Snapshot: Independence Showcase
The 38th Anniversary of Independence and the 19th edition of the WCMF will go down in history as one of the best ever in terms of organization, participation and execution of events.
Having said this, the authorities must feel uneasy in the future at employing persons outside of Dominica as executive directors since ace promoter Wadix, consultant Val Cuffy and team leader Kelly-Ann Williams, with some more financial injection by the government showed that Dominica has the personnel to plan and execute major projects and the ability to perform at an internationally acceptable standard. Moreover we understand the culture and politics of our country better than anyone and so, know how to maneuver ourselves around all the red tape, egos and personalities involved in getting things to work.
Though short-changed by Timaya's less than 30 minutes performance (I trust that his wages will so reflect), and Wycliffe who won over many fascinated by the fact that he joined them in the stands regardless with more antics and speeches than musicianship and artistry, and the use of technology via sampling as opposed to a live performance. I am pleased to announce that most of our Dominican groups had the performance of their life. Still I guess, when you are a Grammy award winning artiste and mega star you can almost do anything and get away. Let one of our local bands try this and let us see what happens.
Bouyon King Acer Bantan, Midnite Groovers, Ophelia, Michele, Original Bouyon Pioneers(OBP) and Xtacy must be singled out for their tremendous effort and the use of visual of carnival and festival traditions via dancers, masqueraders, costumes, chorography and precision which they packaged to record breaking crowds' right from the first night.
The broadcast and live streaming of a clean sound by all three radio stations and the knowledgeable commentary by the DBS team of Sobers Esprit, Gregory Rabess and the youthful Garvin Richards really added value for those in the Diaspora and others who could not be there physically.
The sound mix at the venue itself had improved by a few notches from all reports and was quite noticeable for the Groovers and the high energy Bouyon bands. Patrons also reported that these bands depended less on the drum machines and really highlighted their live drummers and that's good news and may just be what attributed to the improved sound output. Still compared to what obtained for Gentleman, KES, Morgan Heritage, the Zuke All Stars and a few others from the local Gator sound system, we still have some way to go and we must find it necessary to offer scholarships and relevant internships for sound engineering at a tertiary/ university level to our youth; we must move towards training as opposed to mere trial and error.
Both Miss and Madam Wob pageants were also well attended and so were the cultural shows which culminated at the Cabrits in Portsmouth. The Cadance show organized by the NCCU was shaping up to be the best of the five already staged when rain washed out proceedings just after the individual round competitions. Gordon Henderson was in the process of giving a vintage performance ably backed by the Fanatic Band and powered by the clean sound of Arden Soundz, when it poured down incessantly and with great venom on the Pottersville Savannah.
History was created, when an independence literary competitor won the poetry competition both in English and Creole poetry; congratulations to Leandra Lander, presently one of the most creative minds in Dominica when it comes to penning anything. She also composed four other winning songs in various categories at the independence competitions this year…phenomenal. Then, it will go down in history that this year was the only year when the Cultural Gala was not held, and that was due to the inclement weather. In fact only one group played: Phaze Five Steel for the opening and that was it!
Well as one patron advised it would be good if the NCCU could join with the Cultural Division to complete their activities at the earliest opportunity because as it stands the Cadence band competition did not get a chance to get on the way and the winners of the various cultural activities for independence could not perform, and in both cases tickets were purchased. I guess God is just reminding us that when men propose only He alone can truly dispose.
Two points are worthy of mention for consideration as we go forward: that is ,in the future the height of the stage must be elevated for the NCCU's Cadence competition and the DFC must think strongly of having increased entrances and exits to accommodate the massive crowds at the WCMF.
Notwithstanding, the Government DFC, NCCU, artistes (both traditional and contemporary), the police and security, also the persons involved in cuisine and hospitality at our ports of entry and various hotels, and the people of this most blessed country must be congratulated for a job well done.