Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Batabano and Tribal Too. Costume Launch for Cayman’s Big One

Carnival coming to Cayman ... with Canadian Help

By Stephen Weir for the Caribbean Camera
Tribal Carnival will be taking Grand Cayman Island over this May 5th one Mas costume at a time.  The Toronto based Mas Arts Club travelled to the British colony last weekend to hold its annual costume launch  in  the capital of Georgetown. Early reports are calling the Friday night showcase  a huge success!
“Last year we had 400 people sign up to go down the road with us in Cayman’s Batabano,” said Tribal founder Dexter Seusahai.  “ This year we are looking at 600 or more people buying costumes and jumping up!”
Dexter Seusahai.

Dexter and his daughter and partner Celena Seusahai  were in Grand Cayman to act as ring masters in the large Friday night band launch which showcased the costumes that Tribal Carnival will be wearing in the 34th annual  Batabano parade.
This year Tribal Carnival used the huge Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant to put their colourful costumes and equally colourful model and dancers in front of the locals and curious tourists.
In 2018 Tribal Carnival is going with a Pirate theme (with new sponsor Appleton supplying the Pirate’s’ Rum) and will have six sections of swashbuckling revellers.  
Appleton Rum, the new sponsor
It is not just Cayman residents signing up with Tribal Carnival, there will be many Canadians and Americans heading down to Grand Cayman for the May  5th afternoon parade.
Cayman Carnival Batabano is the annual national carnival of the Cayman Islands, held in late April and  early May. The outdoor festival includes an all night J’ouvert , a Calypso Monarch competition, a Junior Batabano parade for the children (April 28th) and afternoon parade that takes thousands of masqueraders and steel pan players on a route from the Seven Mile Beach to downtown Georgetown.
According to the organizers, the annual festival’s name “ is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage – the word “Batabano ” refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest.”
On stage in Grand Cayman
Pictures Bandlaunch photos Courtesy of Cortez Vernon, Roy Williams and Steve.
Cayman photoshoot pictures by Steve.


Thursday, 11 January 2018


Good clean art on the wall - nods to Caribbean stars

by Stephen Weir - January 10, Caribbean Camera

Dwight Drummond, Patricia Jaggernauth, Drake, Master T and a wall full of other familiar faces, have been seen in a Keele Street laundromat.  Why, even a female model from Caribana is hanging out there, in all her Mas costume glory!
Rob De Luca, a well-known Toronto rock ‘n’roller, artist and of late, a co-owner of the Monte Carlo Laundromat is working on a huge mural that he says “captures life in the 6”.
“I'm the lead singer of a hard rock band named Rustik,” explained Rob De Luca.  
“We own the Monte Carlo. Nine months ago I decided to challenge myself to create something special. Toronto through my eyes.”
“Something devastation and unfortunate happened in my personal life and I needed something to make me forget about my pain. My therapy is this mural,” he continued.
One usually doesn’t go to a coin operated laundry to see funky Canadian art.  But, at the Monte Carlo on Keele Street (south of Lawrence) the wildly colourful images of buildings, Toronto stars and events, light up the inside of the place.  The mural runs overtop of a wall of dryers, snakes around the soap dispenser and frames the money change machine.
“I'm currently on my third stage of my mural. When done, it will be over 80 feet long. So far it's taken me 490 hours,” says the artist.

