Wow! What A Cultural Summer
Canadian summer cultural offerings
By William Doyle-Marshall
This year’s CaribbeanTales International Film Festival(CTFF), returns to Downtown Toronto, at The Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, with an Opening Gala September 7, then daily between September 14 – 17 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Now in its 11th year, the festival celebrates the talents of established and emerging filmmakers of Caribbean heritage who practice their art across the Caribbean Diaspora worldwide – including Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, and those of African, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern descent.
From September 6 through September11, the Festival hosts the 8th Annual CaribbeanTales Incubator Program (CTI). This year the program is sponsored by Flow, the Caribbean’s leading TV and communications provider, as part of its commitment to the development of the Caribbean filmmaking industry. The CTI’s flagship program is the Market Incubator Program (MIP), a marketing and packaging forum for long-running series projects. It includes five weeks of online training, and one week of intensive workshops in Toronto. It culminates in The Big Pitch at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Bell Lightbox. Winners of The Big Pitch will graduate to the nine-month CTI Production Support Program (PSP), that takes projects from pitch to production and for the first time ever, PSP projects will receive pilot funding from Flow.
The annual Stone sculpture exhibition from Zimbabwe known as Shona sculpture, will be held at the Rice Lake Gallery, Rice Lake 17 from August 6th to September 4th. The curator, Fran Fearnley, travels to Zimbabwe to purchase sculptures directly from the artists. She travels extensively around the country to choose a body of work that fully represents the breadth of style, form and stone that makes this art movement so dynamic and universal in its appeal.
Stone sculpture from Zimbabwe is often called Shona sculpture, named after the largest tribe engaged in this indigenous art movement. Zimbabwe, morphed from the Shona word “dzimbadzamabwe” which means “house of stone,” is the only country on the African continent that has large deposits of stone suitable for sculpting.
Zimbabwean sculptors, who traditionally carve entirely by hand, work outdoors – creating and frequently displaying their work in open air-studios. Al fresco shows of Zimbabwean sculpture are very popular in the UK, many European countries, Australia and the US.
ZimArt brought this concept to Canada and hosts a number of public and private outdoor exhibitions annually, including The Rice Lake Series, which was launched in 2000.
All summer long in cities across Canada jazz and other cultural events were staged in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Alberta as well as Victoria, B.C. and elsewhere.
It is Sunday afternoon with a sort of tropical style Victoria setting – brilliant sunshine and gentle breeze blowing through Veteran’s Memorial Park, Langford, Victoria. The audience is enjoying a musical journey by Fraser Kersley and his team of very experienced musicians called the Hornetz R&B Review. They took fans on a merry melodious route, tapping into hits of the sixties by Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, the Temptations, Wilson Pickett and many others popular in that era.
Making up the Review were Fraser Kersley on guitar, Raman MacArthur on lead vocals, Roger OPlant, bassist and Dave Pretty on drums. The horn section goes by the name of ‘The Capital City Horns’ and when they jam with Seacruze the outfit is called the Hornetz R&B Review.
Whether they occupied wheel chairs, electric scooters, or park benches, it was almost impossible to keep them seated. Dancing is always enticement to musicians in any surrounding. These musicians were served their full share of appreciation especially with the presence of spontaneity throughout. When Peter Willing, coordinator of the series, stepped on stage with the band, he was applauded for his efforts. His outfit the Ready Willing Band will offer a repertoire of Motown R&B, Blues and rock combination August 14. Willing said the music series has been running for 15 years and was contacted by the Mayor of Langford to produce it over the past seven years. The City of Langford sponsors it and he is responsible for the eight-week production which began the first Sunday in July. It is a free public event from two to four o’clock every Sunday afternoon when parents bring out their children to have fun and enjoy the water park facility while adults embrace the concert offerings.
This Sunday Fat Cats, a country band will be featured. The next week will be the Ready Willing Band with its offering of Motown R&B, Blues, rock combination to be followed August 21 by the Maureen Washington Jazz Quartet performing jazz and blues selections. Rukus will close out the series August 28 with its classic rock and roll numbers.
Indeed, it is turning out to be quite a summer packed with cultural offerings across the country. Gerald Mar, founded the TD Victoria International Jazz Fest which celebrated its 32nd anniversary this year as part of the Jazz Festival Canada network was elated with the Victoria turnout for his production.