Showing posts from April, 2024


  Thea Jackson’s Frozen Mas Redux It only gets better, and maybe a little warmer too! Two weeks ago, the Caribbean Camera told readers about costume maker and carnival leader Thea Jackson’s trip to the far north, where she, along with Calypso singer Edwin Yearwood and DJ DOC (Doc Wright), presented the first-ever Nunavut Carnival Launch Party in Iqaluit, the capital city. The coverage of that event almost broke the counter on this reporter’s social media pages, so when Thea Jackson told us she was going back one more time, we conscripted her photography services for round two of the far north costume party. She and DJ DOC (Doc Wright) returned to Iqaluit during the Easter break. Edwin Yearwood didn’t make the trip this time. The city sits on the vast frozen Baffin Island in Frobisher Bay. Over 8,000 people live there, many of whom are of Caribbean and African descent. “Travel there was great this time; no flights were cancelled,” explained Thea Jackson. “I flew into Ottawa and then hop

Black Dreams and Aspiration - Hidden art exhibition at Union Station / TD BANK

A SHOW WORTH MISSING THE TRAIN FOR   It is really Toronto’s unknown gallery, and unless you take the special train from Union Station to the airport you probably haven’t see the new exhibition called Black Dreams and Aspiration. Too bad it is an ambitious and uplifting show that looks at the works of a dozen local Black artists. The gallery is really a large heritage hallway that links the Toronto Union Station with the Toronto Airport train platform at the east end of the train station. It is only seen by travellers passing to and from the Airport train, although you there is nothing stopping visitors from going to Union Station and walking to the east end of the building where these large and colourful works are hung. With ceilings towering some 30 feet tall, the show boasts grandeur. One striking painting by Segun Caezar, a Nigerian visual artist based in Canada, captures the essence of jazz legend John Coltrane with its bold blend of vibrant colors, simple shapes, and realism. He s


  Looking for Niles on the Streets of Toronto We seek him here We seek him there; we look for Niles the Artist everywhere! Actually, this past weekend we caught up with Niles the Artist at the St Lawrence Market painting on a street corner that usually is a favourite hang-out favoured by panhandlers. While he has been yelled at a few times by people who want to beg where he has set up his tripod, paints, canvas, he has been accepted by the thousands who come to them Market on Saturday mornings. “This is a friendly corner for the most part” Niles the Artist (aka Niles the Painter) told the Caribbean Camera. “But I did get my speaker stolen.” He has gained some fame from the media when he has set up his kit and painted in a moving subway train, Yorkville, , Kensington Market and , High Park “I have been painting on the streets of Toronto since I was 12. I sold my first painting at Yonge and Dundas Square. “said Niles. “I have settled lately here at the market.” The 18-year-old artist i


MERITH HAS A LIFE STORY PEOPLE WANT TO READ                                            Some might say that retired York Region police supervisor Keith Merith picked a good day to launch his autobiography last Saturday. Those in the book business would say it differently; rookie author Merith had an amazing launch for his new book, "A Darker Shade of Blue." He hit it out of the park, got a royal flush, and hit the mother lode all in one very busy day. Most book launches usually only attract a small but loyal crowd; 20 to 30 book fans are the norm. However, on Saturday, at the popular Scarborough Windies Restaurant & Sports Bar, the organizers started turning away people at 170. "A few more talked their way in," said Keith Merith, "we think it was about 184 that came in and took in the speeches and bought a book." Former police colleagues, MP Paul Chiang himself a retired police officer, city councillor Michael Thompson, and even a judge or two came to t


  On de Road Again! But first a Mammoth Launch SALDENAH ON THE ROAD IN 2023 He is the man. And when Louis Saldenah says he is planning a huge launch party, you better believe it is going to be one of the largest carnival events this spring. The leader of SALDENAH CARNIVAL, the largest mas band in the annual Caribbean Carnival, has just announced that his 2024 costume launch will take place Saturday, April 20th, at the Grand Cinnamon Banquet & Convention Hall in Scarborough. “Even after Covid, over 5,000 people came out and played Mas with us. Our numbers continue to be in that range,” Louis Saldenah told the Caribbean Camera. “So we are expecting a large turnout for the Saturday night event. (The hall can be configured to accommodate over 2,000)” This year, Saldenah Carnival will have 16 sections, and at the April launch, each section will have 5 dancers/models on stage showing what they will be wearing at the Grand Parade.. We jokingly asked Saldenah if this year’s theme, "Fl


  THE LAST KISS'S KISS (UNWIN FICTION BY STEPHEN WEIR) It was May 2nd, 1974, when Kiss made their first appearance in Detroit. We met that night. Kiss couldn't afford bodyguards, so she had no trouble climbing onto the stage. Gene Simmons, weighed down in his new glam and glitter heavy metal costume, needed help from Paul Stanley to kiss her and toss her back. Wearing a wide-assed smile, she crowd-surfed across the mosh pit right into my arms. We're still together. Kiss still matters to us Big Time. The Starchild. Demon. Space Ace. Catman. There is no room left on our bodies for another tattoo. When news broke that the band was performing their very last concert at the Casino, I made a solemn vow to her. We would be there. No way no how could we buy tickets. We live off our Pensions, but lie, cheat or steal we will see the Last Kiss . She was going to kiss and crowd-surf one last time, no matter who I had to kill. We decided to go old school. Stoned. Its been deca