June 13, 2021

Cayman Islands National Culture & Heritage Policy Booklet printed

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The Ministry of Health and Culture proudly revealed the country’s first printed copy of the National Culture & Heritage Policy and Strategic Plan on Monday, 22 May 2017.

Hon. Minister for Culture, Alden McLaughlin, noted: “This policy and strategic plan is an expression of this Government’s belief that we need to adopt and implement a set of coherent principles for culture and heritage. Areas of focus include land-based and maritime-heritage, legal and governance aspects, literary arts and oral history, visual arts, crafts and creative industries, and festivals and performing arts.”

Ministerial Councillor for Health and Culture, Mr. Roy McTaggart, Chief Officer for Health and Culture, Ms. Jennifer Ahearn, as well as Deputy Chief Officer for Health and Culture, Ms. Nancy Barnard unveiled the colourful booklet, which aside from setting out the policy directions for the culture and heritage sectors for the next 10 years, is also filled with the rich history of the Islands, images of cultural icons and significant events.

“Each page tells a story of our country’s history: who we were, who we are today and how I hope our ancestors and traditions will be remembered in the future,” Councillor McTaggart explains. “This unprecedented policy and strategic plan will aim to protect and preserve aspects of our Caymanian heritage, nurture and foster cultural expression and support the further growth of all creative industries in the Cayman Islands.”

Ministry leaders and a cabinet-appointed steering committee, comprised of public and private sector stakeholders, began work on the creation of the historic document in 2015.

After working rigorously to research and develop situational analyses for their respective sectors a draft policy was presented for public consultation in January 2017.

On 21 February 2017 Cabinet approved the document for the years 2017-2026, after which it was tabled at the Legislative Assembly.

“Many people have spent countless hours working, writing and researching material to make this policy and strategic plan a reality,” Chief Officer Ahearn said. “I’m thrilled that the hard work has now paid off, and today we are able to proudly present this booklet to the people of this country.”

Once the booklet is distributed throughout the country, interested persons will be able to read the policy at all district public libraries, public and private school libraries, the UCCI and ICCI libraries, all cultural, heritage and arts institutions, various service, social and sport clubs, as well as hospital waiting rooms and coffee shops.

In addition, an e-book format of the policy can be found online by early June at the Ministry’s website.

“The Culture & Heritage Policy truly speaks to the heart and soul of the Cayman Islands; it is time to have these sectors given the strategic focus and support required to preserve our fragile heritage, both tangible and intangible, and to develop the creative cultural spheres,” DCO Barnard added. “We are so grateful to each and every stakeholder who telephoned, came to public meetings, sent in feedback forms and did the survey, to contribute to this policy. It was developed by wide consultation.”

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