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DFC rolls out programme chronicling history of WCMF

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Part of this year's WCMF line up (left to right): Michele Henderson, Chronixx, Asa Bantan and Machel Montano

Roseau, Dominica – (August 13, 2018) — Organizers of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, the Dominica Festivals Committee are rolling out a series of programmes chronicling the history of the festival as it nears the celebrations of the 20th edition from October 26-28, 2018 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in Roseau, Dominica.

The series referred to as Festival-la Wive, is being aired on all the major radio stations in Dominica as a simulcast every other Tuesday August from 8:00 p.m.

Produced by the DFC and hosted by popular Creole announcer, Leroy “Wadix” Charles, the series will include programmes on Creole and the national cultural identity, the early years of building the World Creole Music Festival, the first years of the festival, the post-Eddie Toulon era of the festival, incorporation of new genres in the festival programme, the economic impact of the festival, broadening the festival, and inclusion of fringe events on the festival programme.

The programmes will include voices of those who have performed different roles since the creation of the festival including those who served as Event Director and in other major roles. Speaking on the series, acting Festival and Events Manager, Marva Williams said she was excited about the series and hopes that it will serve to provide a historical perspective on the growth of the festival and clear any misconception of the role of the festival in the development of festival tourism in Dominica.

According to Williams, “The series is important in several ways as it not only provides information on how the festival was created and the objectives set by its founders, but also will serve to inspire those interested in promoting similar types of events in Dominica.”

Part of this year’s WCMF line up (left to right): Machel Montano, Yemi Alade, Kes the Band and Sweet Mickey.

“For us at DFC we believe that this series will serve as an important forum to discuss the value and importance of festival tourism in Dominica and to ensure that this generation of fans understand and appreciate the contribution of those who worked hard to sustain the event,” Williams concluded.

The next simulcast of Festival-la Wive is scheduled for Tuesday 14th August, from 8:00 p.m. and will be aired on DBS Radio, Kairi FM, Vibes Radio and Q95 FM.

For more information on the 20th Annual World Creole Music Festival, visit www.DominicaFestivals.com, like our Facebook page Dominica Festivals.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 1-767- 448-2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

About Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival

Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival celebrates the creole culture of creole speaking countries in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. The Festival, held annually in October seeks to augment the creole month festivities and Independence celebrations held during this period as well as boost visitor arrivals to the island.

The World Creole Music Festival features various musical genres to include reggae, zouk, konpa, cadence, bouyon, salsa, dancehall/hip hop, meringue, soukous, zydeco. The Festival is dubbed ‘Three Nights of Pulsating Rhythms’ for its wide repertoire of musical genres on showcase each night. Join us for the 20th World Creole Music Festival, October 26-28, 2018.

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U.S. Embassy Youth Ambassadors to participate in U.S. Government-sponsored Leadership Program

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The 2018 Eastern Caribbean Youth Ambassadors (left to right) Aliyah Jean-Jacques; Jhie Auguste; Rhobyn Barnabe-Grant; Safin Connor; Rhion Charles; Richardo Lockhart; Kai Allman; and Natasha Nation (mentor).

Seven Youth Ambassadors from the Eastern Caribbean will travel to the United States in August for the 2018 Youth Ambassadors Program in the Caribbean.  During their exchange, participants will focus on the program’s themes of civic education, leadership, and community service.  Students will also create social action plans at the end of their community program that each will then implement in his or her country.

The Youth Leaders from the Eastern Caribbean are:

  • Richardo Lockhart of Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Kai Allman, of Barbados;
  • Aliyah Jean-Jacques of Dominica;
  • Rhion Charles of Grenada;
  • Jhie Auguste of St. Lucia;
  • Safin Connor of St. Kitts and Nevis; and
  • Rhobyn Barnabe-Grant of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

They are accompanied by mentor, Natasha Nation of Dominica, and will take part in the three-week exchange program, along with participants from The Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The goals of the exchange program are to prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; create networks of hemispheric youth leaders; and promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States, South America, and the Caribbean.

The program will begin on August 7 in Vermont, and concludes in Washington, D.C. on August 28.

Since 2007, World Learning has implemented the Youth Ambassadors Program. World Learning is an American nonprofit organization advancing leadership in more than 60 countries. Its mission is to empower people and strengthen institutions through education, sustainable development, and exchange programs.

This article was first published on the US Embassy of Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS website.

