Showing posts from 2020

Ready. Action. Film. Maybe!

CaribbeanTales is all set to put on the Big Show, but Virus Shutdown waits in the wings. The CaribbeanTales Film Festival (CTFF) has an amazing plan for 2020; quality Trinidadian, Caribbean and world movies, a gala launch, and an outreach festival in England. “Now,” says Dianne Webley the newly promoted director of the Festival, "if the virus shutdown soon has an end, we can tell Toronto when this is all going to take place.” Earlier this week, Frances Anne Solomon, the founder of the annual festival announced that Webley has taken over the day-to-day operation of the 15th annual fall classic. She also announced that three new people have joined the CTFF board.
“A long-time member of the CaribbeanTales family, Diana Webley has been working at Harbourfront Centre for 15-years,” said Solomon. “For the past two years she has also served as the Associate Festival Director for CTFF.”
“What has happened is that Frances Anne (Solomon) has been deeply involved with her own feature film, Hero…

Today's Front Page Story - Caribbean Camera - fate of Carnival

What will happen to Caribbean Carnival '20?
By Stephen Weir The Caribbean Camera has learned that the Festival Management Committee (FMC) which runs the annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival will meet later this week to decide what is going to happen to this year’s annual July festival and their signature August 1 Grand Parade. With the announcement on Tuesday that the City of Toronto is cancelling all major events until June 30 (and leaving the door open to closing all further summer events) because of the virus pandemic, carnival stakeholders must decide if they are going to proceed with the parade, moving it to a later date in the year or simply postponing it until next year. For the FMC, the timing for its 2020 Toronto Caribbean Carnival, is now a big crapshoot. If the festival is to proceed with its mid-July kick-off, the mas’ bands have to begin opening their mas camps, holding band launches, building costumes and renting trucks for the parade. If the City ends up extending the s…

I wonder what the King is doing tonight?

How Are The Royals Doing During This Virus Shutdown?
By Stephen Weir
No, we don’t mean Prince Charles (but we do wish him a speedy recovery) we are talk about the Kings and Queens of the Caribbean.  For the past few days we have been texting and checking the Facebook and Instagram accounts of people who have name recommendation with Caribbean Camera readers!
After communicating with more than 20 people who are currently in solitary confinement, we can tell you, that most of our Royals are just like us.  Busy on social media. Eating too much.  Exercising too little.
Jai Ojah (l) – King of Caribbean Radio - just at home de cluttering painting and walking playing my records at night. Basically my keeping in touch with friends and family. Enjoying my record collection on my turntable.
Destra, Queen of Bacchanal (r) – On Facebook, the famous Trinidadian Soca singer posted a 1970s era British comedy TV skit of a spinster who accidently sprays Crazy Glue on her crotch, soon her spinster friend …

Will there be a Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade this August 1st?

Carnival Mas or Corona Mess?  Not a Lot of Answers in this Time of Crisis By Stephen Weir

Breaking News: I received a note from the SunLime Mas Band l this evening announcing that they have postponed their previously announced March 29th virtual launch "to a later date. We will keep you updated as time goes on". We have also received a notice from the Toronto Revellers that their Saturday April 11th costume launch is being postponed until May. "Due to the current global crisis, we are postponing our band launch to a date in May (TBD)." The picture above is from the SunLime's model shoot which was held two weeks ago. Although the SunLime band has embargoed pictures and videos from that costume photo shoot, I did get permission to use this photograph (again) with the model blurred to obscure the costume.
What the Mas Camps, Pan Bands and the Festival Management Committee need right now is the city’s biggest Crystal Ball. Something that will answer the burning question…

The Different Booklist Closes Doors But Has Online Diaspora Books For Sale

Twenty Books to read the coronavirus quarantine

Now here is some bad news.  Yesterday the Downtown Toronto’s The Different Booklist and Cultural Centre announced that it is closed because of the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Just prior the store shutting its doors, the Caribbean Camera spoke to Itah Sadu, co-owner of the Bathurst Street operation. She and her partner Miguel San Vincente are concerned about the “safety of our staff and customers”, thus yesterday’s closure. Now for the good news: Although customers can’t, at least for now, visit the city’s only bookstore for Caribbean, African and Diversity titles, The Different Booklist is operating online.  To encourage online shopping, the company is offering free shipping on all orders. With this raging coronavirus outbreak you and your children may suddenly find yourself staying home with a lot of time on your hands. Nothing makes staying at home more enjoyable than reading a book or two and of course pourin…

