Caribbean Music Awards: Appreciating Caribbean Musicians & Entertainers in Canada

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(c) MK Photography

BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO

On Sunday September 27th, The Rose Theatre in Brampton played host to the 3rd Annual Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards. Individuals and supporters of the Caribbean community came out to recognize and acknowledge the achievements of people in Canada who are from the Caribbean islands in the music and entertainment industry, their contributions to the industry and the making of the different genres of music that have shaped what the entertainment industry has become today.

It was a night filled with recognition and reflection of the impact that Caribbean music genres have had here in Canada and an appreciation to all musicians and entertainers that have shared their many skills and talents with the world.

The Caribbean Music & Entertainment Award was established in April 2010, hosted exclusively by PenPro Entertainment in Brampton. The awards were implemented to recognize entertainers regardless of age, race, sex, religion, disability or nationality. President and CEO Penny Providence wanted to ensure that the diversity of the Caribbean islands would be included in the awards ceremony, as well as come together to build and acknowledge the people who are working hard for their respective communities.

The evening comprised of various performances from the diverse backgrounds of the Caribbean islands. There are 36 different categories including Zouke, Reggae, Soca/Calypso, Steel Pan, Indo Caribbean, Latino & French Caribbean, Instrumentalists, dancers, comedians, actors, poets and many more.

The audience was able to experience a Canadian Caribbean showcase of the very best in Reggae, Soca/Calypso, Zouk, Latin Music, Chutney, Theatre, Steel Pan and Comedy. MC’s Comedian Marc Trinidad and Top Latino Radio Host Keiter Feliz kept the audience entertained with their quick wit and sense of humor while they introduced winners and performances in each category.

The first award of the night went to Top Young Artist – De Unstoppable Jr. Aneil Rai and youth educational bursaries were presented to Shaneice Anthony and Joshua Chin on behalf of Jamaica National Building Society. The Toronto Caribbean Newspaper carried home the award for Top Media Print Publication, and Caribbean Vibration was the recipient of the Top Media Television.

Awards for Top Radio Program went to Caribbean Sunshine 100.3 – DJ Narine for Chutney and G98.7 took home three awards for The Soca Groove with D’Enforcas for Soca/Calypso, Delroy G Showcase with Delroy Graham for Reggae/Dancehall and Gospel Show with Mr. G and Alicia DaCosta.

Top Comedian went to Maliaka Bryce, Top Live Play/Theatre went to Marcia Brown for I Need to Know My Father and the CMEA Community Awards went to Mr. Eddie Grant.

For Top DJ’s recipients included Dr. Jay (Soca), DJ Danny Castro (Latino), Spex-Da Boss (Reggae) and DJ Navi De Unstoppable (Churtney).

The awards for Top Steel Pan Group went to Pan Fantasy and Top Steel Pan Solo went to Joy Lapps.

Some of the specialty awards that were received included, The Raymond McKnight Memorial Award – Jay Harmony Davis, The Lifetime Achievement Award  – Nana McLean, International Award for Reggae – Exco Levi, International Award Latino – Chantel Collado and the International award for Soca went to Kerwin DuBois.

Top Band Awards went to Destiny Band (Chutney), Andi y Los Latinos (Latino), Fulla Sound Band (Reggae), Fraka (Zouk) and Level Exodus Band (Soca/Calypso).

Top Afro Caribbean Drumming went to Toronto All Stars Tassa Crew and Spice Island Drumming.

Awards for the Top Dance Group went to Staya Dance Works, Strickly Salsa, and Ballet Creole in the Chutney, Latino and Caribbean/African/Creole categories.

Finally the last set of awards were presented to the Top Artist in their category, King Fabuloso (Latino), Kaye Morris (Gospel), KI Persad (Chutney), Aldo Guizmo (Zouk/French Creole), Ammoye (Reggae/Dancehall) and Joel “Connector” Davis (Calypso/Soca)

Each recipient came up to receive their awards and took a few minutes to thank the community and all of their supporters.  Throughout the night the audience enjoyed live performances by Joel “Connector” Davis, Jay Harmony Davis, Blizz Ft. Lenn Hammond, Destiny Band, Donna Makeda, Dhalia, Earl LaPierre, Chantel Collado and her Band, Toronto All Stars, Spice Island Drumming Ensemble and the highly esteemed Liberty Silver.

Looking towards the future, there are hopes that this awards ceremony will someday cement its place as a premier event on the annual cultural calendar of Toronto, attracting hundreds of patrons to Toronto each year. With every year the Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards is growing, getting bigger and better recognizing entertainers for all of their hard work and dedication to the industry.

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