Gov’t pumps $1-million into WCMF

Patrons at WCMF 2014
Patrons at WCMF 2014

The government of Dominica has pumped in excess of one million dollars ($1 million) towards the staging of the 19th edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF).

This announcement was made by Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge while presenting the featured address at the official launch of the festival at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday.

“The government of Dominica deeply committed in the continued support and maintenance of the World Creole Music Festival providing annual financial support, and human resource support also,” he said. “This event cost the government in the excess of $1 million. Our vision is to make this event the premiere event of the region. For us therefore this launch of the WCMF is critical and comes at a time as we look to reposition our industry to making it more attractive to stakeholders.”

Tonge said government is committed to the WCMF
Tonge said government is committed to the WCMF

He believes that the next of business opportunities will be in the tourism sector.

“We want to use this occasion to encourage more players in the national economy and also foreign direct investors to join us in this exciting strategic period as we look forward to building a world-class tourism industry,” Tonge said.

As far as the WCMF is concerned he explained that arrivals during the month of October ranks as the second highest month for visitors.

“We are also seeing many hotels are booked and over booked at this time,” he noted.

He encourages people to be more dedicated and committed to supporting the festival.

“Each one of you hearing my voice personally has a responsibility as of today to inform your family and friends throughout the world to encourage them to visit Dominica, not by themselves, but with a friend or two to join our 19th celebration of the biggest, most indigenous cultural, relevant event in the Caribbean today,” Tonge noted.

Rabess said the WCMF is a signature Caribbean event
Rabess said the WCMF is a signature Caribbean event

Meantime Cultural Project Officer in the Ministry of Culture, Gregory Rabess, who represented the Culture Minister at the event, said the WCMF was created in Dominica to deepen and diversify the Creole experience during the independence celebrations

He also described the event as one of the signature music festivals of the Caribbean.

“The festival therefore adds value and creates greater interests in our independence celebrations,” he said. “The festival affords opportunities for us to showcase the traditional and contemporary elements of our Creole music, our Creole culture, our Creole fashion.”

He added, “As we continue to reinvent the festival to an even more prestigious festival in the Caribbean, it is very important that we maintain the unique appeal and identity of the festival. That unique appeal and the identity of the festival is embodied in one word, Creole.”

He urged everyone, at home and abroad, to attend the festival.

“I encourage you to attend in large numbers,” Rabess said.

WCMF 2015 will be held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium from October 30 to November 1.

Telecommunications company, Digicel, is once again providing headline sponsorship for the event.

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42 Comments

  1. Online Tickets?
    August 7, 2015

    So 1 Million and you still cant get your online ticket at http://www.ddatickets.com going. WOW.

  2. Dan Tanner
    August 7, 2015

    Dominica always has money for sports and noise. Never for roads, schools or hospitals. So-called Creole music has become like American thug gangster rap.

  3. MUDD
    August 7, 2015

    Now Mr. Piper you can afford to bring Rhianna

    • Evolve
      August 8, 2015

      WCMF will never be able to sustain itself… not until mainstream Artists (like Rhianna, Chris Brown or John Legend) are introduced into the lineup.

      Example – Take a look at St Lucia Jazz Festival – for the pass three years they have moved away from a predominately “Jazz Festival” …and started adding big names artists – like R Kelly, Robin Thinke, and John Legend.

      The Organizers of the now named St Lucia Jazz Festival & Arts recognized that a change was needed, and like everything else in life they evolved.

      When are the folks at the Dominica Festival Commission going evolved? It’s apparent that whatever they’re doing for the past “18” years its not working. :-x :-x

  4. August 7, 2015

    Good Job Mr. Tongue. This is a good business investment that will generate returns. Some people think that the same investment should be made for Carnival, I think that is a very good idea. Two occasions to help grow the tourist industry. Unique and Kool.
    These occasions could headline tourist promotions

  5. BUCKET IN THE WELL
    August 7, 2015

    One million EC$??! That’s pocket change. The government should be willing to invest at least EC$5,000,000. Come on, we say it’s one of our main tourism products so let’s invest more money in it. That’s less than US$400,000! No wonder we cannot haul in any heavy international stars. This festival has huge potential but we need money and more strategic marketing. I would apply for a job at the DFC but we know how it is in DA and I don’t have those kind of strings.