The artwork is so massive almost anyone whois anyone, living or dead, has made it on the wall, from Rob Ford to the late Honest Ed.  The number of people from the Caribbean community depicted in the artpiece is over 20, and rising, as the mural continues to grow.
“ I am not Caribbean. I am, in fact Italian,” said Deluca.  “My good friend (and inspiration) is Pam Houston from the Ontario Black History Society here in Toronto.”
CBC Dwight Drummond  over the change machine
“Caribana is major part of the 6. Some other Caribbean Canadians on my wall include the Weeknd, Maestro, k-os, Donavan Bailey, Master T, Lennox Lewis, Boxer/radio host Spider Jones, Much Music’s Michael Williams, Cabbie, Wrestler Sweet Daddy Siki, Ricky Johnson, and the lovely Patricia Jaggernauth (CP-24’s on-air weather expert). Other notable Caribbean mentions on my wall include the play Da Kink in My Hair, Rap City, and Soul in the City.”
The artist pointed out that are also a large number of African athletes who have moved to Toronto are now immortalized on his wall. People waiting for their clothes to dry are already having fun finding the sports stars including Kyle Lowry, Marcus Stroman, Joe Carter, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
Weather expert cp24 presenter Patricia Jaggernauth  top left
While laundry is the big reason that people go to the Monte Carlo, a story on the CBC has sparked the underground interest of art lovers too.  Spider Jones has already come by and signed the mural. Both the mayor and his rival Doug Ford have taken the tour and CBC announcer Dwight Drummond has said he would drop by with his kids.
Caribana Mas on the wall!

You don’t have to drive to the west-end of Toronto to enjoy the art.  There is a Facebook page dedicated to the art  The laundry masterpiece will be finished in time for a March 10th private rock and roll launch.(

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Canada's Most Prestigious Prize for Literary Non-Fiction gathers industry for important announcement

Jury will choose up to five books from its longlist

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation request the media to attend a conference to announce the finalists for the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize. The 30-minute press conference will take place Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10 a.m. sharp  in the Consort Bar (Main Level) of The Omni King Edward Hotel, 37 King Street East Toronto, ON M5C 1E9.
There will be up to five authors/books on this year's shortlist. There will be up to five authors/books on this year's shortlist, which the jury will select from the 10 longlisted books announced in early December 2017. 
Who: Noreen Taylor, chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation and Prize founder
Presenting Sponsor Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, 
RBC Taylor Prize 2018 Jurors Christine Elliott, Anne Giardini, and James Polk

What: RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist Announcement Event
Why: To hear the names of the shortlist authors/books and celebrate all 10 books on the RBC Taylor Prize longlist
When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 10:00 am sharp
Where: The Omni King Edward Hotel, Main Level Consort Bar, 37 King Street East, downtown Toronto

The longlist Books for the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize are:

  1. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering's Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (Canmore, AB), published by Douglas & McIntyre
  2. How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Len Catron (Vancouver, BC), published by Simon & Schuster
  3. Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place by Daniel Coleman (Hamilton, ON), published by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers
  4. The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom by Mohamed Fahmy (Vancouver, BC) and Carol Shaben (Vancouver, BC), published by Random House Canada
  5. Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris (Vancouver, BC), published by Doubleday Canada
  6. Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk (Toronto, ON), published by Doubleday Canada
  7. A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land by Adam Shoalts (Hamilton, ON), published by Allen Lane Canada / Penguin Random House Canada
  8. Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga (Toronto, ON), published by House of Anansi Press
  9. In the Name of Humanity by Max Wallace (Toronto, ON), published by Allen Lane Canada / Penguin Random House Canada
  10. Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy, and China by Jan Wong (Fredericton, NB), published by Goose Lane Edition

 The RBC Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. The RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday February 26, 2018.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Sandra Perron is available for comment on all matters military and sexual harassment in workplace

Sandra Perron wins the Mavis Gallant Award for NonFiction for her memoir

Out Standing in the Field

In a time when allegations of sexual misconduct about men in film, television, and politics, fill the evening newscast, Sandra Perron’s 2017 memoir, Out Standing in the Field, provides insight into these situations. Hers is not an “I was a victim” memoir. She addresses the sexual harassment, and the difficulties she had because of her gender, in clear-headed and incisive prose. If there’s one book to read on this subject, if there’s one voice to listen to right now, it’s hers.  
The citation from the Mavis Gallant Award jury reads, “This powerful and revealing memoir offers a glimpse into one woman’s harrowing experiences as the first female officer in the Canadian Infantry. Drawing on her journal entries to craft an elegant and gripping work, Perrault offers an account of her experiences in military training and subsequent deployment through the mid-1990s, both positive and negative.”

