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Showing posts from 2024
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  FMC who Run the CCT now have the CCAN! By Stephen Weir Minister Chu and Carnival Kids Late last week Jennifer Michelle Hirlehey, the board chair of the Festival Management Committee (FMC), which oversees the annual Caribbean Carnival in Toronto, issued a statement announcing the formation of the Caribbean Community Advocacy Network (CCAN). Writing in the latest edition of the social media-based Toronto Carnival Insider, Hirlehey commented on the success of last week’s Carnival Launch at the Scarborough Town Centre. All levels of government were present at the launch, and the Board Chair said she is “deeply encouraged by the expressions of support from representatives of the Government at the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels,” so much so that the FMC is moving ahead with the creation of this new advocacy arm. What exactly is the new CCAN? Hirlehey explains, “While the FMC and the carnival remain non-political, we are dedicated to promoting socio-political, cultural, and econo

SUZETTE VIDALE ADDS HER OWN UNIQUE TOUCH TO THE ALREADY ILLUSTRIOUS INSTRUMENT

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  By Stephen Weir: Pantastic Canada Day Weekend Toronto’s Ambassador of Pan had a busy Canada Day Weekend, teaching library users all about the pan and its history in the city. When she wasn’t at the Northern District Library, she was performing for museum-goers at the Aga Khan Museum. Suzette Vidale is an innovative steelpan artist. With roots from St. Lucia and Trinidad, the home of the steelpan, Suzette has incorporated the rich and vibrant cultures of Toronto into her diverse repertoire. A consummate performer, she came to the Northern District Library just north of the Yonge and Eglinton intersection. Over the course of Saturday, she not only entertained adults, teens, and children with music ranging from Bob Marley classics to David Rudder hits, but she also taught the audience about the history of the steelpan in Trinidad and Canada. Hope Pan Man Pat’s ears are burning—she gave a huge shoutout to one of the pioneers of pan in the city. Kudos went out as well to the electronic st

INNOCENCE CANADA PRESS RELEASE

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Shared with Public HE IS FINALLY FREE. Clarence Woodhouse, a 21 year old Indigenous male and member of the Pinaymootang FirstNation, had in 1973 recently moved to Winnipeg from the Fairford Indian Reserve, 240 kilometres north-west of Winnipeg. He had no criminal record and was gainfully employed. On July 22, 1973, he was charged with the brutal murder of a man called Ting Fong Chan, killed by unknown assailants five days earlier on the streets of Winnipeg as he walked home from work. Mr. Woodhouse was not there when Mr. Chan was killed and had no involvement in the homicide. Nevertheless, he was arrested and assaulted and forced to sign a false confession that he had murdered Mr. Chan. Clarence Woodhouse’s co-accused, his brother Russell Woodhouse, Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse were also assaulted by members of the Winnipeg Police Service and forced to sign their own confessions to murdering Mr. Chan. All four men proclaimed their innocence, but no one believed them. The nightm

Summer doesn't end when Caribana does! Jambana

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  Summer Festivities Continue with Jambana One World Festival in Brampton By Stephen Weir Summer doesn’t end once the Toronto Caribbean Carnival grand parade concludes on August 3rd. This year, plans are well underway to welcome the summer of 2024 in Brampton on holiday Monday, August 5th. Jambana One World Festival will be celebrating Emancipation Day at Chinguacousy Park with music, vendors, and Caribbean flavours. This annual outdoor event is free and, as usual, will be a family-friendly occasion running from 1 PM to 9 PM. Since its inception, Jambana has grown and evolved, reflecting Ontario’s diverse cultural tapestry. It has become a premier “Fun For The Family” festival, celebrating the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Caribbean Canadian experience. The brainchild of the Jones and Jones Group, the festival has been an important part of the summer calendar since 2009. The day-long festival will feature captivating live music and dance performances from a variety of talented art

BRONWEN WALLACE PRIZE WON BY PARE AND JENSEN

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  Caribbean Canadian Poet Wins Big Faith Paré By Stephen Weir Last week, Afro-Guyanese Canadian poet Faith Paré was one of two new writers to win the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. She and Nayani Jensen, a writer and historian of science, each received $10,000. Established in memory of writer Bronwen Wallace, the award is administered by the Writer’s Trust. This prize has a proven track record of helping talented developing authors secure their first book deal. Two $10,000 prizes are given annually for outstanding works of unpublished poetry and short fiction. Faith Paré is a storyteller of Afro-Guyanese ancestry who writes poetry, performance pieces, and criticism. Her work delves into themes of pain, cultural displacement in a polarized world, and futurisms in the face of destruction, engaging with various traditions of Black cultural production. Born in Toronto and raised in Scarborough, she now lives and writes in Montreal. Toronto’s Nayani Jensen, sharing the hono

