Lots of food, entertainment at Island Soul

As part of its World Routes festival series, Harbourfront Centre will host a celebration of Caribbean culture, known as Island Soul, from July 31 to August 3. During the upcoming long weekend, apart from an exciting line up of musical talent, food connoisseurs will have the opportunity to experience a variety of dishes spiced with the unique blend of seasonings for which Caribbean food is known.

At the centre of this year’s special Island Soul food program will be a section dedicated to vegetarian cuisine, found most notably in Rastafarian culture throughout the region. La-toya Fagon from Twist Catering will be using her culinary training to cook up her own unique dishes, including Trinidadian curried vegetables, on August 2 at 4 p.m.

The Jamaican-born executive chef of Harlem Restaurant, Anthony J. W. Mair, will be showcasing his skill for the art of entertaining in celebration of Toronto’s cultural diversity. Come and witness this chef in action and sample his delectable cuisine on August 3 at 2 p.m.
Selwyn Richards, a chef with over 25 years experience, will be in attendance, representing The Art of Catering with delicious food with artistic flare, while staff from Jamaican Jerk will be at Harbourfront Centre’s World Café once again, with an adapted menu to suit the diverse flavours of the city.

Headlining the event this year will be calypso veteran, The Mighty Shadow and renowned reggae musician, Tony Rebel.

With social and political commentary delivered in a clever and unique way, The Mighty Shadow is responsible for some of the most original compositions in Calypso music. The Trinidadian musician is best known for his1974 landmark composition “De Bassman” and his branded style of dance, with both feet in the air at the same time, “jump-rope” style.

The two-time winner of Trinidad & Tobago’s Road March will be performing at Harbourfront Centre on July 31 at 9:30 p.m. Opening for Shadow is the legendary Roy Cape and the Kaiso All Stars.

Reggae musician Tony Rebel last performed at Island Soul in 2006 to an audience of over 5,000 people and is well-known for reggae anthems like “If Jah (Is Standing By My Side)”, “Fresh Vegetable” and “Nazarite Vow”. With a career that spans 20 years, Tony Rebel has added a number of impressive titles to his resume, including producer of reggae festival, Rebel Salute, and chair of the UNICEF-sponsored Artists Against AIDS organization. Tony Rebel is set to perform on August 2 at 9:30 p.m.

One of Dominica’s most accomplished bands, Swinging Stars, will be in the weekend line-up, as well as Toronto’s Carib-Latin jazz sextet, Kalabash, Pan Fantasy Steelband and the Silhouettes Steel Orchestra.

Other featured performers sexcamsat this year’s Island Soul event are Jamaica’s Charles Town Maroons, the always popular Leroy Sibbles and a host of others. The festival will also celebrate 30 years of independence for St. Lucia with music, dance and food based in the French, West Indian and Creole traditions that form the nation’s distinctive culture. There will also be family activities, like the steelpan workshop for children with Toronto’s Princess of Pan, Joy Lapps.

This year, Island Soul will premiere the Emancipation Jubilation with B. George Blake and Kalalu Folklore Theatre on August 1 at 7 p.m. in a performance celebrating the first officially recognized Emancipation Day in the province of Ontario. The four-member ensemble uses a combination of Afro-Caribbean drumming, singing and storytelling to revisit the first Emancipation Day.

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Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queen’s Quay.

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