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Commissioner Frans Richardson Honors Broadway Star Nicole De Weever as 'Special Ambassador' to St. Maarten

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PRESS RELEASE #122


PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Dec. 1, 2009) - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is pleased to announce that Commissioner of Tourism Frans Richardson has honored Broadway dance sensation Nicole de Weever as a "special ambassador" to the island in recognition of the talent and dedication she demonstrates to her art as well as to her homeland of St. Maarten.

Ms. de Weever was celebrated as a "special ambassador" by Commissioner Richardson and the island's Executive Council at World Tourism Day in September. "Ms. de Weever is an example of how talented the youth of St. Maarten are and serves as a role model for others of how far they could reach once they focus on developing their talents," said Commissioner Richardson.

Ms. de Weever will be featured in Fela!, a Broadway show that premiered at the Eugene O'Neil Theatre on Nov. 23, 2009. Fela! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones, with the financial backing of mega-stars Jay-Z and Will Smith. Fela! Has been touted as a blockbuster production, described as "a provocative hybrid of concert, dance and musical theatre."

Nicole de Weever

Speaking of her experience and heritage, Ms. de Weever notes, "diversity means embracing difference and diversity is most definitely positive for St. Maarten. It is important to welcome and embrace people with different cultures, traditions and customs." She added, "It is actually one of the many ways you can educate yourself about the world you live in and also one of the ways you can find true value in your own culture as well."

Although she is away from home (St. Maarten) much of the time, home is never away from her mind and thoughts. Wherever she goes, she says she is always representing St. Maarten.

"I share our music, food and many conversations with people that I meet on a professional level as well as on a social level. St. Maarten is always a topic of my daily conversations when interacting with people," she states.

Ms. de Weever is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Fairfax Ballet and Motiance. She has performed at the Afro Pop Hall of Fame Awards, AUDELCO Awards, Black Film Festival, Dance Africa, and West Side Story World Tour. Additionally, she has performed with such companies as Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Creative Outlet of Brooklyn, Prophecy Dance Works, Seventh Principles and Ballet Noir.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is truly a unique island in several ways. It is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. St. Maarten is also the culinary capital of the Caribbean with an eclectic array of elegantly-perfected culinary fusion to keep "food lovers" returning each year. And with more than 300 restaurants, the island has tastes to satisfy every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island's 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions including the vastly abundant treasure of rare animal and plant species at the St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden. The historically-pivotal Fort Amsterdam, the St. Maarten Museum, and the picturesque and symbolic Mount Concordia, where the Treaty of Concordia was signed to promote the island's peaceful coexistence to forged the island's uniqueness with two cultures on one island for more 350 years ago.

The Dutch capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with bustling city atmosphere in the heart of the Caribbean, while nightlife activities provide endless entertainment with 14 casinos, numerous nightclubs with various entertainment opportunities. During the day water sport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island's scuba diving and snorkeling facilities which are located throughout the island. The island boasts a wide array of marine biodiversity and unique underwater dive sites that include the H.M.S. Proselyte, a notable British frigate which sank in St. Maarten's waters since 1801.

Accommodations are varied with many facilities designed to exceed their most discerning travelers' expectations including elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous of U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

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