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Showing posts from April, 2020

This Soca Star Not Rudderless In The Pandemic

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So what is King David up to at home? By Stephen Weir


Need quarantine relief? Here's what the Soca King is doing at home Congratulations dear Caribbean Camera reader. You've made it through another week of Ontario’s virtual virus prison. You're seen every movie on your Netflix hit list. You're somewhere between finally doing you taxes or buying yourself a dog so that you have an excuse to be out walking the streets. Don’t get cross. The Caribbean Camera’s Stephen Weir has got your back.  This week he talked to David Michael Rudder, aka King David, about how the Soca star and his family are handling the shutdown. David Rudder has been singing about the Caribbean experience for over four decades now. At the age of 67 he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact while he isn’t performing live right now, he is very active on the Internet producing a must read Facebook account that is newsworthy, thought provocative and entertaining. Earlier this week we conducted a Q&A  conversa…

T-shirts, baseball caps and yes even roti - how the community is making their own masks

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Strange Masks For The New Times By Stephen Weir

Noel's homemade hat mask

There was a time not that long ago when wearing a mask into a bank was not the done thing.  This week?  Some local banks require clients to wear masks if they want to enter the building to do their finances. Suddenly the mask – if you can find one – has become an important part of one’s anti-virus wardrobe.  Attempting to buy a mask has become an expensive and often fruitless exercise, so much so that people are making their own, using material they might have on hand! The Caribbean Camera has been noticing that many of our readers are using their ingenuity to overcome supply shortages. And while they are using bits of old clothing, odd bits of linen and reclaimed elastic to handcraft personal maks, a few are putting a bit of Caribbean influence into their designs too. Noel's masks at left
“ I made one of my masks using one of Saldenah’s caps,” said veteran Mas costume-maker Noel Audain. “I have to stay at home …

Prince Andrew, the canoe and the Village of Lakefield

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Popular Stephen Weir FaceBook posting


Chucking out files. Came upon a picture from 45 years ago. It is Prince Andrew outside the St. John The Baptist Anglican (North Douro) Church in Lakefield. On behalf of the town I (far left) gave him a handmade Lakefield cedar strip canoe and certificates naming a couple islands after him as well. 
What did I get? A parking ticket.
Below is the flyer that was given out in Lakefield. Population back then was 2,000 people.


Poets Chasing the Money - Canada's biggest poetry purse, the Griffin

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Caribbean Canadian Poet Kaie Kellough 
Makes $65K Prize Shortlist!
Caribbean Canadian poet Kaie Kellough has made it into to the finals of a very very rich race.  He is one of three Canadian authors in the running for the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry Prize, the country’s richest annual poetry contest. If Kellough’s book Magnetic Equator is chosen later this spring, he will take home a purse of $65,000.00. He is up against Chantal Gibson’s How She Read and Doyali Islam’s Heft. Kellough’s family is originally from Guyana. He was born in Vancouver, raised in Calgary, and now lives in Montreal.  In addition to Magnetic Equator he is the author of the novels Dominoes at the Crossroads, and Accordéon, (finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award), two additional books of poetry, Lettricity and Maple Leaf Rag, and two albums, Vox:Versus and Creole Continuum. The annual Griffin Prize has a jury panel of three poetry experts. Ireland’s Paula Meehan, Jamaica’s Kei Miller and Toronto poet …

Part two in a story about Canadian poets chasing $65K prize

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Vancouver poet in the running for the Griffin Prize with a book about Black Womanhood
Last week the Caribbean Camera told readers about Guyanese Canadian poet Kale Kellough and his book Magnetic Equator that is in the consideration for the $65,000 Griffin Prize. This week, as part two of the story, we introduce you to Chantel Gibson the author of How She Read. It too is in the shortlist for Canada’s biggest and richest annual poetry prize. Chantal Gibson is an artist and an award-winning teacher. She teaches writing and visual communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.
She lives Vancouver with deep roots in Nova Scotia’s black community. How She Readis Gibson’s debut book of poetry. Her poems challenge historic representations of Black womanhood and Otherness in the Canadian cultural imagination. How She Readis a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of Black women, their hearts, minds and bodies, across the Canadian …

Monologue Slam Brings Out A Record Number o Actors and Casting Directors

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Don’t Slam The Virus 
If You Are A Struggling Actor
Believe it or not, there is a silver lining to the current virus shutdown; that is if you are a budding actress or actor looking to be discovered!  Toronto’s Monologue Slam has moved from the stage to the computer screen and organizers are finding that all of a sudden acting careers are getting launched! For the past 9-years Andre Newell and his cousin actress Oluniké Adeliyi have been staging Monologue Slams in clubs and halls in Toronto, Montreal and in Vancouver.  In March, with the virus shutdown in full force, the Monologue Slam had to make big changes in how it is run; lucky those adjustments are proving to be popular. “ Up until now our Monologue Slam has been an acting competition where actors perform on stage in front of a panel of experts and a live audience ” explained Newell. “ The essence of the event is to give actors a space to play, let them work on their material and build a stronger entertainment industry.” In each club …

Caribana taking a year off because of the Virus - Front Page Story

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Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2020, which was scheduled to be held this summer, has been cancelled. The Festival Management Committee (FMC), organizer of the annual carnival, made the announcement yesterday. In a news release, the  FMC stated that its Board of Directors decided to cancel the month-long events, held in July-August, “due to the continued developments concerning the spread of COVBID-19, the severe public health threat and global health crisis.” ” The events include the Festival Launch, Junior King and Queen Show, Junior Parade, Adult King and Queen Show, Pan Alive, and Grand Parade,” the release said. It noted that  ” the mass crowds that attend the events present a tremendous risk regarding the spread of the virus. It is therefore unanimous that the priority must be the health and safety of our patrons and having weighed all these considerations, there is no choice but to cancel this year’s festival. “It is our responsibility to the City and our patrons to encourage social …

Exco Levi’s message of hope

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Champion drops and the world listens. 

By Stephen Weir It was the wind that brought Reggae singer Exco Levi a powerful message crying out to be made into a song. Two and half years later that message finally dropped, Champion has arrived! Five-time Juno award winner and long-time Canadian reggae star Exco Levi released his new single Champion to a global audience last Friday, and this song of hope already has begun to find a following. “ You know I let my songs come to me. Sometimes it takes a little time, but, with what is going on in the world right now it has been worth the wait,” Levi told the Caribbean Camera yesterday. “ I sing about Drizzy and Usain Bolt, and others, but they are just a fraction of the vast glorious people who are all around us.  When I sing about being a champion, it is not just about sports or music. You can be a Champion in anything you do.  I say be a champion for Faith.” Levi sees his song as a siren call to the global village for victory, in the face of advers…

Ready. Action. Film. Maybe!

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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

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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…