As the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) nears, after a one-year absence, Chief Cultural Officer, Jacinta David, has emphasized the importance of retaining the essential Creole elements of the festival.
Speaking at the launching of the WCMF, at the Anchorage Hotel, on Wednesday night, David said in order for the festival to retain its unique appeal, it must not lose its Creole characteristics and become just another festival in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“We have to get the vision and policy right,” she stated. “It is a World Creole Music Festival. We must ensure that the festival remains true to its fundamental elements—that it does not lose sight of its Creole character, especially the French Creole music, and French Creole culture. This is the unique brand, the unique appeal of the festival. We must ensure that it does not become just another music festival in the Anglophone Caribbean region.”
She stated that while the event must be reconfigured to an extent, the “Creole magic” must remain potent.
“Certainly, the festival has to be reinvented in some measure, to keep it in line with the latest trends in the music and tourism industries, while keeping its Creole magic and pull… to promote our culture to the world,” she remarked.
David commented that the WCMF, as a product, must be “engaging and authentic, world-appealing and unique,” as reflected in the recently revealed line-up of artistes set to perform at the event.
David also called for the use of the WCMF to be used as a platform for the development of culture in Dominica.
This, she said, can be done in several ways, including the utilization of presence of international artistes to hold “master classes” with Dominican musicians.
She advised that regional and international music promoters be invited to the festival, to expose them to Dominican talent.
David highlighted the need for support of local film and video producers, and strengthened relations with international media channels, in order to record the event, provide coverage, or produce documentaries.
Continued investment in the training of music and stage professionals, as being done through the Association of Music Professionals (AMP), and continued training in traditional and contemporary arts, can also be used to advance culture on-island, she stated.
WCMF 2016 will take place from October 28 to 30.
WCMF did not take place in 2015 due to the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in August.