Carifestival in the City of Woodbridge/Vaughan

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BY DT THE ARTIST

Now in its 7th year, Carifestival was held at the Woodbridge Fairgrounds on August 26th and 27th. The Carivaughan Festival, birthed from the Carifestival Association as an annual fundraiser event for the future facility, the Caribbean Culture Community Center (CCCC), a vision of Founder Sandi Folkes. Originally in response to the disproportionate representation of the Caribbean community in the City of York, it has now been suggested that this CCCC will be an embodiment of the manifestation of celebrating, sharing and showcasing Caribbean cultural from the entire City of York and the GTA. In addition, the CCCC will address the many issues that plague Caribbean people targeting the children, youth, seniors, and families.

The Carivaughan Festival is just one of the many events to raise funds for the home of the Caribbean Cultural Community Center. A 30,000+ sq ft standalone building that will both facilitate and accommodate a wide range of programs, activities, events, and resources to develop, strengthen, and support children, teens, seniors and families of the Caribbean and other cultures located in the City of Vaughan

A statement from the founder reads as follows; “Attributed to all of the cultures, social, and economic diversities of this mosaic of Caribbean people, many challenges and issues are generated within these communities. Concerns affect entire communities, families and individual lives. Such as adverse decision making and criminal behavior of the youth, economic assistance, parental guidance, laws, cultural understanding, elderly care, entertainment and leisure time are just a few of the issues that arise within the Caribbean people’s life in Canada. Sometimes they are simply due to language barriers, or lack of knowledge. Even when resources are available to assist persons in need but without the awareness or information on where and how to access these resources, a person can be left isolated and with no help. Culture and language can create remarkable distinct differences from the average Canadian culture. And if officials, public servants, and community workers are adequately trained to be familiar, understand and sensitive to differences break downs in communication, support, and potential are greatly hindered and even non-existent.”

The Event started with a mini SUV pulling a trailer with speakers, which they turned into a mini J’ouvert party. Loud Soca music had the revelers dancing and jumping up, raising their Caribbean flags. The grounds were covered with vendors and food trucks selling Caribbean food, such as festivals, fried dumplings, jerk chicken, oxtail, and fish.

The entertainment started around 3:30 pm featuring acts from in and around the GTA, yours truly became the host responsible for bringing energy to the stage and introducing the acts. Some of the highlights from Saturdays show included artists like Nathan Baya who brought energy with his call and response tracks and dancing. Coco Leah sang her way into our hearts, Xentury wowed the crowd with her amazing vocals and stage presence. Gee Wunder the OG of Hip Hop in Toronto, and the CEO of Motive Music had the crowd feeling like Hip Hop music was back. Mezziah another Motive Music artist who brought energy reminiscent of a Wu Tang concert. Price Da Boss a newly signed Motive Music Artist brought out some of his original music that helped him get his start early in on his career. Solo Key had the stage bumping. Dustin Wareham aka 80’s favorite baby brought that old school, yet conscious flavor with the boom bap. AntiFrantik, 6 Deuce had the ladies going crazy with his velvety vocals. Jay Evans did a full set ranging from Caribbean to dance music, and always knows how to get the crowd up. I (DT) also performed new music off of my upcoming EP with T Major entitled “Major Moves”. The entertainment was headlined by Louie Culture “Ganga Lee”, Silkkey D, Horace Martin, and Jah Kettle.

Look out for Carifestival 2018. See you next year!

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