanna announced that the budget for the Jamaica 50 celebrations had been slashed from the $2.5 billion projected by the former Jamaica Labour Party Administration.

Although the official celebratory period will be from August 1 to 6, the minister outlined a number of activities, beginning with those planned for this year’s Labour Day event.

The intention, she said, is to have all 14 parishes ignited so that everything is not concentrated in Kingston.

A Golden Jubilee Village will also be created at the National Independence Park Complex, which will be transformed to showcase the best of Jamaica’s culture utilising the National Arena, the National Indoor Sports Centre, the National Stadium, and the surrounding car parks.

The Village, a live site for the Olympic broadcast and the hub of the Jamaica 50 celebrations, will feature booth spaces, sponsors’ pavilion, food courts, performance and children’s areas.

A global licensing and merchandising programme is also in place to maximise revenues for Jamaica 50. This will also ensure that Jamaica 50 merchandise is easily available for the local and international markets, in store, online, and at all official celebratory events.

Hanna said the merchandising contracts are now completed with seven companies licensed under the programme, and discussions are under way with two companies to produce and sell the commemorative pins for Jamaica 50, beginning this month-end.

Jamaica Business Development Corporation, she said, is activated for the small-and medium-sized producer, with vendors having an opportunity to showcase at the Jubilee Village.

The minister said the intention is to also have a commemorative item to be distributed similar to what was done in 1962 when students received a commemorative cup.

“We are trying to find a creative way to see how best to ask the private sector how to make these things a reality,” she said, adding that it was this sector which had sponsored this activity in 1962 Independence celebrations.

The Bank of Jamaica will also be releasing special commemorative coins and notes for the occasion.


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