Twenty years of staging the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) has been hailed a great milestone by the country’s Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence.
Mr Lawrence made this observation during the 2017 WCMF media launch on Thursday 13 July 2017 at the Fort Young Hotel.
He called the festival an “international music event which has now become very recognizable in the world and which from its inception in 1997 has remained one of the most successful music events in the region”.
WCMF, he said, has showcased many local, regional and international markets making its mark on the musical landscape of the world.
Lawrence saluted past and present executive directors and staff of the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) for their “very impressive work” as well as past and present staff members of the DFC, Discover Dominica Authority, Ministry of Tourism and government for their “consistent and dedicated work” in supporting and sustaining the festival through the years.
“Twenty years is indeed a great achievement for the organizers and for Dominica and for the region. Being involved in the organization and staging of festivals myself, I’m very much aware of the herculean effort it takes to mount a festival of this magnitude and to carry it out successfully so I really want to thank and congratulate the organizers…on a job well done,” he said.
The festival has grown in stature and professional presentation through its twenty years and seems to be attracting more people every year Lawrence added.
“Dominicans all over the world are proud of this product, this festival and from what I understand the overseas Dominicans are booking their flights long in advance, in order to be able to make it down in time for the festival. Visitors closer to home, like our friends from Guadeloupe and Martinique pack up the ferry boats every year to get to Dominica to experience the occasion and to get a taste of the Dominican culture,” he added.
Lawrence believes that this speaks well to the “tremendous impact” the festival has had on Dominica’s neighbours and the rest of the world in addition to the spinoffs here.
“As we are aware the hotels and guesthouses are usually fully booked for the occasion and taxi drivers and bus drivers and vendors benefit greatly from various hirers and sales. There are various aspects of culture as in the case of cultural industries which generate income and have the potential for earning even more income and more and more culture,” he explained.
Lawrence added that cultural heritage is becoming an increasingly important part of the tourism product which Dominica offers to the world.
He wished organizers every success in staging of this year’s festival and is hopeful that this “Dominican success story will continue to grow from strength to strength and continue to thrill and entertain as it has done so successfully in the past”.
The twentieth edition of the World Creole Music Festival is carded for October 27 to 29 2017 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.
The line-up of artistes, bands and performers for the annual festival are as follows;
Night One – Friday 27 October 2017 : Breve, Klass, Movado, First Serenade Band, Yemi Alade, and Triple Kay International
Night Two – Saturday 28 October 2017 : Marce et Tumpak, Kai/Machel Montano, Etana, Romain Virgo, Asa Bantan, Zouk All Stars, Jean-Marc Ferdinand, Orlane/Franky Vincent, Stephane Ravor
Night Three – 29 July 2017: Mizik A Nou All Stars, Kalash, Swinging Stars with Calypsonians, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, and Sweet Micky.