REVIEW OF THE SPICE ISLAND CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2022
THEME: “GRENADA! A CULINARY DELIGHT”
The Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Quebec (SICDAQ) was proud to celebrate Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique at the 5th annual Spice Island Cultural Festival, which took place from July 8 to July 10, 2022. The 2022 Spice Island Cultural Festival, “Grenada! A Culinary Delight” was a tremendous success. Held at the beginning of outdoor festival season in Montreal, The Spice Island Cultural Festival saw over 3,000 celebrating after three years of lock-down due to the pandemic. Vinet Park in Little Burgundy near downtown Montreal came alive on July 9 with food, music and Caribbean culture.
Message from the Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
The Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, brought warm greetings by video and letters in both English and French to Festival goers. These were published in Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine and on SICDAQ’s social media.
Message from the Prime Minister of Canada – The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Québec on the fifth anniversary of the Spice Island Cultural Festival. It is remarkable what you have been able to accomplish during such a challenging time for many Canadians.
The theme of this year’s festival, “Grenada! – A Culinary Delight” honours Grenada’s designation by the World Food Travel Association as the world’s first “Culinary Capital” alongside its sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
By acting collaboratively, intelligently, and creatively, you have established a cultural festival that will bring together members of Grenada’s diaspora community from across Canada and beyond. You should all be very proud of your efforts. Your inclusivity and assiduousness will allow Canadians to learn more about Grenada and all it has to offer the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made planning and hosting events like this especially difficult, and I would like to thank the Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Québec, along with their partners at the Grenada Culinary Network, for making this event possible.
Please accept my warmest welcome and best wishes for a successful and memorable Spice Island Cultural Festival.
Justin Trudeau (Hon)
Message from the Government of Grenada
This message was read at the Festival by Honorary Consul for Grenada in Montreal, Mr. Theodore H. Blaize.
Warmest greetings from the government and people of Petite Martnique, Carriacou and Grenada and from the National Democratic Congress to all Grenadians in Montreal, as well as those visiting from elsewhere in the diaspora.
The occasion of the 5th celebration of the Spice Isle Cultural Day Association in Quebec is an accomplishment to be duly proud of.
Moreover, the spirit of the Canadian Government and people to allow the promotion of multiculturalism within its borders is a commendable practice highlighting and marketing the glories of small island states like Grenada. It is also to be especially valued as the event is returned to its home outdoors, at Vinet Park, now that we are hopefully past the worst of the COVID 19 pandemic.
We extend our deepest condolences to all Grenadians who lost and continue to lose loved ones due to the coronavirus. The Government is also mindful of those still suffering from the negative impacts and pledges support towards joint efforts to combat these ongoing challenges. We take this moment to salute our stalwarts working on the frontlines of the health sector for their valuable service.
As you are aware, on June 23rd, our country and people ushered in the dawn of a new and exciting era in the course of our development – the beginning of an inter-generational transformation of our nation. To this end, Grenadians will discover new blood, energy and zeal blended with experience and maturity to move our country forward, which all are welcome to participate in. The government intends to open board selection to all Grenadians on the basis of merit. Towards this end, a web portal will soon be launched to allow persons to apply for selection to various boards. We are developing tools and mechanisms to allow for greater participation of the diaspora in Grenada’s development.
The Ministry of Culture places particular emphasis and value on the cultural sector. We will support the transformation of our creative industry through our renewed approach to saving and promoting our culture.
On the other hand, our unique tourism product is second to none. It is an especially delightful opportunity to showcase our talent, culture, culinary array and expertise. Thanks also to the government and people of Quebec for being the wonderful host that you are to our people.
Our government is committed to increasing engagement with the diaspora, especially with a call to service in all areas.
We are thankful to the Spice Isle Cultural Day Association in Quebec, vendors, media, other collaborators, and you the community, for creating this Cultural Festival – Grenada, A Culinary Delight. May this be the most successful festival yet, and may it continue to create the foundation for increasing our cultural and culinary presence in Canada. We at home and elsewhere, continue to follow online, sharing in the experience.
Thank you all. Have a wonderful festival. Do enjoy!!
Hon Ron Livingston Redhead
Minister of State with responsibility for Youth & Sports, within the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture.
THE SPICE ISLAND CULTURAL FESTIVAL CELEBRATED GRENADA’S DESIGNATION AS THE 2021 CULINARY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD BY THE WORLD FOOD TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (WFTA)
As Grenada celebrates its designation as the 2021 Culinary Capital of the World, the Spice Island Cultural Association of Quebec (SICDAQ) continues to share Grenada’s many culinary achievements with the diaspora and international community at large by introducing the theme of our 2022 festival as “Grenada! – A Culinary Delight”.
Executive Chef Belinda Bishop and her Sous-Chef Miguel Paul Mitchell, along with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Young Chef Winner, Karim Doyle, came directly from Grenada and cooked everything Grenadian to inspire their audiences to enjoy the culinary delights of Grenada.
Meet the Chefs
Here is what happened on July 8 at the Opening of the Festival when sponsors and supporters were invited to “Meet the Chefs”.
