WCMF is much bigger than the monetary investment – Douglas


As the curtains came down on Dominica’s trademark three-night entertainment event- the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) – Dominicans are being reminded of the importance of that festival.

The WCMF is held during the country’s independence celebrations every year. The 15th edition of the event took place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium over the weekend.

Fittingly, Minister for Tourism Ian Douglas has underscored the significance of the World Creole Music Festival to Dominica’s economy.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Douglas stressed that while the WCMF costs government nearly $2 million in total every year, for which financial reports show there are hardly any profits, these investments are worth plenty to the economy as numerous stakeholders stand to benefit.

“It’s not about the return on the investment it’s about all that the festival does, the amount of monies that bars and restaurants make, the taxi drivers, the hotel rooms. You cannot quantify the festival in terms of the investment that is made,” he said.

“The festival itself generates, I would say close to 10 times the investment that’s placed into the festival so if you really want to quantify what the festival means to Dominica you have to talk to the hoteliers, you have to go down to the marker and speak to the vendors, you have to speak to the bus drivers, the taxi operators. I mean, the festival is much bigger than just the monetary investment,” he stated.

Douglas took the opportunity to single out the efforts of the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC), the body charged with organizing the WCMF. He acknowledged that putting the festival together comes at a high price and takes tremendous work. He also expressed gratitude to all the other sponsors of the event, include Digicel

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  1. Labourite
    October 31, 2011

    Dominican please remember the most important investment in Dominica since Ross University came here in 1978 during former Prime Minister Patrick John rule is the World Creole Music Festival whcih was initiated by the UNITED WORKERS PARTY under the rule of former Prime Minister Eddison Chenfil James. Dont forget DOMINICANS is WORKERS that initiated this important activity to generate foreign exchange and boost tourism inthe country. Please give UWP their flowers now… they deserve it.

  2. Yan Yang
    October 31, 2011

    You are right about that. The creol fest is about woman fighting for their man too.

  3. Jal
    October 31, 2011

    This Festival is huge, BIG.
    As with everything else, there’s always room for improvement, as someone mentioned earlier the camera in front of the stage etc. But this is BIG.

  4. Vox
    October 31, 2011

    still alot of work needed to raise the event to WCMF…

    can some tell the DFC is very silly to have a camera man directly in the front of the stage thats outdated stuff and some folks in the industry shared that view too…
    we need a crane with camera to get better HD shots etc…

    WCMF is much too big for the current regime to manage..firstly the staduim isnt the place to host a festival of that nature, the stadium doesnt give that setting at all..
    its presently give like a class setting rich,middle and low class setting..which is bad for the longevity of the fest..

    dont folks see how festivals around the globe are done creating a camp and pinic setting…but sadly folks here never seek the best and want to have their cake and eat it..

    will be interesting to see their line up next year…for them to create a upswing..they would need to look at either R&B, Pop or soft or class rock artist to raise the stake in my view…

    Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire,Air Supply, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Gloria Estephan, Carlos Santana, Phill Collins, Lionel Richie just to name a few to feel out…that they way to raise the bar a bit if not the fest will continue to be a reyclyed bin and a roadside blocko set..not a high ended event!

  5. God is Good
    October 31, 2011

    Is there some other way that we can bring revenue into the country? A nation focused only on partying will not Survive!! Let us go back to the old days; where persons toiled for a leaving…That is honest and hard work….We need to place our trust in the only one who will sustain us during this Global Economic Recession….God!!

  6. T. Winston
    October 31, 2011

    Maybe the 10x return could be inaccurate but it is definitely true. Besides the man did say marginal “profits” meaning the public purse got back it’s initial investment and a little something else even if the little something was only a hot dog or a cold carib.

    Hotels are definitely more booked and busses run more during festival time, people come to Dominica FOR WCMF and enjoy other things while here but they come because of the festival. all you have to do is take statistics from prior to WCMF to see the significant effect it has on the economy. alot of money changes hands during wcmf

    weather it is 10x 3x or 100x the fact is at that time money moves and that is good for the country

    I just wish that they would make the event more attractive so that more people attend

  7. julius
    October 31, 2011

    Whilst it is true to state that there are beneficiaries of the event, the only way profit/loss can be quantified is through a properly structured tax system (e.g VAT & Corporate Tax). Properly audited reports would be the basis for future investment plans as being transparent to all participants of or have an interest in the event

    • We the People
      October 31, 2011

      One would think there is a yardstick for measuring economic activity before, during and after the festival, accounting for other seasonal fluctions to see the real impact of the events on the economy.

