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Showing posts from June, 2020

The Prime Minister. The Mayor. Community Leaders. All Came to Jane and Finch

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Thursday’s Online Walk of Excellence for Jane and Finch.By Stephen Weir
Last Thursday, North Toronto students got the online surprise of their lives while watching a live YouTube broadcast of the annual graduation Walk of Excellence.Not only did community leaders, entertainers and family members take part in the 2-hour social media broadcast, so too did the Prime Minister of Canada and the Mayor of Toronto! In past years, Grade 12 students graduating from area high schools -- Emery, Downsview, Westview, CW Jeffreys and James Cardinal McGuigan have taken the Walk of Excellence from their schools to a grad party put on by York University.   In 2020, the year of the pandemic, the March was left to a small group of pan players while students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 took part on-line.
The broadcast was a mix of live footage from musicians performing on Finch Avenue West and Jane, to taped messages and live student posts.It was carried on YouTube, Zoom, Snap Chat, and Facebook, with Walk…

Stephen Weir takes part in Black Lives Matter protest at Queen's Park

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Protest bring Blacks and Whites to Toronto demanding change By The Caribbean Camera Inc. on June 13, 2020


I was probably one of the oldest people taking part in Saturday’s Queen’s Park march and demonstration. Everyone was so polite, even one of the giant police horses that were hidden away north of the Parliament Building showed some difference as I walked by. On a sunny warm Saturday afternoon thousands of people marched from Trinity Bellwoods Park in the west end of the city to Queens Park to protest anti-black racism and police brutality. And that was just one of two marchers in Toronto another parade started at Nathan Phillips Square and ended at the Yonge-Dundas Square for two hours of speeches, sign waving and chanting.

Both events went on without a hitch. There was no violence, and the only arrest that the Caribbean Camera heard about was at City Hall where a white man showed up in black face. Protestors suggested that the police did the man a favour by taking him away in handcuff…

City of Brampton establishes Anti-Black Racism Unit - Toronto communicator is brought on board

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Gwyn Chapman to the rescue in Brampton The Peel District School Board has just fired its education director over his handling of anti-Black issues in Brampton schools.  And the Peel Regional police are facing heavy criticism over two police shootings this month.  While things are looking very bleak in Brampton, help is on the way. Two days ago it was announced that popular columnist and photographer Gwyn Chapman has agreed to become a Senior Advisor of the just formed Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit. The city of Brampton formed this new unit with the full support of its city council. It is the first of its kind in the city’s history. IT is estimated that there 80,000 Black African and Caribbean Canadian citizens living in Brampton. That is the second largest visible minority in the city. Ms. Chapman is a Caribbean Canadian who was born in St. Lucia. “I am pleased to join the City of Brampton which is taking an active approac…

This Thursday morning Jane Finch Students Will Cheer From Balconies.

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7th Annual Walk of Excellence Pannist Will Perform at Jane/Finch This Thursday.
Press Release What : Jane & Finch graduates Walk With Excellence When : June 18th., 2020, 10.00 am - 11.00 - Pannists play at designated spots throughout the community from Wilson/Keele to Shoreham and Jane.
Who 10.30 am - 11.00 am Earl LaPierre Jr. pannist travels from Westview Secondary home origins of Afro-Pan, Canada’s oldest steelband to the intersection of Jane & Finch. Where: 11.00 - 12.00 pm Pannists play at intersection York University Faculty Association gathers to symbolically mark the passage from high school to post secondary. 11.00 - 12.00 - Virtual Walk on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Youtube This year’s 7th annual Walk With Excellence parade, will be virtual with some physical elements. Steel Pannists will create a day of celebration for the graduating students in the Jane & Finch Community. This year’s celebration includes Kindergarten - High School.
(r) PanMan Pat plays his wal…

