Sept. 10, 2005 A group of government officials from Dominica encouraged Virgin Islanders to attend the island's 9th Annual World Creole Music Festival at a press conference Friday.
Lorraine Bannis-Roberts, Dominica's minister of Tourism; Jeffery Brisbane, executive director of the Dominica Festivals Commission; and Kathlyn Cuffy, tourism officer of the Dominica Festivals Commission; promoted the world-class event before a group of about 50 local residents, most Dominican natives, at Walkers by the Sea.
The festival, which got its start in October of 1997, features a wide variety of Creole music and other indigenous Caribbean rhythms, including Zouk, Reggae, and Bouyon. In its nine years of existence the event has featured local, Caribbean and international artists.
For the first time this year, a band from the Virgin Islands will participate in the event. Cool Sessions Brass Band of St. John will be featured on the opening night of the festival, which will take place Oct. 28 — 30.
Brisbane urged the Dominicans in the audience Friday evening to promote and attend the music festival.
"It's our festival," Brisbane said. "Not only those of us in Dominica, but those of you living abroad as well."
Brisbane has been traveling to various Caribbean islands, North America and Asia to promote the event, which brings "thousands" of visitors to the island's shores. The music festival has become one of the premier tourism flagship events of Dominica, Brisbane said.
"This has helped to increase the island's visibility as a tourism destination," Brisbane said.
The top sponsor of this year's event is Digicel, a cellular phone company, which made a contribution of more than EC$250,000. The Dominican Government also contributed EC$233,000. Tropical Shipping, a St. Thomas company, also contributed towards the event.
"I am here because the Dominica government has placed this event as a top priority," Bannis-Roberts told the crowd. "We have created a name for ourselves with this event."
She urged those in the audience to attend what she deemed "three nights of pulsating rhythms and three nights of style in the Nature Isle."
Sen. Louis P. Hill also addressed the crowd, and Wayne "Facts Man" Adams spoke on his efforts at getting the territory to become a part of CARICOM.
The evening also featured a video presentation of Dominica and music from the various bands that will be performing at this year's event.
The featured bands are:
– Sizzla (Jamaica)
– Cool Sessions Brass (Virgin Islands)
– Ban' Biyo (Guadeloupe)
– Djakout Mizik (Haiti)
– Michele Henderson (Dominica)
– Ti Kabzy (Montreal)
– Kassav (France)
– Patrick St. Eloi (Guadeloupe)
– Liquid Ice (Dominica)
– WCK (Dominica)
– X-Tatik (Trinidad)
– Nu-Look (Haiti)
– Monique Seka (Ivory Coast, Africa)
– Midnight Groovers (Dominica)
– Palenque Son Karibe (Venezuela)
Waseen Dominica Association, a local organization for native Dominicans, Clint Aero Airlines and Dominica Cargo, sponsored Friday's press conference. Also in the audience on Friday was former Dominica Prime Minister O.J. Seraphin.
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