The nature island produces many cultural events. As a matter of fact, Cultural Industries is a vibrant sector currently being pursued. Some villages are actually referred to as being culturally-oriented with the southern village of Grand Bay being known as the “Cultural Capital” of Dominica. What is worth mentioning about Cultural Industries is the varied number of “fields” which fall under its umbrella. These include: festivals, music, drama, theatre, art, craft, dance, poetry, intellectual property, video production, music production, film and film production. Throughout the island are located pockets of cultural fields some of which are unique to a specific area. Some of those which can be highlighted are: traditional dances and craft in Grand Bay; traditional folk song and dance from Paix Bouche; craft items from the Kalinago Territory; theatre productions from the capital of Roseau and its immediate environs.
Needless to say, the “Bouyon” music has grown and spread extensively locally and throughout the region and the world. While Triple K and WCK remain the leading bouyon bands, many others have been formed in various villages. While we talk music, Dominica produced its “Lady of Song” Ophelia about two decades ago but, more recently, singer Michele Henderson from Grand Bay has been rising steadily with many international performances. We cannot underscore the impressions of the Swinging Stars Band over the last fifty years. Despite the focus drawn on Dominica after the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the island has not attracted another major film. However smaller films, documentaries and reality shows have been filmed on island. The island has the potential for an international music recording studio or a film editing and production studio.
The two major festivals that are produced on island are Carnival and the World Music Creole Festival. The majority of the benefits from both seem to come from the spinoff services generated from completely booked hotel rooms, restaurants, car rentals, retail trade, taxes and other side events during that period. It would be remise of me not to mention the annual Creole in the Park, Dive Fest, Hike Fest, Creole and Jazz Festival and a number of village feasts and festivals which are enjoyed by many locals and visitors throughout the year. Local live band performances to provide entertainment is lacking throughout the island but many local bands participate fully in the festivals. Some artists have small art studios but the profitability relies heavily on a non-local market. Dance and poetry is still being produced at a minimum. The island obviously has a lot of talented persons in various fields of culture but in many aspects these are not being pursued as a business or for investment purposes. It is time to review the Cultural Industries Sector and bring about much needed change.
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