Kevin and Raesha signed on for hosting duties

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Kevin and Raesha signed on for hosting duties Information is scant right now but get ready for a media dump from the FMC about the Digital 2020 Toronto Caribbean Carnival
Raesha Sirois By Stephen Weir When it comes to the upcoming Virtual Toronto Caribbean Carnival MUMs is the word as far as detailed information about the event is concerned.  However the Caribbean Camera has heard through the grapevine that a deluge of information the 2020 Digital Carnival is soon to be released by the organizers of this unique online July event. We do know that the Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2020 is getting ready to digitally jump up beginning July 3rd with an official City Hall Proclamation of Toronto Caribbean Carnival Month. Over the next four weeks there will be programming of Steelpan music, live Calypso performances, a virtual King and Queen competition, a Junior Parade and the Grand Parade itself. “For several nights in July there will be performances using footage from past years, borrowed footage…

Now Everyone Can Be Sweet 'N' Nice

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Historic T&T ice cream now being pedaled in Ontario mainstream stores
Charles Neale (stylized)
For Trinis who have long memories remember Sweet N’ Nice, a traditional  San Fernando street ice cream. For readers who have no idea what we are talking about, the sweet news is that many major supermarket chains in the province are stocking (or about to) this Caribbean style ice cream.

 Photo Left Charles Neale
Some 80 years ago, Charles Neale was a fixture on the streets of Port O Spain.  He created ice cream flavours from the fruits that grow on the island, guava, pineapple, and coconuts.  Selling from an icebox attached to his bike he would pedal through the streets calling out to the kids “Come get your Sweet N’ Nice Ice Cream.” Charles Neale is gone now, but his daughter Rose and his grandchildren are using those original recipes to give consumers an all-natural product that isn’t chocolate based. Made in Vaughan north of the city the family has big plans to introduce island flavoured i…

ACTOR /STORYTELLER RHOMA SPENCER Q&A

 BUSY BEING CREATIVE IN HER DOWNTOWN TORONTO DIGS

Rhoma Spencer is an actor, director, storyteller and broadcast journalist who began her career in her birth nation of Trinidad and Tobago.On stage, performing in TV shows, movies parts, and public events; heck, I have even seen her in costume at a high profile Scarborough funeral last year. Up until the virus shutdown Spencer was one of the busiest live performance actresses in Toronto.  Over the weekend she did a Question / Answer with our reporter Stephen Weir.
Question 1: Where are you spending the quarantine? If you are alone, do you have ways of communicating with friends and family?
Answer 1: I spend it at home in downtown Toronto with two other family members in my three bedroom townhouse.
Question 2: As an actress and entertainer and performer, you seem to be always involved in very cool projects. What was 2020 shaping up to be for you before the shutdown? Answer 2: The year started off with a bang in January with Solitudes put on by…

The Show Must Goes On-(Line)

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Caribbean Tales Film Festival is going online!
The theatres were booked, the movies picked and the stars were making plans to come to the city and walk the Caribbean Tales International’s (CTFF) red carpet this September.  On Wednesday the CTFF advised the Caribbean Camera’s Stephen Weir that while the show must go on, it will not be taking place in any bijous in the year of COVID 19! “It is not happening in theatres this year. It will be a live-stream festival,” spokeswoman Fennella Bruce told the Caribbean Camera. “ It won't (be held in any movie house), unless there is a drastic change in COVID-19 protocol from Provincial and Toronto Health Officials.”
The 15th annual movie fest will now run from September 9th until October 2nd and will take place on-line with eight individual nights of films and 25 short films of live-stream entertainment. 
As well, during the summer months there will be community programming made available through the festival’s innovative subscription-based digi…

Jane Finch's favourite Daughter, Jesse Reyez Sets Records

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Reyez on the money with the world's best. Raise a Guinness to their records - by sweirsweir
At a time when everything cultural is now only available via smart phones and computers, it is hard for a singer to get noticed when performing online, unless of course you are talking about Jessie Reyez. In late April she teamed up with Oprah, Michelle Obama, Elton John, Celine Dion and Michael Bublé to perform to the world and set a couple of Guinness records in the process. It was an online music festival called One World: Together at Home and some of the world’s biggest names virtually came together to raise money in aid of COVID-19 relief. The history making digital festival was co-hosted by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen. Earlier this week Guinness World Records contacted me to say that the global broadcast and digital event achieved two Guinness World Records titles. The online event set a record for most musical acts to perform at a remote music festival and a record …