The Dominica Festival of Arts (DOMFESTA) was introduced by the Cultural Division in 1983. It was felt at the time that not much was happening artistically and culturally during the June to August period in Dominica when school children were on vacation. It was also felt that the time of year close to and around August 1 should be highlighted as slaves had been emancipated on August 1, 1834 and again on August 1, 1838.
It was felt too that DOMFESTA should be a more open festival in that it should cater to all types of creative artistic disciplines as compared to Carnival or Independence which are more traditional festivals.
At DOMFESTA time therefore, one can expect a very varied programme of dance, music, art and drama, which would include folk and creative artistic expressions and other styles like jazz and classical music.
In 1999 the Cultural Division changed the August festival to Emancipation Celebration and three years later in 2002 the Cultural Division reintroduced DOMFESTA in the month of May.