Jamaica Observer / KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, yesterday underscored the importance of empowering professionals in the creative industries to operate at an optimum level. Grange noted that the creative industry is now the driving force behind modern economies. “I urge you to hone your craft, to be on the ball with the major trends in marketing the entertainment industry, using creative ways to raise funds and most importantly, making money from your festivals,” said the minister. She was speaking at a seminar and workshop, labelled Festival X, which covered several topics designed to strengthen the capacity of festival organisers. “The role of my ministry is to ensure that the appropriate opportunities are made available for the benefit of players. This is one such opportunity that can prove beneficial to your endeavours.” The culture minister said the ministry had assisted three of Jamaica’s Festival organisers, Enola Williams, Lesley-Ann Welsh and Michael Holgate, to travel to the United Kingdom to get expert training in coordinating festivals so that they could in turn train other festival organisers locally. “We must discuss how Government, international partners and the private sector together can strengthen the entertainment economy in Jamaica,” she said. “I am committed to the Culture and Creative Industries because I know how important it is to the growth of our economy. Over the past two years, we have been putting in the work to facilitate as many opportunities as possible for all sectors through initiatives like this, policy creation through fiscal incentives as well as exchanges through our Creative City of Music network.” Grange thanked the British Council for partnering with the Government of Jamaica in staging the workshop/seminar and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) for coordinating the island’s community festivals.