Showing posts from August, 2020

There is an Art Movie Inside The People’s Art coming to Film Festival in October

Film about Notting Hill Carnival coming to CaribbeanTales Film Festival
 By Stephen Weir The Notting Hill Carnival was born out of race riots and murder way back in the sixties. A new movie about the UK’s bad boy of festivals takes a look through the eyes of a young British woman as she heads down the road in costume to find out the truth about the famous 4-day annual August fete.A People's Art – The Genesis of Freedom is a documentary by England’s Tony Oldham.  The hour-long film will make its Canadian debut this fall as part of the CaribbeanTales Film Festival here in Toronto.

Ayesha Casely-Hayford is glad she didn’t listen to her mother’s advice to stay away from Notting Hill. No, the young British/Ghanaian actress and lawyer now says that she is the better person for buying a modest mas outfit and jumping up both at a chocolate throwing J’ouvert party and the grand parade through the ancient streets of London (the Notting Hill area is near Kensington).
Photo above: Ayesha (r)
She …

Q and A with director of But You're Not Black - Danielle Ayow


Wow.  But You’re Not Black is travelling to cities this fall we Canadians can’t get to. Earlier this month the Caribbean Camera printed my story about the short autobiographical movie by Scarborough’s Danielle Ayow which will be showing at next month’s CaribbeanTales Film Festival.What we didn’t say was that even though the movie has never been shown to a paying audience before, and while most theatres and film festivals have had to go online – Ayow’s funny and brave story is already making waves! Why is there so much interest in the 30-minute film about Ayow’s struggle to be seen not as a Chinese woman but as a Trini! As part of the paper’s semi-regular feature about how members of the Caribbean Canadian community is handling the Pandemic quarantine, I went back to ask Ayow a few questions about how she is doing these days and dig a little bit more into what is making But You’re Not Black th…

OZ to the rescue in Toronto's GTA

New Programme to deal with the Justice SystemIt is not easy for young people to navigate the Canadian justice System (CJS) especially when they aren’t white! Just someone’s opinion or is it a matter of fact? Well, in Toronto it is a fact, at least according to both civic and community groups.Recently, Toronto, Mayor John Tory, several community leaders, the police and spokespersons for the provincial and federal governments, unveiled a programme to assist young Black people and their families deal with the Canadian justice system.It’s called “The Ounce of Prevention” (OZ) program. Funded by Public Safety Canada, OZ is a newly established “wraparound Afrocentric initiative” aimed at assisting Black and racialized youth, (and their families), to navigate their way through the courts, encounters with the police and correctional facilities.Oz is made up of five partner agencies: the Delta Family Resources Centre (Delta Family), For Youth Initiative, Somali Woman and Children, Think 2wice …

Covid 19 has left organizers wondering if there will be a 2021 Fete

The Winds of Change Blow Through the Offices of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival An edited/rewritten version of my story appeared on the front page 
of last week's  The Caribbean Camera newspaper
Goodbye to Aneesa Oumarally. The Caribbean Camera has learned that the 40-something lawyer is no longer at the helm of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Veteran carnival administrators Denise Herrera-Jackson and Chris Alexander are now running the annual festival.In a conversation with me (Stephen Weir) Ms. Oumarally explained that she had not been fired and that the decision to leave the Festival was made after discussions with the Festival Management Committee Board about the future of the 53-year old festival. Oumarally, a well-respected Mississauga lawyer is returning to the practice of law but will keep her hand in Carnival by re-joining the Festival Board.The Festival Management Committee (FMC) Chair, Joe Halstead, confirmed her comments.  “ She wasn’t terminated,” he said in a taped inter…

Book Shorts

Caribbean Canadian writers continue To penTheir own success stories during the ShutdownBy Stephen Weir
KAIE KELLOUGH. Back in May of this year Kaie Kellough won the richest poetry prize in the land.  The Guyanese Canadian poet Kaie Kellough was awarded the annual $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for his book, Magnetic Equator.  Kellough was born in British Columbia and now lives in Montreal.  His maternal family is originally from Guyana and much of his poetry revolves around that Caribbean heritage and life experiences.Earlier this week Queen’s University’s Creative Writing department announced that Kellough will be the 2020/2021 Writer-in-Residence, beginning in January 2021.  The University is located in Kingston, Ontario.As well he will be in Toronto on October 6th to speak at Harbourfront about his 2020 novel Dominoes at the Crossroads. In this collection of linked stories from the Caribbean Canadian diaspora. Kellough’s characters navigate race, history, and coming-of-age by way of th…

BOOMFLIK Movie will draw Blood Toronto September 18, 2020

Caribbean Tales Film Festival's BoomFlik headliner Jamaica's first horror/gangsta film is Nefarious (real bloody too)
Review by Stephen Weir  Lock the doors. Bolt the windows.  And whatever you do, after you seen Jamaica’s horror film Nefarious don’t go walking the streets of Kingston, Jamaica at night. No matter what. This Jamaican  horror film – it was made in 2018 – is coming to Canada for its first public showing at the 15th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival.It's headlining CTFF’s September 18th Boomflik An evening dedicated to the screening of Jamaican films
No matter how many  made in Jamaican movies viewers might have seen over the 15 year history of the CTFF, no one has seen a Jamaican film  like Nefarious – the island’s first ever horror/gangsta flick.Gang bangers, bandit street fighters. vampires and demons walk the streets of a Kingston ghetto, killing everyone who gets in the way.Mark (played by high school teacher/actor Kevoy Williams) tries to live on the stra…

Books close on Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2020 but you can catch the summer reruns online

Saturday 100,000 People Watch and Take To Toronto Caribbean Carnival's Virtual Road 
By Stephen Weir: It was the perfect parade that the world will never see live.  Beautiful people in costumes, soaring pan, word perfect Calypso. No gaps on Lakeshore Blvd. No arguments amongst the Mas Men.  No stormers.  No rain, thunder or lightning.  Perfect, but, sigh, the city really misses you Toronto Caribbean Carnival. “When you total up the viewers on all the different platforms from Twitch to Instagram to Facebook, we had 100,000 watching the Virtual Road Carnival on Saturday alone,” said Aneesa Oumarally, Chief Executive Officer of the Festival Management Committee.  “The whole world did watch. We heard from (happy fans) in Atlanta, Cleveland and other great American cities who told us they are coming to Toronto next summer to be with us live.”Ourmarally’s viewership numbers have been confirmed by CBC News, while some social media sites say when one takes into account reposts and site shar…

St Lucia Soca Stars Sing For Canadians Marking Carnival Week In Canada

No end to Friday night content online. SoundClash with Carib Ricky T in SoundClash studio
Carnival’s Virtual Road was not the only weekend online event that drew cellphone audiences here in Toronto.  A live Canadian Sound Clash from St Lucia and cooking demonstrations using Carib Beer and Ice Cream also drew viewers, albeit at a much smaller scale than the Saturday Toronto digital Caribbean Carnival.On Friday night it was all live from St Lucia.  Three Soca artistes: Ricky T; Cooyah; and Umpa performed in a studio online broadcast created just for Canadians celebrating Carnival Week.A SoundClash, by the way, is a musical competition where crewmembers from opposing artistes pit their skills against each other. The one-hour unscripted show saw the Soca stars play all their hits and have fun with performing with each other! “It is this Covid 19 thing that we are all trying to shake it off with our music,” Ricky T told the Caribbean Camera. “There is no Carnival anywhere, so we hope that th…