 

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#3 – Dominica, a Different Adventure

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Dominica - A Different Adventure (Dominica Film Challenge 2018 video)

At the halfway point already! The momentum has been building and it's sure to come to a crescendo when you view this fantastic new video as part of the 2018 Dominica Film Challenge! Produced by Sheldon Casimir and @Norris Francois Jr. , this film 'Dominica - A Different Adventure' gives a thrilling peek into the varied adventures you can enjoy when you come visit to #ReDiscoverDominica! Plunge into a river pool, lounge on the beach, tube down a river, view whales year round, ride a horse through a forest trail, participate in cultural and entertainment activities; these are just a few of the countless fun experiences featured! Remember to view, like and SHARE, and tune in for the next video premiere on Friday! #ReDiscoverDominica #DominicaChallenge #NatureIsland. Thrilled to come visit? Get great deals here: http://discoverdominica.com/spring2018/index.html

Posted by Discover Dominica on Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This video is called Dominica, a Different Adventure and was produced by Team #3, Sheldon Casimir and Norris Francois Jr.

 

 

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DDA releases videos of Dominica Film Challenge finalists

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(Press Release) After five exciting weeks of shooting, social media posts and editing, the 6 thrilling videos produced during the Dominica Film Challenge 2018 are now being released online. Over the next two weeks, the videos will be premiered directly to the Discover Dominica’s Facebook page for public viewing.

The highly anticipated release of the completed videos follows the production period where six select teams of the best videographers/storytellers on island went out to film unique and compelling scenes of what Dominica has to offer visitors. The winning team will be rewarded with an EC$10,000 grand prize for the best promotional video, with EC$5,000 going to the second place team.

The release dates for each video are (click the links below to see the videos!):

Date Title Filmmakers
August 3 Nature Island Rejuvenation Armani Augustine
Garvin Leblanc
August 6 Hiking an Island Reborn Derek Galon
Margaret Gajek
August 8 Dominica, a Different Adventure Sheldon Casimir
Norris Francois Jr.
August 10 You and Me Marica Honychurch
Arnaud Chabert
August 13 Waitukubuli, a Love Letter Tridel Edwin
Elias Dupuis
August 15 Dominica – From Past to Promise Kreig Harris
Ericson Joseph

Discover Dominica Authority encourages all lovers of the Nature Island to follow the video posts and more importantly, to re-post the videos and help them go ‘viral’. This is a great opportunity for the Dominican communities at home and abroad to use the hashtags #RediscoverDominica and #DominicaChallenge and create great momentum on the Social Media platforms such as InstagramFacebook and Twitter as we collectively showcase the wonderful sites of Dominica to all. 

About the Dominica Film Challenge

The DDA has hosted two earlier versions of the Film Challenge, in 2014 and 2015. The first event in 2014 featured five teams of participants from the US market. In the second version, participation was extended to include other markets such as France and Canada.

These earlier Film Challenges were a combination of social media ambassador programs, journalistic FAM trips and event competition. The chosen participants were all skilled filmmakers/photographers with large social media followings.

This year’s Challenge commenced on June 18, 2018 and will conclude on August 22, 2018 with a closing/prize-giving ceremony where the winner will be announced.

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Assisting families with house repairs – IOM

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We’re so thrilled to have assisted over 450 families with housing repairs in Dominica!

Touching lives in the communities where we work means the world to us and we’re committed to providing safer housing solutions to as many of the most vulnerable households as possible before the end of September 2018.

Our achievements have been made possible through the assistance of dedicated village councils and community members, our team, donors and the Government of Dominica.

Together, we’re rebuilding Dominica- better homes, better communities, better lives.

About IOM UN Migration

The United Nations Migration Agency aims to provide shelter for the most vulnerable and information on the Building Codes those who will rebuild themselves.

Contact: Website | Facebook

 

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#2 – Hiking an Island Reborn

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'Hiking an Island Reborn' Dominica Film Challenge Video

Still many more exciting films coming your way as part of the 2018 Dominica Film Challenge! Today it's all about team 2 led by Derek Galon with the short film 'Hiking an Island Reborn'. This film is centered around the theme 'Hiking' and gives fascinating insight into the versatile hiking experience available right now in the #NatureIsland! From leisurely strolls along trails through the quickly-renewing forest vegetation, or exploring seascapes, to canyoning adventures down cliffs and gorges! Remember to view, like and SHARE, and tune in for the third video on Wednesday! #ReDiscoverDominica #DominicaChallenge Ozone Zone Books

Posted by Discover Dominica on Monday, August 6, 2018

This video is called Hiking an Island Rebortn and was produced by Team #2, Derek Galon and Margaret Gajek.

 

 

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Putting Dominica on the map

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Bele Dance. Nadia Mauricia Harvey, Kelvin Sabba Cuffy and Jean Paul

(Press Release) Dominica Arts & Culture Exposé is pleased to announce another successful “TASTE OF Dominica and the Caribbean” which was held on Saturday July 14th, 2018 at the Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St, Ontario, Canada

Taste of Dominica and the Caribbean brought 6000 members of the GTA together to celebrate all that Dominica had to offer. Visitors from all walks of life came to taste a variety of Dominica/ Caribbean staple dishes, admire some of Dominica’s signature hand- made arts and crafts, and to learn information about the Nature Isle.

