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Junior Carnival Band Champions “Just Us Kids” In Preparation Mode

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Junior Carnival Band Champions “Just Us Kids” In Preparation Mode

Castries, St. Lucia, June 27, 2018 – The seven-time unbroken Junior Carnival champions – Just Us Kids – are gearing up to pay tribute to the region’s most colourful festival in black and white and have set their sights on yet another win.

If their 2018 portrayal “Black N White in the Sun” captures the imagination of the judges as the band has successfully done since 2011, it will mean a history-making eighth consecutive title for the Junior Carnival veterans.

For the fourth consecutive year, CIBC FirstCaribbean has come aboard as sponsor of the stilt walkers section, now a signature element of the band’s annual portrayal.  The bank’s gold sponsorship support ensures the inclusion of a full costumed section with over 16 junior revellers trained in the art of stilt-walking, while also having the opportunity to experience ‘the mas’ as a reveller.

Just Us Kids was formed in 2008 to address the problem of the largely adult orientation of Saint Lucian carnival at that time. Just Us Kids Junior Carnival band delivers annual Carnival Arts training workshops to secondary school students to pass on costume design and building skills to ensure there is succession planning in Saint Lucian carnival.

With the proliferation of arts and entertainment events and platforms in Saint Lucia in recent times, a deliberate effort by Just Us Kids and other cultural groups to revive stilt-walking, has brought diversity and a sense of spectacle to Saint Lucian cultural celebrations.

This year’s portrayal is “a story of carnival under the Caribbean majestic sun, but given a classical interpretation using predominantly black and white”, disclosed bandleader Barry George. “This historical, yet ‘fantasy’ carnival story explores the dynamic facets of carnival, with a tribute to some of the traditional characters that bring life to the festival, such as fancy clown, the calypsonian, the pan-man and jab jab”, Mr. George said.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Country Manager, Ladesa James-Williams, lauded the band for taking a developmental approach to its participation in carnival.

“Retaining the authenticity of our cultural festivals calls for more than participation. It requires that we also educate the next generation about the history of the festival while bringing out what is innately creative about us. ”Mrs. James-Williams further stressed  the bank’s continued interest in collaborations which result “in the empowerment of our youth to take the mantle of leadership in all productive spheres of Saint Lucian life”.

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Art & Entertainment

Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled 


Roseau, Dominica – (September 9, 2020) The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, through the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has been monitoring the situation across the globe in relation to the spread of COVID-19.  

A decision has been taken to cancel Dominica’s top signature event, the World Creole Music Festival. The event, which was carded for October 23, 24 and 25, 2020, would have been the 22nd edition. In 2019, the World Creole Music Festival recorded over 20,000 attendees and has served as a robust economic stimulant for the island. 

The Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, the Honourable Denise Charles, during an interview on August 28, 2020 officially announced the cancellation of the event stating “We would have loved to have the World Creole Music Festival, but as you know these are challenging times and the health and safety of our citizens is priority and, as a result, the government has taken the responsible decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival for 2020.” Miss Charles also reminded patrons of the importance of the established protocols for COVID-19, “We have to adhere to the protocols, as a government, we cannot encourage mass gathering activities until things are under control,” the Honorable Minister asserted. 

The decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival was extremely comprehensive. The Dominica Festivals Committee engaged in thorough consultation with members of the Dominica Festivals Committee and approximately forty diverse stakeholders, all of whom have played a critical role in the implementation and success of the festival over the years. Given the current world pandemic, an assessment was done of the status of the current source markets to include Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and by extension Europe (France, England) and North America. The analysis encompassed the number of COVID-19 active cases, boarder restrictions and overall ability of individuals to travel. It was concluded that there is much uncertainty as it relates to airline frequency and capacity, and that new protocols for travel and mass gatherings may hinder the experience for patrons significantly.  Consideration was acutely given to the fact that travelers may have less disposable income and that generally, businesses who usually invest in the event may not have funds available for sponsorship due to their own challenges related to the pandemic.

The World Creole Music Festival has increasingly met its annual objectives as a signature event in Dominica by creating awareness for the destination and, along with other signature events held annually, contributing to approximately 10% of annual stay-over arrivals in Dominica. The event records performances of over fifteen acts across the three nights and in many cases showcases up to ten different genres of music. Therefore, this decision was not easy or straightforward. Stakeholders were presented with up to four options regarding the augmentation of WCMF 2020, and the pros and cons of each option were carefully weighed. The ability of the event to fulfil its overall objectives, especially where economic activity is concerned, was given measurable consideration, hence leading to the decision to cancel.  

We wish to take the opportunity to thank all patrons of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival locally, regionally, and internationally for their continued support and understanding. Look out for the next edition of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, scheduled for October 29, 30 and 31, 2021.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Caribbean Helicopters, Coastal Air Transport, Hummingbird Air, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

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FRC tribute to Michael Aubertin 1948-2020

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PRESS RELEASE

Tribute to Michael Aubertin

The Msgr Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC) wishes to extend its condolences to the immediate family and the wider cultural fraternity on the passing of Michael Aubertin.

Michael “Mike” Aubertin had been a close associate of the FRC since his stint as Director of Culture from 1998. This Relationship continued over the years as he provided assistance to the FRC with its cultural education programmes lecturing to students and adults on the history St. Lucia as it relates to the Nèg Mawon (Brigands). The Brigands were black freedom fighters. In the mid 1790’s they won major victories against the British in their fight for freedom from slavery.

Mike was a multitalented individual involved in several aspects of the Arts and culture of St. Lucia. He was an accomplished calypsonian, fiction writer, playwright, comedian, radio presenter.  

As a popular calypsonian singing under the name of Mighty Mighty he won the first St. Lucia Independence calypso crown in 1979. He was a good singer and composer.

His novel Nèg Mawon: Freedom Fighter was published in 2000 by the Caribbean Diaspora Press of the Medgar Evers College in New York. It is highly regarded as a historical novel. 

His short story Calypso Finals won a BBC Caribbean Magazine prize in 1977 and was broadcast by them. The story was later published in the popular anthology The Sun’s Eye in 1989. In 1978 the Lithographic Press had published his short stories Mighty Laughs. He had also recorded a long-play album of the same name.

His play Invocation was produced by the Creative and Performing Arts Society in 1972 alongside plays by Kamau Brathwaite and Stanley French.

Aubertin wrote and directed a film based on his novel Neg Marron. 

In 1987 he graduated from the University of Manchester with a M.Ed in Mass Media. His thesis was titled “Patterns of gender socialization in Saint Lucia.”

As Director of Culture in 2000, he led Saint Lucia’s delegation to Carifesta in St. Kitts. He served as the last Director of Culture from 1998-2001. In 2002, the Cultural Development Foundation replaced the Department of Culture and the Director of Culture was replaced by an Executive Director.

He had also worked for many years with the Catholic Television service. He was very involved with his wife as Catholics in counselling and teaching and was licensed to perform weddings as a status officer.

Just as the Cultural Icons before him Mike will be sadly missed. His legacy will be etched in the annals of St. Lucia’s history and should be an inspiration for many young and upcoming artistes. Over the years FRC has consistently called for Saint Lucian culture, history and literature to be part of our schools; curricula. The works of Michael Aubertin both as a writer and calypsonian would be required reading in such educational programmes.

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Invader – Keep The Borders Closed (V.O.P. Performance Video)

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Live performance of Keep The Borders Closed by Invader at Voice Of The People.

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