Good afternoon Minister Furbert, members of the media:
In the last week or so since becoming the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with the Officers within Ministry.
These are very dedicated individuals, and it’s evident that they have a passion and love for Bermuda’s arts, culture, heritage, youth and sports.
This is also a Ministry that connects with so many areas of our community, and it is my immense pleasure and privilege to serve as their Minister.
The Ministry’s mission is: “To develop and celebrate our people.”
We believe that the uniqueness of our people and our culture is our Country’s greatest asset, and our Ministry is committed to developing and celebrating our people throughout our island.
As it relates to the 2020 Throne Speech our focus this upcoming session will be the creation of a National Youth Policy and the development of a National Cultural Heritage Policy.
As we highlighted in the 2020 Throne Speech, Bermuda’s future must be built by those to whom it most belongs. This is a Ministry which respects and values our young people’s contributions to society.
The development of a National Youth Policy will seek to foster direct engagement with our youth in the creation of government policy. This has been an extraordinary year of youth mobilization and social action, and that hasn’t been lost on this Government or this Ministry.
There is immense value in engaging with our young people; as such, it is important that we harness their energy, creativity, ideas and passion about the causes that are most important to them.
Working in partnership with other key stakeholders it’s our goal to involve our youth in the formation of a Youth Policy that supports and empowers this most critical segment of our community.
Programs that serve this population will be reviewed for effective delivery and revised as necessary to inspire a generation of informed and independent thinkers.
Although Bermuda is a country that encompasses many cultures, the National Cultural Heritage Policy will embrace and celebrate one history and a shared cultural identity.
This policy will present the Ministry’s vision for preserving, celebrating and educating our community about Bermuda’s rich cultural heritage.
The National Cultural Heritage Policy for Bermuda will be a product of significant community engagement – including feedback from cultural organisations, artists, and other creatives.
It is our hope that this document will serve as an evolving blueprint for the deliberate integration of culture into each and every aspect of Bermudian life.
Some of the other aspects contained in the National Cultural Heritage Policy for Bermuda include the promotion and development of culture and the arts, and the preservation and protection of our cultural heritage.
We look forward to engaging with the community as we further the development of this critical policy.
We are very excited about the work being done to create these strategies and the engagement has already begun.
I hope to provide future updates on their progress.
Going forward we will continue supporting those popular and critical cultural, artistic, sports and youth programs, events and initiatives sponsored by the Ministry that the public have come to expect from us.
The pandemic has made this an unusual year for all of us.
For the first time in our history, we’ve had to engage and to connect in ways that are at times unfamiliar to us.
As such, we’ve had to make adjustments. But it’s been during this time of uncertainty that our cultural and national pride has shone through.
Our determination and perseverance as a community in successfully navigating this pandemic is proof that our cultural legacy is one of strength and resilience.
For our part, we have made the necessary adjustments in how we engage and connect with our community.
And as we press forward during these trying times our commitment will be to continue to support our artists; continue to preserve our cultural traditions; continue to celebrate athletic and sporting excellence; and continue developing our youth through sport and recreation.
All of which we believe will continue to enhance the quality of life for our entire community.
I will end by reminding us all that culture is the backbone of society.
It is the glue that binds us together and informs our identity as individuals and as a community.
This Ministry has a tremendous role to play in the fabric of Bermudian society. And I’m very proud to be part of this team as we continue to develop and celebrate our people in a multitude of ways.