News Flash: Simone Dalton another Trini Book Winner

 Simone Dalton captures a top writing award

Writer and Pan Player Simone Dalton is keeping a Trinidadian Canadian tradition alive.  The young writer has just won the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author Award making her the 5th Trinidadian Canadian to win a major Canadian writing prize in the past decade. Simone Dalton is a long-time tenor pan player with Toronto Panatics and an author that one magazine declared is one of “20 Black Writers to Read All Year Round!”. Dalton earned an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her work has been published in The Unpublished City: Volume I, and in the anthology, Black Writers Matter. In 2019, her inaugural short play, VOWS, debuted at Soulpepper as part of RARE Theatre’s production, Welcome to My Underworld. She is now working on her first memoir and is currently living in Boston. Dalton won the Award yesterday, thanks to another writer, Ottawa historian Mark Bourrie.  Early this month he won the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize for his book Bush Runner: The A…

Not the First, but still the First Friday in Brampton

It wasn’t the first Friday that Brampton business people spent the evening together networking.  Peel’s First Fridays Tradition Is Here! By Stephen Weir Technically Brampton has already had three First Fridays, but the Caribbean Community is still in first contact mode for the once monthly business-networking event.   Last Friday evening over 50 people from Peel came out to see what the professionals' Greet and Meet is all about.Organizers are expecting an even larger crowd in April. First Fridays is a networking and social night that is, as the name says, held the first Friday evening of each month, has been a must-attended ritual in Toronto for the past 26-years. An after-work chapter has just been established in Brampton which is being run by Ryan Knight, the Afro Caribbean Business Network CEO (ACBN), and Andria Barrett, the President of the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC). Warren Salmon, the creator of First Fridays in Toronto, has helped established the new chapter. “I …

In The Black And White Will Soon Be In Colour

Will Toronto’s establishment be Jolly with that news that In The Black will be a new movie shot in living colour.

Filmmaker and head of the CaribbeanTales Film Festival, Francis Anne Solomon announced this week that she has begun work on a feature film based on the book In the Black written by Caribbean Canadian superstar Denham Jolly. News of the proposed film will probably bring both cheers and jeers, depending on what side of the radio dial audiences find themselves. He is best known is best known as the founder of Canada’s first Black radio station, Flow 93.5 and the publisher of the now defunct Contrast newspaper. “In the Black won the Toronto Book Award in 2017. In it he tells the story of his journey from Jamaica to Canada in the 1950s, through his struggles to overcome racism and become an extremely successful businessman, activist, philanthropist, and publisher.
When the Camera’s Stephen Weir interviewed Jolly about his book when it was launched, he asked Jolly if the autobiograp…

Sunlime Is Liming On Line This Year

By Stephen Weir The Sunlime Canada mas band’s annual costume launch is coming to a computer near you.  On Sunday, March 29th, the ever-popular medium sized band will be staging a live fashion show that can only be seen on the Internet. “ We are trying something new for Toronto, a virtual launch!” said Sunlime spokesman Niles “Whitey” Koski. “ We were going to have a standard launch party and then we decided to be strictly online.” “ We aren’t doing this because of the Virus.  I have been asked that a lot lately,” he told the Caribbean Camera. “ But no, we came up with the idea back in December.” Sunlime isn’t saying, at least not yet, where the launch will be held. The suggestion is that it will be in a hall in Toronto, where there is enough room for a large stage and professional lighting to make for good Internet viewing. DJ Toxic and MC Kevin Carrington will be the on-air ringmasters. Sunlime will also have a small live audience  - the media, designers and band supporters – but is hopin…

Carnival Cities Are Waiting To Be Tribalized

Celena Seusahai Has Costume And Will Travel By Stephen Weir
Celena Seusahai has packed her new costume and headed out the door for her flight to Trinidad and Tobago.  Her trip to T&T’s Carnival is the 2020 start to a Mas on the Move for one of Canada’s leading exporter of the Carnival Arts. She and her father Dexter head up the Tribal Carnival Mas Camp here in the city and on Grand Cayman Island. She is a past Queen of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and for the past two years has captured the Band of the Year Award at Cayman’s annual carnival.  Oh yes, Tribal also supplies costumes to other carnivals events in the Caribbean and the US, including Miami. “I’m going down by myself and l will be playing Mas with Rogue once again (in Trinidad’s Carnival), they are a branch of Tribe,” she told the Caribbean Camera. “We will have about 30 people in costumes in the T&T Grand Parade. They will be wearing outfits made by my dad and I for T&T’s Carnival Monday!” After the parade, she will…