    • bimb
      August 7, 2015

      agreed. chump change.

    • August 8, 2015

      So what about the increase in the tourist board budget to $M6. That is pocket change too.
      Has the tourist board ever show transparency and accountability with annual reports and financial statements. Should they not show how the tax payers money is spent.
      How many trade shows have they participated in. What kind of promotion have they been involved in, how have they helped people in the hospitality business improve, how have they generated public sector revenue. have the ever partnered with the Carnival organizers or the WCMF or participated in their activities???

  6. BooHoo
    August 7, 2015

    I hope they don’t take it back in free tickets!

  7. Bud & Lou
    August 6, 2015

    One million dollars worth of complimentary tickets for the guys and gals.

  8. BEB
    August 6, 2015

    A festival in its 19th. year and still govt. has to be pumping monies into it, if it is not viable ,why continue it? At this stage the WCMF should be able to stand on its feet, its either the monies are being mismanaged .Too many VIP’s are enjoying the events at no cost to them when they could afford to purchase their tickets, These people are coming to have a good time , eat drink and be merry at the expense of the Govt. I think these VIP tickets should be limited, too much waste . I have seen it, as being a patron to a VIP ticket

    • August 8, 2015

      I concur.

  9. Kid On The Block
    August 6, 2015

    UWPites on the loose! warning! Looking for 17000 thumbs up? Just post a negative comment about Skerrit and the Government….Looking for 17000 thumbs down? Just post a positive comment about Skerrit and the Government. This is the mentality of them(17000) HATERS of Skerrit / Government.

  10. Harry Mack
    August 6, 2015

    At least recognizing who started the festival would remove the impression of being ungrateful. Hate the dog but please say its teeth are white. The creation of the festival 19 years ago was visionary and it’s a pity that for the last 16 years the quality has not moved a bit upwards.
    Real festivals are promoted more than 12 months in advance. The people from developed countries who can make a real impact do not get up in August and say I’ll go to Dominica in October. So who do we get, a whole set of broke limers who come and shack up, bum a ride, eat some cheap food and disappear.
    15 years ago Eddie Toulon, may his soul rest in peace, learnt that people in the U.K. USA and other metropolitan countries plan their trip one year in advance, so telling them two months before who is the line up fo a festival does not cut it. A million dollars is just exposing the mediocrity of what we purport to be a World Festival but in fact it is the lowest of what the Caribbean offers.

  11. anonymous2
    August 6, 2015

    So, where did this money come from since the country is so broke?

  12. Me
    August 6, 2015

    Now we know why the miracle man increased road tax because that is about the same amount he is raising with that

  13. Zandoli
    August 6, 2015

    I hope they are not planning to send a few guys on an expense paid holiday to New York for Labor Day to hand out flyers at Dominican dances and backyard BBQ.

    They need to focus their attention on the regional market.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 6, 2015

      They leave this for you to do. `The mouth is also a great advertiser. Others could either text, telephone or forward emails to all whom they know.
      Those who hear/read this news should inform others. They have no problem relaying other news which travel as fast as lightening flashes and the wind blows. They should not hesitate to pass on this information with enthusiasm as an invitation to Dominica to participate in WCMF. Many already know about it and no doubt have already made plans to visit.

    • Mahaut Boy
      August 7, 2015

      who cares about the regional market at a time like this??? this is a money making initiative to put us pun d international market! people abroad are far less price sensitive than our regional brothers… what we bothering to cater to our brothers for during a flagship event that has real potential to strip money from foreign??

      lets say we spend 5k USD to send some dominicans foreign to bring people back with money…if they meet just a handful of the right people that trip will more than pay for itself… i don’t see why you wouldn’t want that…. im not saying price our locals out… but people staying in a hotel or guest house who have more money will spend more money, everyone wins when general consumption goes up. they will go out on the town, visit bars, buy souvenirs (more than regional citizens will cuz its more special when u from foreign…)

    • August 7, 2015

      That is what should be done. It should also be done for Caribana. I think it would help a lot.

  14. August 6, 2015

    World Creole Festival is a huge revenue for our country, so it’s a good investment ,The government should speed up to develop the city to attract visitors to come back and to convince their friends and families to come to our shores. If Roseau turn a modernize city we would be number one in the OECS.

