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Showing posts from March, 2022

Black, Gold and Green down Lakeshore

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Brampton debut for the Freedom  Mas Band of the Toronto Carnival By Stephen Weir. Pictures by Des Photography This early bird didn’t get any worms, Johanna Grant, got something significantly better.  By holding her new Freedom Mas Band costume launch on Sunday she won bragging rights to being the first Band to hold a launch for Carnival 2022 and also the first band to open their Mas Camp doors and start making masquerade outfits. She set a couple of other milestones on the weekend. Her new band is the only group that will be based in the city of Brampton, and proudly waving the Black, Green and Gold down Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto's Grand Parade on Saturday July 30 th. “After a 16 years hiatus, the Jamaican Band is back, fully equipped with costumes to give revellers the full  carnival experience ,” said Johanna Grant shortly after the day long fete ended. “   We are excited to bring back the Jamaican culture to the Toronto Carnival formally known as Caribana!” “Honest, one of the r

Windsor University Creative Writing Class Assignment about my messy office

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    MY CHEAP ATTIC OFFICE ROOM FRIGHTENS LOTS OF PEOPLE   By Stephen Weir OMG. No, Double OMG. If the city inspectors sees this, I’ll be tossed into a snowbank, while they weld my alley door shut for the safety of the city. What am I doing here? Stephen, the landlord had a list (72 pt bold) of the renting features of this attic bedroom cum office. “ Number One!  ” it yelled at me. “It is a Gawd Damn Cheap.  Number Two No Rats …  not on the third floor at least).  Number Three. No toilet  .  You use the landlord’s  downstairs …. and he promises to make sure it is kept clean … most of the time.  Number Four.  It is the cheapest rent you will get at Young and Egg.” Young and Egg?  What do I know? I thought I’d just moved into a third-floor office walkup at Yonge Street and Eglinton Ave. “Oh, what a unique space. Love It.” Truth was I didn’t bring a bed to my new city digs, and the space was too narrow anyway.  And, as I remembered, it was really cheap!   Landlord Stephen   (LLS) lay down

Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers

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  TRAYVON MARTIN STORY ALIVE AFTER 10 YEARS Makambe K Simamba By Stephen Weir  When the 70-minute live play  “Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers”  ends we in the audience are invited to stick around and talk about the 2012 murder of  Trayvon Martin .  We think about staying and apologizing for the racist murder of a 17-year-old youth but opt to go to our and cry alone.    The Caribbean Canadian couple beside us want to get home quick and hug their children tight. Real tight.    The midtown Tarragon Theatre is finally back open after taking a couple year Covid break. Actress and playwright  Makambe K Simamba is first out of the blocks at the Casa Loma neighbourhood theatre. She is presenting her one-person show “Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers,”  runs until April 20 th .   In “ Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers” , Simamba plays Slimm (Trayvon Martin), who is murdered and suddenly finds himself up in the afterlife. It is based on the real-life murder

Consulate photo exhibition opens on-line and in person.

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  Thousands of children making a Mas at the T&T Sheppard Avenue West consulate   Toronto photographer and filmmaker  Jenny Baboolal  has just finished installing a photography exhibition at  The Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago in Toronto  that will put a little bit of Carnival warmth into this cold Canadian winter.    The  photographic exhibit called The Art of Mas”, opened yesterday at the Sheppard Ave W Consulate, and is available for viewing online. It is also in-person, on a limited basis, to those with appointments to access services in the building.   The photo show which runs until August 31st is all about Carnival in T&T, and specifically children’s participation in the annual event.    Baboolal has selected over 30 framed pieces   which  document thousands of children’s emotional engagement with the annua festival and documents the wide range of the junior costumes used in the Children’s Carnival.   Jenny Baboolal was born in Trinidad and is an entrepreneur, a

Posthumously Honouring The Late Denise Jones

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The Walt Grealis Award The last Hurrah for Denise Jones at the Juno Awards In May By Stephen Weir : She was the cornerstone of the Jamaican Canadian community and is about to receive her just rewards at a special ceremony in Toronto in May. The national Juno Music Award will be posthumously honouring the late Denise Jones with the 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. The Award will be broadcast live on CBC/Gem Television, streamed on cbc.ca/juno and on Ontario Place’s Budweiser Stage. It showcases the Juno Opening Night ceremonies this May14th. The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose work has significantly impacted the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. Named after the publisher and co-founder of the JUNO Awards, the Award kicks off the 6-day festival. Denise Jones  was  one of the most influential voices in Canada’s Black entertainment community  for the past 30-years . Jones, who passed in December 2020  of brain cancer , sp
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City and Mas Bands Getting Ready for Carnival 2022 Celena Seushai By Stephen Weir “The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is back,” exclaimed special events expert Petronilla Marchan, after she helped Mayor John Tory and City Council announce the return of Carnival and many other major festivals to the city. Mas Costumed models, the Face of the Festival and carnival festival organizers braved the cold to warm up the May 4th Nathan Phillips Square pressers. “ We were feeling the vibes at Friday’s Press Conference,” continued Marchan. “The beautiful Face of the Festival for 2022 Celena Seushai  was  stunning and warm in Hot Pink. Her official costume added to the beauty of the Toronto Carnival costumes presentation. The city is welcoming back all, and we are ready with open arms. Get ready because the party now starts.” Standing amongst a group of models in Carnival costumes, Mayor John Tory announced to the media the return of major festivals and events to Toronto’s streets, public spaces, and

CJOM – Radio Stoner – Brings in Ram Dass

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  By Stephen Weir A mostly true dialogue  exercise  written February 2022  for University of Windsor creative writing course A scene from a meeting in the  Viscount Hotel’s  top floor boardroom. The owner,  Jeff Silver  of Windsor’s money losing FM station is bringing his team upstairs to meet  Baba Ram Dass.  The Guru of all things hip is about to arrive to reveal his cosmic plan to save the station.   Sunflower Sue,  the only female deejay in the Detroit/Windsor market has just ended her shift. Jeff has ordered her to work with Mike, the only blind record librarian in North America, to clear out the furniture, it was going to be a sit on-the-floor meeting. “Sunflower,  be a doll and move all the furniture out into the hall. Mike, tie up your dog and make sure he doesn’t piss on the floor, I don’t want that stack of BBMs getting soaked.” ordered Jeff.   He is new to  Windsor . He made his fortune building the  VOCM  radio network in Newfoundland. He bought up  CKWW-FM  three-months ag

SMOOTH BUT A BIT CRAZY -

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SMOOTH BUT A BIT CRAZY - TALKING TO CRAZY SMOOTH TALKING TO CRAZY SMOOTH In the old days, the done thing in the downtown Bluma Appel Theatre was to stay quiet until a performance was over and then start clapping.  That ain’t going to happen starting this March 17th when Crazy Smooth and  Bboyizm roll, jump, hop and dance onto the big hall’s stage for three evenings of Break and Street dances.                                                          Crazy Smooyj “We want to hear and see everyone!” said famed street dancer and b-boy dancer Crazy Smooth. “We’ve all had to live through the new normal, but now I think our desire and need to be around each other is coming through. Stand up. Make some moves and let us hear you!   Below Right - Otawa's Crazy Smooth The show is called In my Body. Nine of Canada’s best b.boy / b.girl dancers,  young and old, are bringing street dance onto the stage for three nights of high energy. It is one of the first shows to go live in Toronto si