Dernell George. VP of DACE – Display of the Dominica map at the “Taste of Dominica and the Caribbean”

This year’s Taste of Dominica and the Caribbean came on the heels of Hurricane Maria which, on September 18th, 2017, left thousands of Dominicans homeless, and destroyed a number of schools, residential, and government buildings.

We were excited to have the opportunity to raise funds to rebuild schools in Dominica; we are grateful for the support and participation of Discover Dominica, MWDC Madam Wob Dwiyet of Canada, and the Commonwealth of Dominica Association (CDOA). Discover Dominica provided giveaways to the Taste of Dominica and the Caribbean. This October, one of the lucky winners will be heading to Dominica for the World Creole Music Festival.

Taste of Dominica. Mel Lastman Square. Toronto

Dominica Arts & Culture Exposé is hard at work preparing for the next year’s event which will be bigger and better. With our partners Madam Wob Dwiyet of Canada (MWDC) we will be showcasing the celebration of our national costume on a larger scale in 2019.]

 

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#1 – Nature Island Rejuvenation

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'Isle of Rejuvenation' Dominica Film Challenge Video 1

We bring you our first video from the Dominica Film Challenge 2018! Based on the theme 'Health and Wellness,' this video was created by Team 1 - Aarmani DirectorbyaccidentFilms Augustine and Garvin Leblanc. View, like and share, and tune in for the second video next Monday! #ReDiscoverDominica #DominicaChallenge ByAccident Films

Posted by Discover Dominica on Friday, August 3, 2018

This video is called Nature Island Rejuvenation and was produced by Team #1, Armani Augustine and Garvin Leblanc.

 

 

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JetBlue is expanding ‘Mint’ in the Caribbean

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JetBlue Mint

JetBlue has announced an expansion of its Mint premium cabin service across the Caribbean.

JetBlue will be adding Mint to nonstop flights between Boston and Saint Lucia later this year, along with adding Mint service to its flights from New York to Costa Rica.

Mint service, which first launched in 2014, includes expanded seats with 10-inch TV screens with free entertainment, power outlets; a self-serve station with free snacks, sodas and water; free Fly-Fi and perks like a free signature cocktail, a tapas-style menu by New York City restaurant Saxon + Parole; fresh espresso from the carrier’s purpose-built capuccino machine, amenity kits by Hayward and Hopper and dessert from local artisanal ice cream makers.

JetBlue Mint
(Photo source: CaribJournal.com)

“Adding Mint between these cities means travelers on these routes can finally enjoy a first-class flying experience,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “When Mint first launched more than four years ago, we knew we had created an unmatchable premium experience, but we could have never imagined Mint would be landing in well over a dozen destinations in such a short time.”

Liberia becomes the first Mint city in Latin America, meaning the only regularly scheduled flights to Liberia with lie-flat premium seats.

JetBlue is also planning to resume its Saturday Mint flights from New York-John F. Kennedy to St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport in February 2019.

The carrier will additionally be launching Saturday Mint flights from Boston to St Maarten, also in February 2019.

JetBlue Mint
Amenity kids are included in Mint service. (Photo source: CaribJournal.com)

The expansion is part of what JetBlue called a “broader commitment to the Caribbean destination as it increases capacity in the market.”

JetBlue also offers Mint service on select flights to Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia, among others.

This article was first published on CaribJournal.com.

 

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The “Whale Whisperer” who makes huge whale spin on request

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Many would not think it possible for anyone outside a water park to make a 30 foot whale do what they like – well meet the man who can.

This amazing footage from the Caribbean shows “whale whisperer” Andrew Armour prompting an enormous sperm whale to spin – and it dutifully follows his commands.

Andrew, who runs whale watching tours from Rosaeu in Dominica, says it is “a joy” to be able to work with the graceful creatures.

“The performance of spinning and getting them to do likewise is simply from my idea that they should also be enjoying the interaction, and that is what makes what I do so successful,” he said.

Andrew Armour
Andrew Armour has been filmed prompting an enormous sperm whale to spin. (Photo source: Caters News Agency)

“These animals have been spending great lengths of time off Dominica’s west coast. This means that I have been able to do quite a bit of interaction with these whales from the time I started swimming with them in the early nineties.

“It is a joy to have worked with these sperm whales for the benefit of my clients who want to swim with them.”

The footage was captured by part-time underwater photographer Scott Belt while he was on one of Andrew’s tours in February.

52-year-old Scott, an attorney by trade, says he suspects this may have been “a once-in-a-lifetime experience” and that he found it “unbelievable”

“I was completely surprise by what I was witnessing in person and capturing on video; there was no advanced plan that the guide would try to get the whale to react,” he said.

“It was almost unbelievable to see the whale’s response by spinning along with the guide.

“I suspect this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I am grateful to have been present to witness this in person and capture it on video.”

The article was first published on CatersNews.com.

