Project Director of the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Robert Bryan, is expressing confidence that the recent celebratory events were done within budget.
"The budget as we had discussed it ... we expect that we will be able to pay our bills based on staying within the parameters of the planning," Bryan said yesterday. "Based on the plan that we have and what actually unfolded, we expect to be within the framework of the planned budget."
Bryan was addressing the media at the Wyndham Kingston hotel on the just-concluded events to celebrate Jamaica's Golden Jubilee. He said the secretariat was still doing its assessment of revenue generation.
"At the moment, we are gathering the final returns and invoices. We still have some money chasing on the road, but we are paying our bills and we expect that that process will be completed certainly by the end of the month," explained Bryan, who said he didn't expect any surprises in relation to the final calculations.
Bryan said J$688 million was budgeted for the events, the majority of which went to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.
But even though Independence-related events are over, Culture Minister Lisa Hanna said the 'mission' continues, with focus turned to the legacy component of the programme, led by the Legacy Committee chaired by Billy Heaven.
"We have a number of projects in education, infrastructure, heritage, culture, academia, other symposia, literature and the arts which will be implemented over the course of the rest of this year. Some of them have been finalised and I will come and tell you what those are at a later date," she said. Hanna explained that Jamaica 50 would be a blueprint for revenue generation.
"Based on the framework that has been created, the objective is now to fine-tune this model and ... to transform that into a more robust action plan aimed at positioning the cultural and entertainment industry as a central pillar for economic growth going forward."
Going forward, she said the yearly period July 1 to August 6 will be transformed into a major focal point in positioning the country by creating a truly international event to showcase Jamaica, ending with the main celebrations from August 1 to 6.
"This is the part of a larger mission for the country over the next 50 years. To this extent, we are focusing our attention to the creation of the policy environment to support the institutionalisation of this objective."
She said the secretariat would frame the plan which will be made public after the necessary discussions with Cabinet.