BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
The Caribbean islands are well known for its plethora of diversity and colourful ethnic cultures, with artisans dedicated to preserving their heritage and sharing it with the world. Citizens of the Caribbean diaspora are saturated throughout the GTA and with them they bring the exotic flavours and sounds of their homelands.
Hailing from the beautiful island of Jamaica dedicated residents of Dufferin County for many years Phil DeWar and Donald Hochay, will be hosting the first ‘CaribFest’ as part of Orangeville’s Founders’ Day. It has been a dream for both men for the past three years to be able to incorporate the vibrancy of the Caribbean community living in and around Orangeville. “It is our belief that engaging the community in this way will create awareness for both the patrons and businesses within our community in Orangeville,” shares Dewar.
Phil has made a significant impact in the community through his well-known restaurant Soulyve, located at 34 Mill Street in Orangeville. Soulyve is a classy-upscale Caribbean owned restaurant that prides themselves on their modern take of traditional Caribbean Cuisine. Their fresh new perspective on Jamaican cuisine incorporates a range of flavours and techniques with the chill vibes and ambience of a day at the beach. Soulyve is the first Caribbean restaurant in the surrounding area and possesses a national resume with appearances on The Food Network’s ‘You Gotta Eat Here!’ and The Marilyn Dennis Show.
Donald has made an impact through his community fundraising and service efforts. He routinely volunteers his time for a number of local charities and organizations in the spirit of investing in his municipality. Together both Donald and Phil possess over twenty-five years of experience in hotels, restaurants, catering and event planning and adding CaribFest to their resume is another way to bring the culture of homeland to Canada.
On Saturday July 23rd 2016 they will be hosting the first ‘CaribFest’ in lovely downtown Orangeville on Mill Street. It will be part of a full day of festivities planned for the Orangeville Founders’ Day celebrations, with parades, colourful and vibrant performances, cultural connection fashion shows, great music, food, drinks and lots of summer fun for all your family and friends! They will have steel pan drum performances, live ice carving demonstrations, an all-natural juice bar, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and a special performance by renowned Canadian songstress Melanie Durrant, with music provided by DJ Rory Grant of Legacy Radio.
The festivals intention is to have CaribFest become an integral part of the Orangeville Founders Fair that parades the downtown core annually. The founding mission of this event is to promote Caribbean culture, strengthen the cultural and social understandings and to enrich the future generations of African-Canadians in the heart of Dufferin County.
Orangeville Founders’ Day is a long-standing tradition to bring the residents and businesses of the community together celebrating their past present and future of their heritage. Their events include street performances, live music, vendors and much more. The main events will run along the Broadway strip alongside one of the newest attractions a 1,000ft long Urban slip ‘n’ slide by 365 Sports. It is expected to double their regular attendance of 10,000 to 20,000 bringing people from all over the GTA. Everyone hoping to have a run on the slide should purchase tickets in advance at www.downtownorangeville.ca.
Come out on July 23rd to Downtown Orangeville and experience an energizing, fun-filled, family style celebration of all things Caribbean!