 

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Communique of 91st Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

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1.0 Monetary Stability

Council received the Governor’s Report on Monetary and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).  The report assessed the recent trends in monetary and credit conditions for the period April 2017 to March 2018, within the context of the Bank’s broader objectives of ensuring the stability of the exchange rate and the financial system.

Council was apprised of the following:

  • Global output is estimated to have risen to 3.8 per cent in 2017 and is forecast to continue rising in 2018 and 2019 to a projected 3.9 per cent.
  • With strong global economic growth, it is anticipated that ECCB member countries will benefit from positive spill-overs including increased Tourism, Foreign Direct Investment and Remittances.
  • Money and credit conditions continued to show a general improvement but domestic credit conditions were less than optimal. Domestic credit fell by 1.2 per cent to $9.7 billion.
  • Growth in money supply increased by 4.1 per cent to $17.1 billion as at 31 March 2018.
  • The Currency Union’s exchange rate arrangement continued to be supported by a strong and growing stock of foreign currency reserves.

Having considered the state of monetary and credit conditions, Council agreed to maintain the Minimum Savings Deposit Rate at 2.0 per cent and the Central Bank’s discount rate at 6.5 per cent. The Minimum Savings Rate is the lowest rate that commercial banks can offer on savings deposits.  The Central Bank’s Discount Rate is the rate at which the ECCB lends to commercial banks and governments.

2.0 Financial Stability

Council was informed that as at 31 March 2018, the ECCU banking sector was assessed as stable. Although, generally speaking, banks are in compliance with capital requirements, there is a need to strengthen capital given the impact of non-performing loans (NPLs), growth strategies and the likely effects of Basel II/III and IFRS 9 requirements.

With respect to the banking sector, Council also noted, that as at 31 March 2018:

  • Total assets increased by 3.9 per cent to $30.8 billion (156.3 per cent of GDP);
  • Deposits increased by 3.6 per cent to $21.6 billion (109.6 per cent of GDP);
  • Loans and advances had a nominal contraction of 0.1 per cent to $12.2 billion (61.9 per cent of GDP); and
  • The non-performing loan ratio increased from 10.9 per cent to 12.0 per cent.

Council was updated on the status of the ECCU Credit Bureau Project. It noted that following Requests for Proposals, two firms had been shortlisted and site visits were being planned.  It is anticipated that the Evaluation Committee will recommend a firm by September 2018 and that firm will be licensed to operate by December 2018.   Council reaffirmed its desire to have the Bureau launched by June 2019.

Council was notified of the reconstitution of the Eastern Caribbean Payments Council (ECPC). Given the importance of a stable, efficient and secure payment system, Council fully endorsed the objectives and functions of the reconstituted ECPC and gave its commitment to support further developments including the modernisation of the ECCU Payments System.

3.0 Growth and Competitiveness

As it relates to growth, Council noted that real economic activity is projected to expand by 1.7 per cent in 2018.

Council was briefed on the status of the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC) Agreement which came into being on 7 May 2018, noting that six participating governments had enacted the legislation and funding was secured from The World Bank with St Kitts and Nevis self-financing. The ECPCGC is scheduled to become operational by December 2018. Council ratified its decision on the nominees for the ECPCGC Board of Directors.

Council noted the recent dialogue between the ECCB and the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago exploring various options to address issues related to the difficulties with payment settlement for traders selling agricultural produce in Trinidad and Tobago.

4.0 Report from the Technical Core Committee on Insurance (BAICO and CLICO)

Council was informed that, of the funds available for distribution, 98 per cent was distributed to EC Dollar policyholders, and 76 per cent to US Dollar policyholders under the Plan of Arrangement (BAICO and CLICO) Act on 18 December 2017.

5.0 Change of Substrate for ECCB Banknotes

Council ratified its decision on the designs for the new family of ECCB polymer banknotes. Polymer notes offer the advantages of more advanced security features and greater durability.  Circulation of the new notes is scheduled for mid-2019.

6.0 Date and Venue of 92nd Meeting of the Monetary Council

Council agreed to the convening of the 92nd Meeting of the Monetary Council on Friday, 26 October 2018 via videoconference.

7.0 Attendance

Council Members who attended the meeting were:

  1. Dr The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Grenada (Chairman)
  2. Hon Victor F Banks, Chief Minister and Minister for Finance, Anguilla;
  3. Hon Gaston Browne, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Antigua and Barbuda;
  4. Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Commonwealth of Dominica;
  5. Hon Donaldson Romeo, Premier and Minister for Finance, Montserrat;
  6. Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, St Kitts and Nevis;
  7. The Hon Camillo Gonsalves, Minister for Finance, St Vincent and the Grenadines; and
  8. Senator, the Hon Ubaldus Raymond, Minister of Public Service, Temporary Council Alternate for Saint Lucia.