Special Guests included Honorary Consul General for Grenada in Toronto, Ms. Dawne Francois, Honorary Consul for Grenada in Montreal, Mr. Theodore H. Blaize; Owner of Century 21, Ms. Paula La Touche; Sales Manager Century 21 Grenada; Ms. Beverly Renwick; Representative from Republic Bank Grenada, Mr. Christopher Phillip; Director, GTA Canada, Mr. Sekou Stroude; Representatives from Sheldon Kagan International, Sheldon and Linda Kagan; Melange Travel and Lifestyle Magazine (Vancouver), Ms. Debbie Austin, Editor in Chief & Family; Grenada Culinary Network (Toronto), Chef Anthony Mair and Ms. Gail Goldman; KennyC and wife, Carol and Mr. Alain Babineau of The Red Coalition.
Special thanks to Ms. Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) for being one of our Platinum Sponsors.
Other Chefs who participated in the weekend festival and tantalized the taste buds of the guests were Executive Chef Anthony Mair, President of the Grenada Culinary Network, Executive Chef Lennox Antoine of Island Flava Restaurant in Ottawa, and Executive Chef Leo Charles, Owner of Greenz Restaurant. All were on hand to assist in the cooking and celebrating the culture and culinary prowess of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, while showing how to spice it up!
On July 9 the park was filled with the smells, sights, sounds and taste of Grenada. Local Restaurants, Chefs and Caterers included Boom J’s, Owen the Seafood Man, Faye Rodney Catering, Greenz Restaurant, Kreme Nido, Andrea Juices, Just Pure Ltd, a full stock bar and Caribbean desserts of every kind, some coming directly from Grenada, which made the tastings exceptional.
To purchase extraordinary items, the Marketplace featured vendors such as art display by Donna Farray, beauty products by Des Hair Care, books from Grenadian Authors by Janice Farray, Spices by Island Spice and much more.
The Business community was also showcased by Century 21 Grenada and Republic Bank Grenada who came directly from the Spice Island. Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Canada was represented by Sekou Stroude, Director and local businesses on site were BMO Bank of Montreal, Gem’s Tea and Badshaw Services.
Watch the Century21 Commercial:
MELANGE TRAVEL AND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
A celebration of Grenadian Life: Food, Fashion, Music and Culture.
A special edition of Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine also returned on July 1st due to its overwhelming popularity — it had a readership of over 1 million in 2021.
This 2022 Special Edition featured Executive Chefs from the Caribbean who all use Grenadian Spices in their cooking. On the cover Chef Belinda Bishop of Flavours of Grenada, a partner in this Festival, is featured.
Melange Travel and Lifestyle Magazine is a very interesting magazine, which featured Grenadians in the Diaspora, to mark the 5th Anniversary of the Spice Island Cultural Festival. A great read!
Special thanks to Ms. Debbie Austin, Editor in Chief, Melange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine, one of our Platinum Sponsors.
MCs of The Day
MC’s Tesfa “Aki” Peterson and Michael Farkas held the audience interests every step of the way. A great job, well done.
Tesfa “Aki” Peterson, PhD CANDIDATE, Department of Geography and Planning, Queens University, Kingston, Canada.
Michael Farkas, President of Black History Month Round Table and Youth In Motion
ARTISTS AND ENTERTAINERS
This year, due to unvaccinated artists in Grenada and Canadian Visa problems, we unfortunately were not able to bring our Entertainers from Grenada as promised.
However, it gave SICDAQ a chance to showcase some young and upcoming Grenadian artists living in Canada, such as Bonifide and Kyng Moses, who made us all proud. Other artists included KennyC, (Toronto) and local performers such as Caribbean Voices, Jab DJab Orchestra, Teenage singer Paris, Reggae star MelloG, the Spice Island Kids, Salah Pan and many more who graced the stage during the day.
The Closing – Oil Down Cook-out
A couple hundred people turned out to close the 2022 Spice Island Cultural Festival at Greenz Restaurant in Lachine on Sunday, July 10. Many enjoyed Grenada’s National Dish “Oil Down” prepared by Executive Chef Belinda Bishop, Sous-Chef Miguel Paul Mitchell and GTA Young Chef Karim Doyle. They were ably assisted By Chef Leo Charles and Chef Anthony Mair.
Preparing appetizers of chicken roti was Grenadian Chef Lennox Antoine who came in from Ottawa to showcase his colourful roti skins representing the colours of Grenada; Red (tomato base), Yellow (original) and Green (Kale base). The audience was excited to sample these, while waiting for their Oil Down treat.
Special thanks to DJ20 who provided the Grenadian Calypso music to the many enjoying this feast.
A great time was had by all which left everyone excited for the 2023 Festival.
MEDIA AND SPONSORS – THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!
We were very fortunate to have support of most media organizations in Montreal such as CTV, Global, CityTV, CBC, The Gazette, The Suburban Newspaper, Montreal Community Contact and many more.
Special kudos to Dan Delmar of TNKR Media, for guiding communications strategy as they helped make the Spice Island Cultural Festival come alive, one more time.
The President of the Spice Island Cultural Association of Quebec, Mr. Byron Cameron and Vice-President, Gemma Raeburn-Baynes offer their special thanks to The Grenada Tourism Authority, the Government of Grenada, CTV, City of Montreal, Century21Grenada, Republic Bank Grenada, Cannes Brûlėes Rum Distilleries, The Grenada Culinary Network, BMO Bank of Montreal and all the other wonderful sponsors, donors and participants of this great 2022 production. Special thanks to Fernando Gelso of TNKR Media for the fine technical production of the festival.
At the end, the Festival is helping three great causes on the Island of Grenada through our “Helping the Spice Island Kids” program: Reach Within, the Father Mallighan Home for Boys and the Bel Air Home for Children. Donations are being accepted on our Spice Island Cultural Festival Facebook page until the end of October.