Showing posts from February, 2018

Carnival photographer Ian Grant part of downtown Toronto Group Show

Amira Al Amary stands in the middle of her  Danforth Street galle Art of Black History Month extended March  By Stephen Weir Although the books on Toronto’s 2018 Black History Month closed yesterday, a Danforth Avenue art gallery will continue to celebrate for a few more days.  The Black History Month Visual Arts Exhibition will remain on the walls of the Areej Gallery until March 3 rd . The small, street level gallery is showing and selling photographs and paintings by six artists from Africa, Canada and the Caribbean.     All of the works on display explore different aspects of the Black experience from Ethiopia  to Canada to Grenada.   Grenadian carnival scenes by Ian Grant   You can’t miss the Carnival pictures taken by Grenadian Canadian photographer Ian Grant.   The framed pictures dominate one whole wall at the Areej Gallery. The dramatic pictures were taken in Grenada at the annual August Spicemas street festival.   Grant’s pictures are from both sides o

Three receive Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal

News Story By Stephen Weir Caribbean Camera On February 16, in Toronto, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada awarded Mary Anne Chambers, Gordon Cressy, and Dr Joseph Y.K. Wong the Meritorious Service Medal. The three founded the  Harmony Movement  in 1994. This is an organization that was at the forefront in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in Ontario.  "Today, Harmony Movement continues to offer youth leadership programs in schools, diversity training in offices," reads the GG's citation. "This is an award program that recognizes champions of social equality and inspires civic leaders of tomorrow." Mary Anne Veronica Chambers , is a former provincial politician in Ontario. The 67-year old Jamaican Canadian  was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2003 until 2007. 75-year old Joe   Cressy  is a social worker and former city councillor.  He worked as executive director of a group hom

BANG BANG. Only the audience dies with laughter.

Theatre Review By Stephen Weir, Caribbean Camera Today's Caribbean Camera - Review by Stephen Weir Toronto’s Factory Lab Theatre has given auidences an extra few days to see a very funny dark play about the police shooting of an unarmed black man.    Bang Bang (guess what it is all about) was to close earlier this week, but, due to overwhelming demand for tickets   five additional performances have been added   - the curtain drops February 24 th . A rookie female black police officer ( Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah) shoots an unarmed black youth, and a white playwright ( Jeff Lillico) uses the incident as inspiration for his new hit play. Problem is, the playwright changes an important fact about the outcome of the shooting –   the victim survived the shooting but the very successful play (which everyone believes) has the victim dying from his gun shot wound.   The black community believe the play and turn against the rookie cop. The play which got its world premier lat


Canadian debut at Toronto’s Royal Cinema By Stephen Weir It took four years and a worldwide Kickstarter project for the Jamaica Dance Hall documentary Bruk Out to Break Out in Toronto. On Friday night the movie was given its Canadian premiere to a wildly cheering audience at the downtown Royal Cinema. The Caribbean Camera Bruk Out – starts with the real thing. Men and women dancing in the streets and steamy dance halls of Kingston, Jamaica with reckless abandon.   Men and women flaunt their sexuality, on the dance floor, in the streets of Kingston and even on the hoods of slow moving cars.   Wining? That is too tame for Dance Hall – this is where the term daggering was born. The camera rolls with a clubber’s point of view of the hot hot dancing, while notable dancehall artists including Beenie Man and Elephant Man explain how the music and dancing feed off each other. The 69-minute movie moves from the ghetto to America, Poland and Spain, following

Trinidadian / Canadian Author, Recording Star and now Taylor Prize Mentorship Programme

Student, Author and Recording Star Antonio Michael Downing Receives a new Mentorship Award. By Stephen Weir for Caribbean Camera Photograph:  Antonio Michael Downing   Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad before moving to Canada He is a musician, writer and activist based in Toronto and he has just been chosen to be part of the new RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program. This is a professional development program designed to support the next generation of Canadian writers on their career journeys. It is all part of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award, a distinction that is given annually to a Canadian author whose work embodies the pursuit of excellence in literary non-fiction. The Mentorship program is being made available to five Canadian non-fiction writers, who are selected in partnership with a national network of university and college writing programs. These students have been paired with the 2018 RBC Taylor Priz

Obsidian’s latest play doesn’t leave the audience hanging

(But others may swing) By Stephen Weir for the Caribbean Camera Zoe Doyle (l), Vlad Alexis and Sarah Afful (r) -  Obsidian Theatre Company photo A big part of Black History Month in Toronto is celebrating the Diaspora on “the boards”.   This month, Canada’s leading black theatre organization opened hang,   a very dark comedy that is a #MeToo take on crime and punishment. Maybe it is because February’s dance card is so filled with events it takes a lot to get noticed. hang speaks to what is going on in the world and is desperately in need of an audience.   The first play of the season for Obsidian has been running for a week and has yet to attract its traditional base, or even a critical review – till now. Obsidian Theatre Company, now in its 16 th year, says it was born out of a passionate sense of artistic responsibility. The mandate is” to bring the Black voice, in its many artistic dialects, to Canada’s cultural forefront”.  The theatre company attracts some