 

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Carnival Cruise Line Resumes Summer Calls to Dominica

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On July 10 Dominica celebrated the long awaited return of Carnival Cruise Line as the Carnival Fascination sailed into the island’s capital Roseau, bringing 2,669 cruise passengers.

Prior to this call Carnival Cruise Line last called to Dominica during the 2015-2016 season, and prior to that, in 2010.

During the ship’s second call on July 24, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Discover Dominica Authority, and local ship agent – HHV Whitchurch made special presentations to Captain Renato Denbendinelly during a plaque exchange ceremony held at the Dominica Museum.

A crew lounge with internet access located at the Museum to was also unveiled to the captain and crew members of the Fascination.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture through the Permanent Secretary Careen Prevost reiterated the need and continuation for excellent and professional delivery of quality customer service, and proper organization of tours; while Benoit Bardouille, Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authorities, expressed his satisfaction based on the feedback received on the ground from both local stakeholders, and passengers.

As part of the welcome visitors were also entertained by an array of cultural performances at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth, while a live mural painting, created on-site by the Waitukubuli Artists Association added to the visitors’ experience, creating photo opportunities for the disembarking passengers.

The article was originally published on CruiseIndustryNews.com.

 

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Darrel Toulon returns to Dominica to create Maria-based musical theatre

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Darrel Toulon
Darrel Toulon (photo credit: Tanz.at)

PRESS RELEASE (July 10, 2018) – Dominican-born Darrel Toulon returns to his native country after 37 years of living and working in UK, Germany and Austria to create a piece of Musical Theatre together with young talented fellow-Dominicans.

“Oh Maria! – songs and stories of the survivors” is going to be an original Song Cycle to be created over an intense collaborative 2-week Workshop, to be performed in Venues all across Dominica.

During the Workshop, which will run from 5th until 18th August 2018 at Old Mill Cultural Center, stories of survivors of Hurricane Maria will be converted into monologues, and then into lyrics for songs arranged for performance by the Workshop Participants themselves.

Under the Artistic Direction of Darrel Toulon, the selected Participants of the Workshop, who Toulon plans to attract from all over the Island, will be introduced to a whole new range of creative tools, by the international Leading Team of Maurizio Nobili (Musical Director, Song Writer, Composer, and Arranger) and Carole Alston (Singer, Actress, Vocal Coach, Singing Teacher).

Complementing the Faculty will be Alwin Bully, Pearle Christian, Lennox Honychurch, Dorothy Leevy, Ophelia Marie, and Anthony Toulon who have been invited to give Key-Talks, providing invaluable intergenerational local input.

Darrel Toulon stated: “This provides me with a chance to give something back to Dominica after 37 years of living and working abroad. Leading and creating similar projects internationally with people from other countries and using their traumatic experiences to communicate with a contemporary European Audience, it matters now to initiate this project back home.”

Darrel Toulon raises money
Toulon raised EC$99,000 for the Princess Margaret Hospital with a Benefit Gala, under the honorary patronage of Dr. Bettina Vollath, Parliamentary President of Styria in Vienna Austria

The Project was well-received at its first presentation to the Dominica High Commission in London.

Janet Charles, Acting High Commissioner stated: “Following the astounding success of the Gala event in Austria last year, the Dominica High Commission in the United Kingdom is very pleased to endorse Darrel Toulon and his team for the upcoming project in Dominica.”

This is an excellent Education opportunity for the participants, to work with experienced and highly skilled professionals of international repute, where they will be given guidance and coaching, be introduced to ideas concerning storytelling, song-writing, arrangement, interpretation, and performance, for creative purposes of transforming the stories of trauma and resilience.

The final performance will be kept deceptively simple, almost like a Live-Radio-Play, in that the emphasis will be on the voice, and the stories will unfold through song, spoken-word and a sound-scape all created in the 2-week Workshop.

Alwin Bully, one of the first to be approached to be part of the Academy stated: “The Arts can be incredible supporters and healers of the traumatized after disasters. It would be truly interesting and amazing to see what can be achieved when a group of talented individuals come together around a specific theme.”

Carla Armour of Vetivert Inc. expressed her excitement about working with “Oh Maria!”: “As a company specializing in producing and promoting Heritage Events and Creative Tourism it is very exciting to work with Darrel and the alpha group’s project and to realize “Oh Maria!”. It is a perfect extension of our current activities geared toward finding new and innovative approaches to rebuild and renew ourselves post-Hurricane Maria. Numerous studies show the importance of creative expression and innovative implementation of traditional practices in building psychological resilience. We are confident that this ambitious project will provide an ideal seedbed to help accomplish this.”

Gisele Astaphan, as Sponsor for “Oh Maria!” stated: “I support this venture because it is free and accessible for all. The only way we can advance as a nation is to create a society which develops the human mind and its creativity to maximize the potential.”