Out Standing in the Field has also been named a Globe and Mail Top 100 for the year.

In 2016, the Auditor General’s Report noted that the military had no strategy to recruit women, even though they are required to meet a target of 25% female uniformed personnel. According to Statistics Canada, 1,000 members of our military say they have been sexually assaulted in the past year. It is exactly this lack of significant progress that has inspired Sandra Perron, Canada’s first female infantry officer and a member of the Royal 22ᵉ Régiment – the legendary “Van Doos” – to tell her story in this revealing and moving memoir.
Though consistently identified as top of her class throughout her training, Perron was subject to harassment by her male colleagues, harassment which continued over two deployments to Bosnia and Croatia. Despite this, Perron served her country with courage and compassion, and forged lasting friendships with the men and women she served alongside. Her story is a testament to the strength and determination of all women working towards full inclusivity in the Canadian Forces.

Sandra is available for comment on all matters military and sexual harassment in workplace.

Stephen Weir & Associates |
109 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto, ON
Tel: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 twitter: sweirsweir 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Deal announced at a press conference in Jamaica on Friday

THC to build a state of the art complex in Manchester
Major Business Milestone For Medical Marijuana Producer
Timeless Herbal Care (THC) Jamaica Ltd has recently received its licence to grow and harvest medical marijuana in Jamaica.  On Friday November 3rd the Jamaican company received  a Tier One Ganja Cultivator Licence from the newly created Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) at the government offices of The Ministry of Industry Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries, in New Kingston.
THC  is one of the first companies to be awarded a commercial licence by the Jamaican Government.  According to Timeless Present Courtney Betty “This completes the cornerstone of the Green Gold Triangle with Timeless operations and partners in Jamaica, Israel and Canada.   In Israel Timeless is partnered with   Bazelet one of the largest medical marijuana companies in Israel. We also have a strong United States partner in Open Vape.  We are also extremely proud of our local Jamaican partner “Everything Oily who was also awarded a commercial license in Jamaica. Together we are all committed to working in communities and be part of the transformation process in Jamaica. 
“This  important milestone means that the company will immediately begin to operate the only certified facility in the Caribbean to grow medical marijuana to produce the highest quality  products. “Timeless Herbal Care is extremely pleased that the licence has finally been granted,” said company CEO Anthony Lawrence.   “This now allows us to push ahead. We have built the best cultivating facility in Jamaica and finalizing GMP certification for our extraction and processing to ensure we meet international standards.  This will be the foundation of our success meeting or exceeding international standards. We thank the CLA for their confidence in giving us this opportunity to help build an industry in  Jamaica.
Timeless Herbal Care has produced and is marketing the Ministry of Health Approved Dr. Williams Original Jamaican Guinea Hen Weed Tonic & Restorative, a 100% local Pain Relief Herbal Massage Oil  call Magic. The company has been a trail blazing medicinal marijuana company signing an agreement with the Government of Jamaica to cultivate medical marijuana mined out bauxite lands. The deal provides Timeless with thousands of acres to grow medical marijuana and other herbal plants.  
The restoration of the Bauxite lands through agriculture will be done in partnership with a World Bank funded employment project. Timeless has  also signed an important agreement with a foreign investor to develop large scale hydroponic medicinal ganja cultivation in Jamaica.
The company has assembled a team that includes the best doctors, scientists, researchers and growers to transform Jamaica into the medical marijuana hub for the world.  This provides medical marijuana companies from across the  world  immediate access to the international markets.

 Timeless Herbal Care is an industry leader in the provision of health and wellness related services though the research and development of medical marijuana products. With operations in Jamaica, Israel, Canada and the United States; world-class experts and years of experience, we are uniquely equipped to supply the overwhelming international demand for medical marijuana products.. For further information consult the company’s website at:


Timeless Herbal Care
Courtney Betty
Phone: +1 876-754-2121
In US/Canada:
Phone: 416-907-0973