2024 Toronto Caribbean Carnival is officially underway!

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  BY STEPHEN WEIR The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Launch: A New Era, a New Home, a New Auidence photo by Gilbert Medina The ribbon has been cut, the songs have been sung, and the costumes have been strutted. Make no mistake, as of 2 p.m. last Saturday, the 2024 Toronto Caribbean Carnival is officially underway! For the first time this century, the launch was not held at Nathan Phillips Square, and it wasn’t free. Patrice Roberts sings at opening at right - G. Medina Still, this change didn’t stop an estimated crowd of 2,000 from traveling out to the Scarborough Town Centre to take in the vibrant costumes, listen to live music, and indulge in Caribbean food. Speaking outdoors on a temporary parking lot stage, Jennifer Hirlehey, the executive director of the Festival Management Committee (FMC) and the festival, stated, “The FMC has made significant improvements over the last year.” In previous years, when the festival launched at City Hall, many important speakers would appear at Nathan

JANE FINCH GRADS TAKE A STEP INTO THE FUTURE AT YORK U MARCH

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Walk A Mile (or two) In My Shoes  Graduating student take a Walk of Excellence BY STEPHEN WEIR   On Thursday, the annual Walk of Excellence took place, marking a significant celebration for over 500 graduating high school students from the Jane Finch/Black Creek community. The event, organized by the Blackhurst Cultural Centre, local high schools, York-TD Community Engagement Centre , and the Toronto District School Board, aimed to honour the achievements of students from CW Jefferys, Westview, Emery, Downsview, and James Cardinal McGuigan High Schools. The festivities kicked off at CW Jefferys High School at 10am with a series of vibrant student presentations on the front lawn. Following this, the students, filled with excitement and pride, marched, danced, and walked north along Sentinel Road toward York University. Along their route, a small plane soared above, pulling a banner with words of encouragement for the graduates. This unexpected sight was a thrilling surprise for many, ad

30 boats with 30 student sculptures to be sunk in July

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COMING SOON AN UNDERWATER SCULPTURE GARDEN OFF THE COAST OF CARRICOU! Thirty boats. Thirty young students, standing in stainless steel craft. You can look for them this fall off Carriacou's west coast, but don't look for them bobbing in the gentle seas of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. You need to look for them underwater! No, we aren't exposing some mass sailing disaster. We are talking about a new work of art by the world-famous underwater artist Jason deCaires Taylor (PICTURED BELOW) . His latest work, "A World Adrift," is set to create an underwater sculpture garden with the government's help. “I am setting them down near a small rocky outcrop to the west of Carriacou called Jack O Dan,” Taylor told the Caribbean Camera. “A local marine dive services operation will be contracted to deploy the works under my supervision this July.” “Crafted from high-grade stainless steel and pH-neutral green cement, each boat resembles paper origami to depict the fragil

SPAM I AM. BUT IS IT REAL MAPLE SYRUP?

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 I Know What I Am Going to Cook For Dinner Tonight  Hope they used Canadian maple syrup! Just saw my first can of Maple Flavoured Spam (Saveur D'Erable) in a Toronto Superstore (Loblaw). Bought it and set up my little studio on the dining room table to take this picture. Will give it a taste test tonight. Will give a report tomorrow (if I live). Product made in the USA even though they use the English Cdn spelling of the word Flavoured, and a French language product name (Saveur D'Erable) too, on the label. BTW - this is the smallest item posted on my website ever. It is a copy of my very favourable posting on Facebook early today.

WALK OF EXCELLENCE FROM JANE AND FINCH TO YORK UNIVERSITY

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 No CNN or CBC, But the new Jane and Finch Grads Got a Parade and an Airplane to Mark Their Passage  BY STEPHEN WEIR On Thursday, the annual Walk of Excellence took place, marking a significant celebration for over 500 graduating high school students from the Jane Finch/Black Creek community. The event, organized by the Blackhurst Cultural Centre, local high schools, York-TD Community Engagement Centre , and the Toronto District School Board, aimed to honour the achievements of students from CW Jefferys, Westview, Emery, Downsview, and James Cardinal McGuigan High Schools. The festivities kicked off at CW Jefferys High School at 10am with a series of vibrant student presentations on the front lawn. Following this, the students, filled with excitement and pride, marched, danced, and walked north along Sentinel Road toward York University. Along their route, a small plane soared above, pulling a banner with words of encouragement for the graduates. This unexpected sight was a thrilling

THE KEYS TO 1ST FRIDAY'S SUCCESS

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1st First Friday Marks 30 tonight at Globe and Mail By Stephen Weir: I know what Warren Salmon was doing on Friday June 3rd1994. IT was early in the evening, and he was rolling the dice wondering if people within the Black community would come out to the Glass Bucket. It was a long gone Yonge Street lounge and it was hosting the launch of Warren Salmon's first First Fridays event. Salmon describes his vision for the monthly event he planned to run the 1st Friday of every month as the “premier networking event for entrepreneurs and professionals of African descent in North America and other parts of the world.” Back in the early days of the evenings, the Caribbean Camera called it an event that attracts Black businesspeople “who want to network, learn about new business endeavours, meet industry leaders and most importantly, socialize. And, on that spring even the dice rolled his way, people took to his networking concept. "Around 80 people showed up. It was hosted by Mike Pur