  8. littleboy
    October 31, 2011

    Mr Douglas you need to tell that to those blind labourites who tried to tried to discredit the UWP for bringing in the WCMF because according to them, after 14 years it does not bring in any money and is a total loss.
    I am happy that you said that although it is costing the government almost $2 Million to stage it though their record does not show a profit, however, it is avery good investment for the country and it definitely contributs significantly to the economy.
    However Mr. Douglas, if it cost you government clost to $2M to stage it and you do not have record to indicate a favorable return to the government purse, then I have a few ideas for you.
    1. Check to see if your finacial reports are correct. Also,are you sure that no one is touching before report is inked?

    2.It is 14 years since UWP gave birth to a baby called the ‘World Creole Music festival.” out of those 14 years, your government has managed it for about 12 yers now. Are you telling us that after 12 years, your government is still not able to come with an idea that would ensure that treasury is reporting a profit? If that’s what you are confirming, then we can understand why your administration is lackining ideas to turn our economy around. So I suggest that you all resign and allow us to bring in a government that is well able to come with financial ideas like the one that brought in the WCMF. But for being honest

    • Josette
      October 31, 2011

      And how do you plan on doing that, by struggling to pay your civil servants as in the past and selling Dowasco, our precious water company like you did Domlec so we will pay thru the nose?

      • Bombayie
        November 1, 2011

        i agree with you Josette…also with the selling of DOWASCO, THAT’S A TERRIBLE MOVE! in the next 15-20yrs water will be the new oil and with our water in a foreign hand, that’s a recipe for disaster. however with everything else when the time come we will see the pain of our governments stupid decisions.

  9. Cerberus
    October 31, 2011

    There is no scientific base for Ian Douglas’ assertion but if it is true that the financial input for staging the festival produces at least a 10 fold benefit it makes the question even more pertinent:” why then don’t the beneficiaries pick up the tab insead of us funding the defiticit out of the public purse?”.Nothing against the festival itself perse but maybe it is time for the organisation & management of this event to be put into the hands of these beneficiaries, ie. private enterprise, and let them finance it totally.

    • We the People
      October 31, 2011

      You are going to find it very difficult to persuade these businesses to support such effort. WHat they rely on is for “the guy” to put up the money. This is true of many carnivals in the US, Europe and Canada.

      Although some very large companies make significant contributions, a large chunk of the operating budget comes from various levels of government.

      • We the People
        October 31, 2011

        “the other guy”

  10. We the People
    October 31, 2011

    While I do not disagree with the multiplier effect of the investment made to promote the WCMF, I would like ot know if any studies were conducted to acertain the figure of a 10x multiplier.

    • Cerberus
      October 31, 2011

      Yes, apparently there was.On the occasion of the official media launch for WCMF 2011 on 14 July Colin Piper of the DDA alluded to a “Value for Money Audit”, which shows this multiplier and presumably is the basis of Ian Douglas’ claim. i would love to see this audit and the empirical data it contains.

  11. steve
    October 31, 2011

    ian thats rum shop talk. Give me a report based on statistics, give me some figures and i will say it is profitable or not.

    • britbob
      October 31, 2011

      So tell me Steve … would you scrap it or keep it? As a Labour voter I can say categorically this is one thing I give UWP great credit for setting up. A study as been done to look at cost/benefits … but even this study , I believe , does not take into account the amount of publicity that the event generates. It is very myopic of the previous poster to talk about having the direct beneficiaries pick up the tab. Even if one could not quantify a surplus to Government over one WMCF cycle, there are very few more beneficial things to be investing in tourism-wise. Right here in the UK ,people who know nothing else of Dominica , know of this festival and its status. There are other creole music festivals around .. but none in the English speaking world … certainly not on this scale and we need to keep it going as it grows in stature with age.

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