Saturday, 22 July 2017

Some Events Happening in Canada, Jamaica and Barbados

By Neil Armstrong

The official launch of the Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival on July 11 at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto. Photo credit: Gwyn Chapman

 Toronto Caribbean Carnival, July 7 to Aug. 6
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is the official Caribbean festival overseen by the Festival Management Committee recognized as a major international event. It’s the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. Carnival is a celebrated phenomenon in the great, multi-cultural city of Toronto. People travel from all over the world to see it come alive as the city explodes with the fun-filled rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands.

2017 Under the Stars: Movies in the Park, a free outdoor summer screening hosted by Regent Park Film Festival every Wednesday from July 12 to Aug. 16. at Regent Park (the Big Park), 620 Dundas St. E., Toronto. 

Blackhurst Galley Exhibition: “The Art of Carnival,” July 13-Aug. 9, first annual art exhibition presented by the Festival Management Committee of Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival, celebrating 50 years of carnival in the City of Toronto. It features artists: Kenrick Ayow, Rosslyn Berot-Burns, Daryl Chang, Georgia Fullerton, Ian P. Grant and Jennylynd James at A Different Booklist Cultural Centre, 777 Bathurst St.(Bathurst and Bloor).

The 4th annual Underground Freedom Train in 2016 at Downsview subway station (newly renamed Sheppard West station)

 A Different Booklist presents 2017 Emancipation Day – the 5th annual Underground Freedom Train – on July 31. Gather at 10:45 pm at Union Station ticket booth and travel to Sheppard West Station (formerly Downsview Station) to welcome in Emancipation Day, August 1. Call 416-538-0889.

PRiDE JA 2017 happens from Aug. 1-7 in Kingston, Jamaica.  Photo contributed

#PRiDEJA, Aug. 1-7. in Kingston, Jamaica. LGBTQ Jamaicans are inviting Canadians to attend “ #PRiDEJA2017 -- Celebrating LGBT Life & Culture in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the Diaspora.”

Organized by the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), a human rights organization founded in 1998, the week includes an international conference, a concert, a community bonfire in rural Jamaica, and an all-inclusive breakfast party, among other events.

To find out more about this year’s celebration, check out #PRiDEJA2017, @EqualityJA on Twitter and Instagram, and @PrideJAMagazine on Twitter and Instagram.

Motivational speaker, Sandra Whiting, will join Grace Lyons, Roger Gibbs and Ronald Taylor at Island Soul to share stories about coming to Canada.   Photo contributed

Island Soul, Aug. 4-7, at the Harbourfront Centre. On Aug. 5, 3-4pm “Stories of Coming to Canada” featuring Sandra Whiting, Grace Lyons, Roger Gibbs and Ronald Taylor at the Boulevard Tent, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

Jamaican Canadian Association will hold its Jamaica 55 Independence Gala under the patronage of the High Commissioner for Jamaica to Canada, Janice Miller, on Saturday, Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m. at 995 Arrow Rd., Toronto. Keynote speaker: Justice Donald McLeod, Ontario Court of Justice. Call 416-746-5772.

Justice Donald McLeod of the Ontario Court of Justice will be the keynote speaker at the Jamaica Independence Gala on Aug. 5 in Toronto.  Photo contributed

 The Consulate General of Jamaica in partnership with the Jamaican Canadian Association presents Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of Independence Flag Raising Ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 6, 12:30 p.m. at The Podium Roof, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W. A reception follows at the Council Chambers-Members Lounge.

This will be followed by the Independence Church Service at 3pm at Revivaltime Tabernacle, 4340 Dufferin ST., Toronto. RSVP at

Blackness Yes! presents Blockobana- Black August featuring Osunlade on Sunday, Aug. 6, 12:00-11:00 p.m. in Regent Park.

Jambana One World Festival will be held on Aug. 6&7 at Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Rd., Markham. 1pm-9:30pm featuring Assassin, Half Pint, Wayne Wonder, Culture, Josey Wales, Exco Levi, Nana McLean, Ronnie McIntosh and Moses Revolution, Marvia Providence, and more. 