    • anonymous2
      August 6, 2015

      I think that you are dreaming. Tourists are deterred by thieves and the govt. has no money to renovate Roseau.

  15. Think before
    August 6, 2015

    ‘Our vision is to make this event the premiere event of the region.’ Yet you’re only putting $1 million into this event. St. Lucia Jazz is receiving $15 million minimum from their government, other small festivals are receiving much more in excess of $1 million. How can we compete with these; much less become the premiere event in the region?

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 6, 2015

      Use your brains and intelligence if you have any and think. Do not compare Dominica to St. Lucia and vice versa.
      You should know that St. Lucia receives many more tourists than Dominica. In addition, it has an international airport. Those enterprises which use their planes to land at St. Lucia’s airport also pay some sort of compensation. This is why St. Lucia will obviously pump more money into their festival. It has more than Dominica. I do think the $1M is sufficient.

      • forreal
        August 8, 2015

        st lucia jazz festival is sponsored mostly by the private sector

    • Mahaut Boy
      August 7, 2015

      wealth/ spending power is a generational thing dawg… even alkaline know things take time…1 million today but SLU water beginning to boil hot… their economy is going to struggle pretty soon — wait actually it already is… lets see how much longer they can spend heavy before they begin to choke… our air still clean #good

      • bimb
        August 7, 2015

        their economy is hurting, but look at success of the jazz festival in itself. The marketing strategies and returns to their economy. The event is publicized most of the year, if not year round. We only start to see posters for WCMF in october. We not have 3 months to scramble before it starts.

  16. hashtag
    August 6, 2015

    1 million pesos

  17. Annoymous Reader
    August 6, 2015

    Not sure how much was ‘pumped into’ WCMF before, but the figure sounds good to my ears.

  18. Doc. Love
    August 6, 2015

    I hope the Government will pump a similar amount in Carnival. I wish to suggest to the Government to contact carnival committees in at least six Caribbean Countries. For instance, Martinque, Guadeloupe, St, Lucia, St. Marteen, Antigua and St. Thomas. You asked them to send a costume carnival band of twenty persons at the expense of the Government for at least four days. Those band will be on the road together with our bands. This will not only put more bands on the road, but many of those countries will travel will their followers which will help our hotel, local food consumption, etc.

    • BEB
      August 6, 2015

      Don’t u know that G/loupe and Martinique are celebrating their carnival on the same time as we in Dominica do? They would rather spend carnival in their island,

    • Mahaut Boy
      August 7, 2015

      that might be a nice idea… i have always hated the fact that we didn’t do more to commercialize and profit from out carnival – our dates see us always competing with trini…. which is quickly beginning to price people out…. but maybe now we can pick them up from nearby islands… them french people love feteing too… would be nice to see us gain some followers there

    • MUDD
      August 7, 2015

      At least somebody has brains. Thx man

  19. kisses
    August 6, 2015

    1 million and dats the kid of lineup they comeup wit??? Really??

  20. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 6, 2015

    I hope Robby gets out of his air conditioned vehicle and walk the streets of Roseau, before the festival start. Make sure they clean the dirty drains in town so that we make a good impression upon our visitors and also make sure sanitation collects all the garbage too.

    • me
      August 6, 2015

      Where’s Joseph Isaac and his gang, they should continue cleaning the drains.

    • bimb
      August 7, 2015

      Robbie always walking about to me. Guess is the vehicle you looking for and not seeing the man.

    • Messenger
      August 8, 2015

      I don’t think you know who is Robbie Tonge.

  21. Eunita Letang
    August 6, 2015

    Tourism sector? Pumping 1 million dollars into the festival? LOL!! How about just figuring out how our luggage can arrive when we do?

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 6, 2015

      This is for the airlines to figure out. You pay them an exorbitant sum and they decreased the size of luggage and its contents that with added security, it is not encouraging to travel.
      Under these conditions, if they cannot deliver your luggage promptly, that it does not arrive with you, dump them and sue them too. It is high time passengers do just that. These airlines are too careless and getting away with too much. No excuse for them.

  22. Hmmm
    August 6, 2015

    hahah. DNO by saying ‘pumped’ you making it sound like is so much money they putting in. lol

    • Anon
      August 6, 2015

      That’s $380 gran U.S, how much more you wanted to hear?

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