LSM Newswire

Friday, June 24, 2011

Island Soul (July 29- Aug. 1)

Celebrate the diversity of Caribbean life and culture at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront

TORONTO, ON (June 23, 2011)Harbourfront Centre, along with its lead summer partner, the Toronto Port Authority, is excited to announce the return of the Caribbean-flavoured Island Soul festival. From July 29 to Aug. 1, Island Soul turns up the heat with a focus on Riddim & Resistance by celebrating the transformation of the Caribbean islands from hot spots of colonial conflict into creative hot spots for carnival and culture!

This year features local and international musicians, dancers, storytellers, dub poets, and carnival characters whose works embody a spirit of resistance that ignites social consciousness. From Jamaica comes world-renowned reggae poet Mutabaruka who sets his political, social and religious verse to music in an art form commonly referred to as “dub” or “reggae poetry.” From Trinidad and Tobago come the nine-member rapso band 3Canal with an excitingly energetic conscious music informed by the spirit of soca, calypso and kaiso (commonly describes as “the power of the word in the rhythm of the word”). 3Canal is co-presented with the Trinidad & Tobago Entertainment Company Ltd.

Family-friendly festivities happening all weekend long include JOUVAY! An Ole Mas Carnival Parade! Accompanied by steelpan rhythms, drums and costumed carnival characters (midnight robber, blue devils, paper doll and more), this group of carnival revelers parade around the Harbourfront Centre site performing their traditional spoken rhythm satires, displaying ole mas placards, and stopping to re-enact them to spectators with jesting parody, spoken word and dance. Joining them are two members of the traditional Tobago Speech Band delivering parodies of daily news in witty comic rhyme.

Even more invigorating is a Kalinda Stick Fighting Performance & Workshop with the Keith Pascall Performing Company. Pascall will teach participants the basics of stick fighting, folk drum riddims, nimble martial art movements, and lavweys chants (the origins of Calypso music). Join us as we bring Kalinda to Toronto and transform the Redpath Stage and surrounding area into an Island Soul gayelle (arena) where stick fighters can compete!

Island Soul brings the infectious rhythms of resistance, the irresistible dances of freedom and the interactively playful stories of tricksters, firing up social passion and inspiring Toronto – the largest hot spot for Caribbean carnival outside of the islands.

Join us this summer as we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from our own backyard and around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000 . Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

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