“We are going to be doing it in association with the various industry organisations,” said Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia (Babsy) Grange.
“Some of them already have insurance programmes, so we can have a joined-up approach and make the programme substantive,” she added.
The Minister was addressing a seminar on financing, estate planning and investments for creative practitioners held on Wednesday (February 28) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew.
In highlighting the necessity for such a scheme, Ms. Grange informed that over the 12-month period from 2016 to 2017 “over 19 artistes and performers died in circumstances where State funds had to be used to provide support”.
She said that due to the level of requests for assistance coming to the Ministry, she had given a directive for resources to be set aside to provide support for indigent and ailing artistes, with the intention of creating an entertainment well-being fund.
She reported that last year, more than $1 million was spent to help meet the medical expenses of entertainers. “We don’t do it for publicity; we do it because it is important that we give the support,” she said.
Ms. Grange urged the entertainers to “put your house in order,” noting that the making of a will can prevent “total confusion” in their families when they die.
Minister Grange noted that the seminar, organised by the Ministry, was a “concrete step to provide education and the tools for creative persons who do not work nine-to-five, to secure their families’ future by planning smartly”.
The forum included presentations from the Administrator General’s Department, Ministry of Health, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), and some of the associations representing the creative industry.
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