By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
NEWLY appointed Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg said he wants to create an advisory council in his ministry where all stakeholders can be involved to help transform the entertainment and cultural industry.
Mr Bowleg spoke to reporters a day after he was sworn into office at Baha Mar. He is one of 22 government ministers who are now a part of the Davis-led Cabinet.
“One thing we want to do is bring people involvement in the ministry and when I say people involvement, no one knows everything as it relates to any aspects of life and so the first thing I want to do is immediate put an advisory council in place for culture so we can get all stakeholders involved and so that we can move culture or bring culture back to the place where it needs to be and ensure that our entertainment industry is well taken care of,” Mr Bowleg told reporters.
“The same thing I want to do for sports, and I think once we put those in place, we’ll have more young people involved in the decision making of the programmes that we will bring to the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture.”
He also said: “…There’s a lot of jobs inside that industry but plenty people don’t realise that but once you see this advisory council is made to place, then you’ll see what we’re talking about as it relates to the job creation that will come for a lot of entertainers that are sitting home now and have nothing to do.”
As it relates to the future of Junkanoo this year, Mr Bowleg said he could not comment on the matter just yet. He only said getting the pandemic under control is the government’s main focus.
“Right now, the health of the nation is what is most important and the protection of lives as it relates to COVID,” he added. “So I wouldn’t want to make any assumption or discussion as it relates to Junkanoo. We just want to make sure that we control this COVID environment, and we can live safely and then we will be concerned about Junkanoo moving forward.”
Earlier this month, chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence Dion Miller told The Tribune the organisation does not foresee any “traditional” parades this year given the worrisome COVID situation in the country.
“In regard to this year, the JCNP and our partners do not foresee any traditional Junkanoo parades this year as we have seen in past years and that’s due to the COVID pandemic,” Mr Miller said.
“I can share that we have just begun some sort of communication with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and our corporate sponsors on developing plans for a Junkanoo experience. What that experience is, I can’t speak to exactly right now, but in regard to traditional parades on Bay Street, we do not foresee that happening this year again.”