Dominca welcomes back the Festival of Arts


A report by Emmerson Anthony for WICNews.

The Dominica Festival of Arts has kicked off with a bang, holding its opening ceremony at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.

The festival, hosted annually by the Cultural Division and the National Cultural Council, takes place throughout May and has a focus on contemporary arts.

This year marks 34 years since the festival was introduced by the Cultural Division and will comprise of events organised by various cultural associations and institutions, as well as those organized by the Cultural Division and the National Cultural Council.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the release of the Heritage Of The Kalinago People magazine. The magazine, now onto its second edition, covers various aspects of Kalinago heritage, including architecture, language, cuisine, carnival and education.

Expressing his approval for the publication, Minister of Kalinago Affairs, Casius Darroux, said that the contribution of Kalinago people should never go unrecorded.

In further lauding the efforts of the persons responsible for putting the magazine together, he stated that it is important for the posterity of the Kalinago community.

The main events slated for this year’s Dominica Festival of Arts are as follows:

JAZZ AND OPEN MIC 6 May, 5pm, Purple Turtle Beach Club
Jazz and Open Mic brought to you by The Portsmouth City Council, the Purple Turtle Beach Club and the Cultural Division is a mix of song, poetry, comedy and creole jazz in a beach setting featuring Ti Orkest and singers and poets from Portsmouth and surrounding communities.

The National Art Gallery housed at the Old Mill Cultural Centre will be launched officially on 8 May. The Gallery will serve as a permanent exhibition space for local art. Curated by top Dominican artist Earl Etienne, the Gallery will display works by local artists and visiting regional and international artists.

LYRICS UNDER THE STARS 11 May, 7pm, Alliance Francaise
Lyrics under the Stars is a poetry concert produced by Shawna Johnson. Join local poets as they present poetry in a range of styles and comment on social issues and human relationships in an intimate atmosphere at the Alliance Francaise.

WHO’S THE BOSS 13-14 May, 8pm, Arawak House of Culture
Who’s the Boss is the latest play served up by the New Dimension Theatre. Written and directed by Steve Hyacinth, he play revolves around Mr Parker, the manager of a firm. Ben, who after the death of his half-brother, took over the ownership of the business and adopted an ‘I am the boss’ approach to management. His modus operandi is embedded in his attitude, leadership style, greed, selfish desires and ambitions which put him in conflict with himself and others.

KWEYOL SPELLING BEE 17 May, 10am, Arawak House of Culture
Kweyol Spelling Bee, organised by the Konmite Pou Etid Kweyol, is an annual spelling competition in Kweyol for primary schools. Preliminaries will take place in eleven zones on the island on 10 May. The finalists will then compete for the top places at the Arawak House of Culture on 17 May.

DIFA END OF SCHOOL YEAR CONCERT 19 May, 5pm, Arawak House of Culture
The Dominica Institute for the Arts (DIFA) presents its end of school year concert, featuring performances by participants in various courses including dance, music and choral music.

Africa Week is a celebration of African culture and an expression of pan-African solidarity featuring educational, cultural and sporting events. Main highlights include

  • African Dress Day (19 May)
  • Art and Craft Fair (all week)
  • Africa Knowledge Quiz (22 May)
  • Symposium on Cannabis (23 May)
  • African Cuisine Competition and Cultural Evening (24 May)
  • Solidarity March and Rally (25 May)

The Sisserou Singers presents its latest choral offerings dubbed Beats and Bites at special concert.

CULTURAL INDUSTRIES INFORMATION FAIR 26 May, 10am-5pm, Windsor Park Sports Stadium
The fair focuses on the sharing of information on programmes targeting the cultural industries sector via multi-media presentations and consultations. It is an opportunity for musicians, artists and small businesses in the cultural industries sector to obtain information on financing, copyright, training, promotion and marketing available locally and beyond.

INTERNATIONAL FIESTA, 27 May, 5pm, Old Mill Cultural Centre
International Fiesta is a celebration of the art, dance, fashion, music, film and cuisine of France and the French Caribbean, Cuba, Venezuela, China and the African Continent, among others. It is an opportunity to sample various types of food and drink and get to know about the culture of these countries and interact with nationals of these countries who reside in Dominica.

UNIS VERS L’UNIVERS 31 May, 6pm, Arawak House of Culture
This event is a puppet show about nature and the environment co- produced by the Compagnie Zig Zag and L’Autre Bord Compagnie and presented by the Alliance Francaise de la Dominique and will be held at the Arawak House of Culture.

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