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Just two weeks before the start of Creole Heritage Month, the community of Choiseul was removed as the host venue for Jounen Kwéyòl events, citing budgetary constraints by the organisers.
Even Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul/Saltibus, Bradley Felix, was taken by surprise.
He said on Facebook late last month that “news of the cancellation of Choiseul as a venue for Creole Day was only brought to my attention yesterday Tuesday 24th September 2019 by means of viewing comments on Facebook”.
He added: “A copy of a letter reached my office today indicating this, Wednesday 25th September 2019.”
Despite the disappointment, Felix, who is also minister for commerce, industry, investment, enterprise development and consumer affairs, said his community will celebrate “Jounen Kweyol, Choiseul Style”.
“I have always been a son of culture, a son who loves Choiseul for what is true and unique to us. Creole Day in Choiseul has always been a spectacle, one with amazing colours, food, games and culture. With all this said, I have taken the stand that despite, we will have Jounen Kweyol, Choiseul Style,” Felix said.
The parliamentary representative noted that he has “contacted and engaged some like-minded motivated individuals who share the same view as myself to push this agenda”.
George “Fish” Alphonse, the programme director of the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC), apologised “to the communities we left standing” at a press conference held late last month to officially launch Creole Heritage Month 2019.
“Probably we went too far in our planning because Jounen Kwéyòl has become so popular,” Alphonse said.
The FRC’s Executive Director, Louise Victor, cited budgetary constraints and miscommunication for the ‘mix-up’.
“In light of certain budgetary constraints, we’ve had to withdraw not only Choiseul, but other events we initially planned, and that is what it is,” Louise told reporters. What you have seen circulating is what we would have ideally liked to put on but the reality is that this is our situation with a set budget, and we’re working within those parameters.”