The Jamaican Canadian Association has organized a bus trip to Ottawa on Aug. 7 toOttawa meets the world – Jamaica” an event to mark the 55th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Janice Miller, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, will host a reception that evening.
$70 per person. Departure from the JCA at 7am, departure from Ottawa at 7pm, approximate arrival time at the JCA – midnight. Only 55 seats on a first come first served basis. Contact Michelle Dolly at or at 416-9979872

The consul general of Jamaica, Lloyd Wilks, invites you to an exhibition by artist, Cheery Stewart Josephs, Aug. 9-11 at the Consulate General of Jamaica, 303 Eglinton Ave. East, Toronto. Opening reception: Aug. 9, 6:30-9:30pm. Call 416-598-2064

Montreal Pride presents the first-ever Canada Pride from Aug. 10-20 as a nation-wide celebration of Canada's LGBTQ movement "reaffirming the position of Montreal and of Canada as leaders in LGBTQ human rights. Fierte Canada Pride, the Canada Pride Conference, will be held from Aug. 15-17.

27th annual Harriet Tubman Games, Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Esther Shriner Stadium, 5720 Bathurst St., North York. Contact: 416-316-3419
Jerkfest, Thursday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 13 starring Freddie Jackson, Brian McKnight, Ikaya, Pinchers and Maxi Priest at Centennial Park, Etobicoke.

Scarborough Community Multicultural Festival, Aug. 11-13, 10am-10pm, at Scarborough Civic Centre. Call 647-343-0821.

Sesquicentennial Cultural Festival for the Latin, African, West Indian & Caribbean Community all day Saturday, Aug. 12, 11:00 a.m. at the Toronto Plaza Hotel, 1677 Wilson Ave., Toronto. The Jane Finch Concerned Citizens Organization (JFCCO) invites you to the special community event celebrating 50 years of Caribana and honouring the founders. For more information, contact:

Rastafest presents the Canadian Reggae Music Conference on Thursday, Aug. 17, 1-4pm at Toronto Plaza Hotel, 1677 Wilson Ave., and on Friday, Aug. 18, 9am-5pm, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Speakers include Lloyd Stanbury and Kabaka Pyramid.

17th annual Rastafest Reggae Festival, Canada’s largest Rastafari festival, in The Village, Aug. 19&20 at the historic Black Creek Pioneer Village's north property, 7060 Jane St., Toronto.

Canadian-Caribbean contingent participates in CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados, Aug. 17-27. The Canadian-Caribbean Arts Network (C-CAN) is a collective of artists and professionals. It is spearheading the first ever Caribbean Diaspora contingent officially invited to participate in CARIFESTA 2017. The festival was founded in 1972.
The dance and theatre participants have started a GoFundMe campaign to help them get to CARIFESTA, and the public are asked to donate to their campaign at:

Canadian National Exhibition, Aug. 18-Sept. 4. On Aug. 23, 7:30-8pm Jay Douglas opens for Marcia Griffiths (7:30-9:30pm) at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place, Toronto.

Jamaica Day Food and Music Festival, Saturday, Sept. 2 & Sunday, Sept. 3 at Woodbine Mall & Fantasy Fair outdoors, 500 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Infoline: 647-909-3539

CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, Sept. 6-21, at the Royal Cinema, 608 College St., Toronto. This year, CTFF 2017 Legacy series has 14 feature films and 30 short films.

Montego Bay Pride 2017 "Love and Pride in the Bay!" Montego Bay, St. James, Oct. 12-15. Thursday, Oct. 12, 10am-11am: Pride Launch; Thursday, Oct. 12-Sunday, Oct. 15, 6-8pm: LGBTQI Film Festival; Saturday, Oct. 14, 10am-2pm: Social Justice Project. For more information: Register:

The Heritage Singers celebrate their 40th anniversary “Reflections..A Walk Down Memory Lane” on Saturday, Oct. 21, matinee at 2pm, evening show at 7:30pm at Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., Toronto.

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