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IOM reaches toward 600 houses covered after Hurricane Maria


Press Release (August 29, 2018) – Over 580 families who lost their roof and nearly everything else after Hurricane Maria have received assistance from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to rebuild stronger, more resilient roofs.

An IOM contingent arrived in Dominica less than two weeks after the category five hurricane decimated Dominica on 18 September 2017, damaging or destroying 90 percent of the housing stock.

Almost a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged the tiny island, Dominica struggles to go back to normality.

Most of the country has been reconnected to the national water and power grids, schools have reopened, and the government is working to become the world’s first climate resilient country.

Notwithstanding, if the array of houses covered in tattered tarps, the piles of distorted galvanized sheets at many bends, or the ghosts of abandoned homes and businesses littered around the country are any indication, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

“Getting to this stage has not been easy,” says Jan-Willem Wegdam, Team Leader of IOM Dominica. “We have had to be creative to solve procurement issues, obtaining scarce building materials, recruiting skilled carpenters from the wider Caribbean because we simply did not have enough available workforce locally to implement the work. We have been working with many international and local organizations: Habitat for Humanity, ADRA, All Hands & Hearts, volunteer builders from the Mennonite community and, of course, our migrant carpenters.”

Emergency shelters still house families who have not been able to return to a normal life in what may remain of their homes. Many houses simply disappeared. Emergency shelters across the island were damaged, and most have not yet been repaired.

IOM has been able to assist with housing needs in 11 communities so far, repairing or re-building roofs and wooden core houses with funding from UK Aid, the European Commission humanitarian agency (ECHO), the Government of Australia, and contributions from ChinaAID via the UNDP. But even when the milestone of 600 families assisted is celebrated, there will still be room to do more. IOM has been collaborating closely with the Village Councils to try to ensure that the most vulnerable people get the help that they need.

The humanitarian agency is currently in discussions with potential donors to see if they can help meet some of the remaining needs.

IOM currently employs over 150 people across Dominica; only three are expats.

The economic impact in the communities is significant through wages and salaries, casual pay, rental of vehicles and accommodation, and procurement of goods and services.

With Dominica being one of its newest member states, IOM is building capacity for a long-term presence on the island, positioning to be an active partner to the government and people of Dominica in a quest to build better homes, communities, and lives across the island.

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Humanitarian agencies offer opportunities to learn basic carpentry

Natasha Daniels, Project Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity Trinidad & Tobago

Roseau, Dominica  (August 20, 2018) – IOM Dominica and Habitat for Humanity Trinidad & Tobago have partnered to provide Basic Carpentry Training for interested persons in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The training is offered in collaboration with the Youth Development Division to increase the availability of semi-skilled local labour on the island to meet the current demand in the rebuilding process.

Training sessions will be held in the west and the northeast, where IOM currently works. The sessions will run for 10 days to provide the basic knowledge and hands-on experience necessary.

As a bonus, participants who perform well in the training can qualify for immediate employment with the IOM in its Housing Recovery Project, which aims to assist over 600 families in Dominica to recover safe housing with funds from the governments and peoples of the United Kingdom and Australia, the European Commission humanitarian arm (ECHO), and ChinaAID via the UNDP.

According to Community Engagement Officer for IOM, Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, “The construction industry is one where skilled workers and positive attitudes will be in demand for the foreseeable future. This is an opportunity for community members to expose themselves to the craft of carpentry, and open up alternative livelihood opportunities for Dominican men and women.”

The training is theoretical and practical, and all are welcome including women and the differently abled, and no previous experience is necessary.

Registration is being facilitated through the Village Councils in the western and northeastern districts, via the IOM-Dominica facebook page, and through the IOM Hotline at (767) 285-0794.

Project Manager of IOM, Nestor Girukwishaka, addresses the opening of the Introduction to Basic Carpentry training at St Joseph

The minimum age for registration is 17 years.

In the first week, basic grounding skills in the technical aspects of roofing will be taught – tools, measurements, parts of the roof, impact of hazards, building codes and more.

The second week will be in action-on-the-field, with the trainees working alongside experienced teams of IOM and Habitat for Humanity carpenters in nearby villages.

Participants will receive a weekly stipend if they attend all the sessions, and at the end of the program, successful trainees will receive a certificate and a toolkit so they can continue to work and practice the skill.

The first training session was launched on Monday August 20th in St. Joseph.

Training days are Mondays – Saturdays from 8am -3pm for two weeks.

Space is limited for this free training. People on the northwest and northeast interested to enroll for the opportunity to learn Basic Carpentry Skills should call or WhatsApp 285-0794 to register and get more information.


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Handing over of Paix Bouche Primary School – UNDP


On Thursday August 16th, was the official handing over of the Paix Bouche Primary School to The Government of Dominica. Paix Bouche Primary School serves the villages of Paix Bouche, More Park and Providence.

The roof restoration is done by our partner, All Hands and Hearts. UNDP and China Aid provided roofing materials consisting of lumber; corrugated galvanize metal roofing sheets (CGI); hurricanes straps and ties; galvanized roofing screws and fasteners to cover a roofing area of approximately 2440 square feet.

Photos: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP


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DFC rolls out programme chronicling history of WCMF

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

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

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


(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


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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Schoonewagen to lead Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica


Kempinski has continued is expansion in the Caribbean with the upcoming Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.

Set to open in 2019, this luxurious island hideaway is surrounded by Cabrits National Park in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Known for its natural beauty and eco-tourism, Dominica is located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean, and is home to 365 rivers, waterfalls and hot springs.

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica has been designed to preserve the natural balance between land and the sea, whilst ensuring a modern contemporary guest experience.

Kempinski has appointed Michael Schoonewagen as general manager of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.

Commenting on this appointment, Xavier Destribats, chief operating officer for Kempinski in the Americas, said: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to the Kempinski family.

An artist rendering of the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

“With his successful track-record of managing luxury resort properties in pioneering destinations, and his focused expertise in the luxury segment, I am confident that Michael will build on our considerable momentum in the region with the opening of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica next year.”

Schoonewagen is an experienced and passionate hotelier with some 30 years of experience and deep expertise in luxury resorts, honed in missions across Europe, the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Caribbean with renowned luxury brands.

He will lead the team to open this first luxury resort for Kempinski in Dominica, working closely with partners, Range Developments, to position the island as the new go-to luxury travel destination in the region.

Schoonewagen added: “It is a great privilege to join Kempinski and lead this exciting development in Dominica.

“I have long admired the pioneering spirit and cultural empathy of Kempinski as a luxury heritage brand, and look forward to building on these extensive roots to create the ultimate luxury destination in the Caribbean.”

This article was originally published on Breaking Travel News.


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#2 – Hiking an Island Reborn

'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

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

'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

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


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


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


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

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


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)


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

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


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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