Discover Dominica Authority has endorsed ‘Oh Maria’ as new or improved skills learned during the workshop will be an enhancement to Dominica’s cultural tourism offering as they can be incorporated into existing tours or used to create new tour options.

“Oh Maria!” is a production of the alpha group (Austria), and is Presented in Dominica by the Dominica Institute of the Arts, Division of Culture.

It is sponsored by J. Astaphan & Co, Josephine Gabriel & Co, Valley Engineering, and Harmony Villa.

Other interested members of the Private and Public Sector are being invited to join as Sponsors in this inaugural Project of the Summer Artistic Academy.

 

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Dominica to represent at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games

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The Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC) is pleased to once again announce its representation on the international sporting stage, with a ten (10) member delegation comprising of six (6) athletes and four (4) officials, competing in Track & Field, Fencing and Beach Volleyball at the 2018 Caribbean and Central American (CAC) Games.

The Games, held predominately in Barranquilla, Colombia began with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday July 19, 2018 at which Track and Field Commonwealth Games medalist Thea Lafond executed the role of flag bearer for her country.

The team, detailed below, is led by Chef De Mission, Mr. Woodrow Lawrence OLY, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this role, both from a managerial and athlete perspective.

Beach Volleyball

Coach Athlete
Ray Robinson Yahn Florent
Lincoln Riviere

Track and Field

Coach Athlete
Aaron Gadson Thea Lafond (Triple Jump)
Yordanys Duranona (Triple Jump)

Fencing

Coach Athlete
Cody Morris Shanelle Nichols (Epee and Foil Individual)
Marlon Marie (Epee and Foil Individual)

The DOC enter the Games looking to build on the organizations previous medal tally of three (3), whilst making history as Dominican athletes compete in both Fencing and Beach Volleyball for the first time.

The CAC Games are a multi-sport regional championship event, held every quadrennial with countries representing from Central America, the Caribbean, as well as for Bermuda, Mexico, and the South American countries of Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. The Games will run for duration of three (3) weeks, with the closing ceremony held on August 3rd, 2018.

The DOC is also proud to announce that local Volleyball referee Mr. Julian Seraphine, has been appointed as one of the referees for the 2018 CAC Games, where he will oversee games in the Beach Volleyball discipline.

Mr. Billy Doctrove, President of the Dominica Olympic Committee commented “We are happy to be able to expose Fencing and Beach Volleyball to this level of competition and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the respective Associations on the work they are putting in to develop the sport at the local level. I take this opportunity to wish all the athletes and officials a successful and enjoyable 2018 CAC Games.”

This information was first published on the DOC Facebook page.

 

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‘Oh Maria’ cast to participate in climate change movie

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Darrel Toulon
Toulon raised EC$99,000 for the Princess Margaret Hospital with a Benefit Gala, under the honorary patronage of Dr. Bettina Vollath, Parliamentary President of Styria in Vienna Austria

PRESS RELEASE (July 24, 2018) – Curt Faudon, International Film Producer based in New York, has invited Darrel Toulon and the Cast of “Oh, Maria!” to participate in his up and coming Film, “SHIP OF SONGS”. The Movie, a response to climate change, will feature the Vienna Boys Choir, singer Alicia Keys, and Pierce Brosnan as Narrator.

Darrel Toulon
Toulon is a Dominican born actor and dancer based in Vienna, Austria.

Darrel Toulon has previously worked with Curt Faudon on several Film Productions and will be collaborating with the Film Director in the process of the “Oh, Maria!” Workshops.

Clips of the songs and monologues while being created, will be shared with Curt Faudon, between Dominica and the exotic distant locations where filming is already underway for “SHIP OF SONGS”. Curt Faudon is also expected to visit the island for part of the Workshop which will run from Tuesday 7th until Saturday 18th August, 2018.

The schedule has now been changed, and the Workshop will run from 4:30 pm until 10 pm!

“Oh, Maria!” is a creative Workshop under the Artistic Direction of Dominican born Darrel Toulon, with Maurizio Nobili (Musical Director) and Carole Alston (Vocal Coach), where selected local participants will write songs and monologues based on stories of survival. The culmination of this Workshop will be a final performance of original Musical Theater, with emphasis on the voice.

One special song-sequence from “Oh, Maria!” will be selected for the movie, in which the VIENNA BOYS CHOIR travel the globe, meet fellow musicians, bond and sing together, making true music never heard before, performed by world-class artistes, amid spectacular scenery.

Mr Faudon stated: “I am really happy that you and your great Island Dominica will be part of the fascinating project.” Mr Faudon is looking to dedicate 3-6 minutes of the movie to Dominica.

Wanting to show Dominica and its unique diversity of people, Darrel Toulon stated: “I do hope that participants will come from all over the island to join this workshop, especially from the Kalinago Territory. I want us to create a really original and authentic piece of Musical Theater that will reach an International audience, in a top-quality movie with Artistes like Alicia Keys and Pierce Brosnan.”

