The 2020/2021 budget has made provisions for the further development of cultural infrastructures across the island.
Minister for Culture, Honourable Roselyn Paul says upgrades at the Old Mill Cultural Centre has been ongoing and once completed the center will serve as a heritage site.
“The new Old Mill stage is about 85 percent complete. The remaining work on the first phase is the wood cladding of the stage and the steel extension of the stage. A provision of 875,000 dollars is also allocated for repair works to the Pan House at the Old Mill. All interpretation signs at Old Mill have been installed as part of the Heritage Site Signage Project. Special artifacts were mounted for display in the yard of the Old Mill and the rollers for the crusher were replaced. Repair works and reinforcement of the Old Mill Bridge and Parapeets and both traditional chimneys were also conducted. All of these enhancements at the Old Mill Old will better feature the Old Mill as a heritage site,” Minister Paul stated.
The minister says 1.5 million dollars has also been made available to facilitate ongoing repairs at the Arawak House of Culture.
“At the end of the year, there was about 50 percent rehabilitation works at the Arawak House of Culture. The completed works included the entire stage, the wood cladding of the walls and railings, inside repairs to the Arawak. We also have all of the chairs that are to be installed on island; so all the chairs at the Arawak are to be replaced and they are here on island they have been cleared and they will be installed shortly. A provision of 1.5 million has been made this year for this project,” the Cultural Minister explained.
Minister Paul highlighted some of the Cultural Division’s plans which includes the implementation of art training centers in three districts.
“The cultural division plans to set up three arts training centers in three districts in Dominica; Portsmouth in the North, Grand Bay in the South and Castle Bruce in the East. It is also the plan of the Ministry to use community resource centers as a place of engagement where the arts and culture can flourish. Special training programs in folk dance, jing ping, music, steel pan playing, drumming, keyboard and guitar will be held in the various districts of Dominica. Covid-19 has shown us there will also be need for online training programs and more marketing and promotion of culture and cultural activities online. A special training programme will also take place as we seek to enhance costume designs and building,” Honourable Paul further added.