BY: CHELSEA OWUSU
On September 24th, The Rose Theatre in Brampton was home to the 5th Annual Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards (CMEA). Artists, students, media, and supporters of the Caribbean community attended to recognize and acknowledge the works and achievements of those from the Caribbean islands. The awards highlighted achievements in areas such as music and entertainment, and how their contributions have shaped the industry.
The night was also an opportunity for those to learn and reflect on the impact Caribbean music and entertainment has had in Canada, and how their skills have influenced others around the world.
The Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards was established in April 2011. It was created in order to recognize musicians and entertainers from Ontario regardless of age, race, sex, religion, disability, or nationality. Penny Providence, President, and CEO worked towards making sure that the diversity of the Caribbean islands would be included and celebrated throughout the ceremony.
The awards show consisted of many different acts and performances from the various backgrounds of the Caribbean islands. This year’s ceremony included a number of different genres and styles including zouk, reggae, soca/calypso, steel pan, Indo Caribbean, Latino and French Caribbean, instrumentalists, dancers, comedians, actors, poets, and much more.
The audience was able to witness some of the very best in Canadian Caribbean reggae, soca/calypso, zouk, latin music, chutney, theatre, and comedy. MC and comedian Marc Trinidad kept the audience laughing and smiling with his relatable jokes and sense of humor, as he introduced the winners from each category.
The first award of the night was given to Top Young Artist – Joshua Lucas. Followed by Youth Educational Bursaries awarded to Shania Randall and Chante Dillon, on behalf of both Jamaica National Building Society and the Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards.
Though the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper was nominated for the Top Media Print (English) award, the recipient this year was Reggae Xclusive Magazine.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jimmy Reid, Hip Hop/Rap Trailblazers award was given to Michie Mee, and the Community Internet Radio Award was given to Rootz Reggae Radio.
International Awards were given to Razor B IReggae), K.I. Persad (Soca), and All Veliz (Latino).
Each recipient had the opportunity to walk up on stage to receive their award and took a few minutes to thank the community for their support. The audience was also able to enjoy live performances by Dance Caribe, MDeez, Ryan Douglas, Toronto All Starz, Oso A, Rayzalution Band, Kay Morris, Satya Danceworks, Johsan, Django, Jimmy Reid, Super L, Connector, and Razor B.
After five years, organizers hope that the Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards will soon hold value as a top event on the annual cultural calendar in Toronto, attracting a larger audience each year.