This is a remarkable, unique and wonderful opportunity to showcase the nature island of Dominica, in the context of our planet’s problems: superstorms and killer-hurricanes in the Caribbean, melting icebergs, rising sea levels, pelagic plastics and chemical sludge in the oceans, overcrowding in some animal species, the threat of extinction for others.

 

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DDA to host Disaster Management workshop

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As the tourism sector grapples to rebuild and recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is partnering with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and other development partners, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to host a Stakeholder Consultation and Training Workshop on Climate Sensitization and Disaster Risk Management.

The sessions will be held on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26 2018 at the Prevo Cinemall Conference Room.

Consultant Dr. Jennifer Edwards along with CTO representative Amanda Charles will facilitate the training targeting key tourism decision makers and ancillary service providers.

The overarching objective of the workshop is to augment knowledge and highlight best-practices so as to enhance tourism sector resilience to Climate Change and the associated impacts.

Topic areas to be covered include the following:

  • disaster management framework for preparedness, response and recovery during times of crisis;
  • managing relationships for crisis planning and response;
  • risk communications and management,
  • community and customer relations;
  • protocol for foreign visitors;
  • issues identification and management (gender considerations, vulnerable groups);
  • climate information and related subjects.

In light of the current and future impacts of climate variablity and climate change, DDA recognises that it is imperative that Dominica is equipped to prepare for, respond and recover during time of crisis.

Additionally, effective crisis management can help maintain trust, inspire industry confidence and restore customer loyalty, while poorly handled crises can be extremely detrimental to reputation, perception of credibility and the ability to ‘bounce-back’ from a disaster or crisis.

DDA anticipates that participants will apply the knowledge gained into their respective fields in order to effectively manage and prepare for a disaster.

 

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Secret Bay Reveals New Treehouse-Style Villa

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Dominica’s Secret Bay has long been one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular places to stay, from the private plunge pools to the treehouse bungalows.

And with the hotel set to reopen this November, it’s making some major changes, including a stunning new treehouse-style addition: the Ti-Fey Villa.

Ti-Fey Villa at Secret Bay
Ti-Fey Villa at Secret Bay (photo courtesy of Secret Bay)

The new two-story abode at Secret Bay is perched high above the cliffside, made from Guyanese hardwood and boasting amenities like a private pool, an outdoor rainshower cantilevered off the second floor and a gourmet kitchen.

And then there are the views: the river below, the ocean, Dominica’s rainforest, all in panoramic splendor.

And it comes with all of the Secret Bay signatures: the concierge, the villa attendant for every need big or small — and now, a new Gommier Spa.

Ti-Fey Villa at Secret Bay
Ti-Fey Villa at Secret Bay (photo courtesy of Secret Bay)

It all adds up to the kind of bucket-list experience for which the boutique Secret Bay has become famous.

Ti-Fey has already completed construction, and now it’s officially taking bookings for the luxe resort’s planned Nov. 1. reopening.

It’s the coolest new hotel room in the Caribbean. For more, visit Secret Bay.

This article was originally posted on Caribjournal.com.
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Dominican students do mural in Cuba depicting island’s uniqueness

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Mural in Cuba

PRESS RELEASE (July 16th, 2018) – The Dominican medical students of the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba made it their mission in the academic year 2017-2018 to do a mural on one of the walls of the school to represent Dominica and it’s nature and beauty.

This action is very common in the school as many other countries represented in the school have done murals on the school’s walls.

There is a general wall representing the Caribbean Region but a few Caribbean countries have made their own murals separately, representing their culture and uniqueness; such countries include Jamaica, Grenada, St.Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and now Dominica.

The funding of this project was done by the current ambassador of Dominica to Cuba, Mathew Walter and two fundraisers carried out by the students.

Parents of a few students also contributed; Elvina Renè, mother of Henville Alexander who served as the president of the delegation of Dominican students during the academic year, Dr. Griffin Benjamin, father of Kaele Benjamin who served as vice president and Harold and Pamela Guiste, parents of Lanelle-Maris Guiste who served as events coordinator.

All of the students put the ideas together for the mural and a few worked together to form its concept. The sketch was drawn by two Dominican students, Phylicia LaRonde and Nadezka Sanford. The painting itself was done by a Cuban artist, Miguel Alexei Rodriguez Mendiola.

The mural displays Dominica’s pure nature and uniqueness. The outline is the Dominican flag having 3/4 of the black, yellow and white cross. In each square, a different aspect of Dominica’s nature is shown. The right side of the flag shows the on-land and underwater view of the island, from its mountains to the shoreline and deep into the ocean. On the other hand, the left side shows the country’s dense forestry, including particular flora and fauna.

