Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has announced plans by the Ministry to establish an insurance fund for performing artistes and musicians.
Speaking at the media launch for Reggae Month 2020 at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (December 3), the Minister said it is being proposed that provisions under the facility, being targeted for introduction in 2020, cover life, health, maternity and pension.
“We have the athletes’ insurance fund and it has worked well for our athletes. So, we want to establish a similar fund [for performing artistes/entertainers and musicians],” Ms. Grange said.
The Minister advised that the initiative will be undertaken in partnership with several key stakeholders.
Among them arethe Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM), Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), and Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA).
Ms. Grange further indicated that she is in discussion with Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in relation to exploring the possibility of benefits under the proposed Tourism Workers Pension Scheme also accruing to entertainers and musicians.
Meanwhile, Ms. Grange acknowledged Jamaican musical pioneers, “including those who have transitioned”,who have contributed significantly to the local industry’s development, pointing out that “we proudly stand on the shoulders of the work you have done”.
In his remarks, Minister Bartlett argued that reggae “is perhaps, the most pervasive music form that has found itself in almost every element of human activity”.
He described as “amazing” the extent to which religious groups “that have been particularly conservative, are now embracing reggae”.
In this regard, Mr. Bartlett said the industry’s stakeholders are “partners in this wonderful business of extolling the wonderful assets of Jamaica, particularly as it reflects itself in our very iconic global music form called reggae”.
Reggae Month 2020 will be celebrated next February under the theme ‘Come ketch de Riddim’.
It will feature 29 days of live reggae music activities on the island and in the Jamaican diaspora.