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Dominica Benefit concert raises over EC$100,000

Dominica Benefit  concert  raises over EC$100,000

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The Dominica Benefit concert, organized locally by Invest SVG and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Commerce and Information Technology senator Camillo Gonsalves, is said to have netted over EC$100,000, although final numbers are not yet in.

Speaking at the event on Sunday night, Gonsalves, whose idea it was to organize the charity concert for the victims of storm ravaged Dominica, {{more}}said that the event was a huge success, as it went beyond what they had hoped for.

“It exceeded our most optimistic projections, considering it was a Sunday night concert, considering that we are in a political season in St Vincent and the Grenadines and people thought that young people would be divided politically, but everybody came out and the energy is great and the awareness for Dominica is great,” said Gonsalves, who added that money and awareness were raised and that was the main aim.

The Senator noted also that he has been coordinating with other concert organizers around the Caribbean and the aim is to get every island, at least in the Eastern Caribbean, to do a concert. Islands that have already done concerts are Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica itself, while discussions are being held with St Lucia.

Gonsalves said that if a concert is held in every island, a huge amount of relief could be offered to Dominica.

“SVG has already made a donation, but this is the first direct donation from the people,” said the Foreign Minister, stressing that Dominica needs hundreds of millions of dollars to repair houses, bridges and roads.

“We can’t rebuild Dominica alone, there are a lot of people affected, homeless children living in shelters that need to be fed and clothed and we need to help them,” said Gonsalves, who revealed that the idea for the concert came from December 2013, when SVG was ravaged by floods and a similar initiative was held.

“We raised money to rebuild the children’s ward and that was where the inspiration came from.”

Gonsalves noted also that the show attracted some 18 artistes and they had to turn down other artistes who wanted to perform.

“I had some contacts and other people in the music business helped; artistes contacted their friends; we could not accommodate everybody. People say artistes are selfish, but these artistes have given of their time from all over the region and it is phenomenal what they have done.”

“To Dominica, the people in SVG know what your are going through right now and we feel your pain because we have a recent memory of it and we know you will overcome just like we overcame and we will stand with you because it is one Caribbean and we are our brother’s keeper,” said Gonsalves.

The concert attracted a wide array of local and regional artistes, including Jamaicans Sizzla Kalongi, Protoje, TOK, Mr Vegas and Half Pint, Barbadian Allison Hinds, and our own Madskull, Skinny Fabulous, Luta, Fireman Hooper, Becket, Hyper 4000, K-Netik, Shaunelle McKenzie, Keith Currency, Jamesy P and the Ground Breakers Dance Group. NBC’s Shevrell “Candyman” McMillan was the MC.

Tropical Storm Erika struck Dominica on August 27, 2015, causing millions of dollars in damage and rendering more than 1,000 persons homeless. The storm also claimed the lives of over 30 persons and statistics show that almost one third of Dominica’s population was affected by the storm.(LC)

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