In the middle, the head and face of the woman represent the strong Kalinago culture still existing in Dominica and her body forms part of the mountain ranges in the top right square, depicting the mountainous terrain of the island bringing ‘Tall is her body’ to reality. In her arms she holds fruits, showing the country’s fertility and from her right shoulder a river flows into her arms forming a pool which sips through her fingers and cascading down as Trafalgar falls, forming the white part of the cross. This shows the abundance of water found in Dominica.

The right bottom square depicts marine life, with the sperm whale, leatherback turtle and stingray which all inhabit Dominican waters. The bubbles depict the famous Champagne Reef and the coral reef represents the colorful underwater beauty. The diver illustrates that Dominica is a popular dive destination.

In the top left square, the Sisserou parrot is prominent as the national bird on a cocoa tree. The cocoa tree and fruit show the origin of cocoa tea, made famous to the Dominican Delegation as the students provide it every year at an annual Caribbean event called the ‘Caribbean Social’ held early in the new academic year. This social is designed to reunite the students from all Caribbean countries represented in the school and to welcome the new students entering their pre-medical year.

Also, to display different famous foods/beverages from each country which the students from the other countries get to taste. Every year Dominica has been consistent with cocoa tea as its beverage, since many Dominican students ensure to carry cocoa sticks from home.

The bottom left square shows the national flower, the bwa kwaib and the very commonly seen hibiscus, along with other flora found in Dominica. Also the mountain chicken is portrayed.

In addition, there is a scroll containing the names of the 23 Dominican students attending the medical school in the academic year 2017-2018 and of Mathew Walter who made the mural possible.

The writings in this mural indicate that this mural is of Dominica thus including the country’s name. As it was done in a Spanish speaking country and school, some of the writing was done in Spanish. ‘Isla de la Naturaleza del Caribe’ meaning ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’. Also including ‘Waitukubuli’ which is Kalinago language meaning ‘tall is her body’. To the right of these, Dominica’s coat of arms is displayed.

The writing on the bottom ‘Isla de Belleza, Isla de Esplendor’ means ‘Isle of beauty, Isle of splendor’ which is the first line of the national anthem.

The Dominican students are very satisfied with the final product and it is being said around the school that this mural is one of the best.

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT: “All Clear” given for Dominica

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Based on the 11:00pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center of Sunday, July 8, 2018 which has lifted the Tropical Storm Watch on Dominica, the Dominica Meteorological Service and the Office Of Disaster Management have recommended that an All Clear Announcement be issued at 6am on Monday.

As such, and after consultation with the Chief of Police, the State of Emergency and the curfew imposed for the Safety and security of all citizens and property are lifted effective 6am on Monday, July 9.

Normal business activities should recommence today Monday, July 9, 2018. The Government of Dominica wishes to thank all citizens for heeding the warnings issued by State institutions and cooperating with the police during the short curfew period.

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Download the official letter from the Cabinet Secretary

 

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11AM Weather Update on TS Beryl’s approach to the Lesser Antilles

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Weather Channel TS Beryl

Tropical Storm warning remains in effect for Dominica at 11:00 AM. Beryl is moving quickly west-northwestward toward the Lesser Antilles. No change in strength.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

At 1100 AM, the disorganized center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located near latitude 14.4 North, longitude 57.9 West.

Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 23 mph (37
km/h), and this motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl or its remnants will approach the Lesser Antilles today, cross the island chain tonight, and move near or south of the Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next 36 hours, and Beryl is forecast to degenerate into a trough of low pressure as it moves across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Monday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).

Residents are advised to keep informed on the progress of this system and preparations should by now be completed or rushed to completion.

Regardless of intensity, Beryl still presents the potential to produce moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms, which could produce flooding, and winds gusting to tropical storm force later this afternoon into Monday across Dominica.

Very rough seas are expected to affect Dominica this afternoon through to Monday. All users of the sea are advised to take all necessary precautions to protect life and property.

Current rainfall amount projected for Dominica is between 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100mm) with higher amounts in elevated areas.

  • Mariners and other users of the sea should remain extremely cautious and make all necessary preparation to protect property and should by now be in port. A High-Surf Advisory and Small-Craft Warning are in effect up to 12pm Monday July 9, 2018.Large waves and dangerous rip-currents will create unsafe conditions for small-craft operators. Sea bathers stay out of the water.
  • People in areas prone to flooding, landslides and falling rocks are advised to be extremely vigilant and to exercise extreme caution as life threatening flash flooding is possible. A FLOOD WARNING will be in effect for Dominica from 12 noon Sunday July 8 to 2pm Monday July 9, 2018.

The next update on Tropical Storm Beryl will be issued by the Meteorological Service at 2p.m.

Key Messages

1. Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect for portions of the Lesser Antilles where Beryl is forecast to bring impacts from wind and rainfall to some of the islands beginning late today or tonight.

2. Although Beryl is forecast to degenerate into a trough of low pressure over the eastern Caribbean, the system is likely to produce strong gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall across the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola through Tuesday.

 

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