A CELEBRATION OF LIFE – FOOD, FASHION, MUSIC, CULTURE!
The 2021 Spice Island Cultural Festival, “A Celebration of Life” held virtually on July 10, 2021, was the largest virtual Festival held by the Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Quebec. With a total of over 150,000 viewers from all around the world tuning in to an exposition of the Spice Island – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, the Festival brought joy and was praised and appreciated by all.
Our Theme “A Celebration of Life” brought together everything Grenadian to inspire people from all around the world that seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from the Covid-19 pandemic was a time to appreciate that life is getting back to normal. Showcasing the food, fashion, music and culture of the Spice Island gave us hope, comfort and remembrance of how beautiful the Caribbean life was before the pandemic.
Starting with the Royal Grenada Police Force Band playing both the Canadian and Grenadian National anthems set the mood for professionalism at its best. Mexy D’Messenger, a Grenada singer/composer, set the stage performing the theme song “Celebrating Life”.
Prime Minister of Canada Hon. Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell were both passionate in their address, calling on everyone to get vaccinated in order to continue to bring us back to normal. Montreal politicians and representatives of the Government of Canada added some spice to the festivities with their motivational speeches. The Prime Minister of Grenada upon viewing the festival wrote to the committee the following: “I had a chance to look at it (the Festival) and it is the best we have seen in any event of that nature. Congratulations!!!”
Very interesting interviewers were held with some Grenadians which included The Mighty Sparrow, the Calypso Very interesting interviewers were held with some Grenadians which included, The Mighty Sparrow, the Calypso King of the World, who celebrated his 86th Birthday on July 9. He was interviewed by Byron Cameron, President of the Organization and a Calypsonian himself. Also, International Fashion Designer Fe Noel told us why Grenada Rocks and Beyoncė’s Publicist Yvette Noel-Schure told us why all roads lead her back to Grenada. These articles can be seen in the Melange Travel and Lifestyle Magazine Spice Island Cultural Festival Special Edition and the full interviews are posted on the Spice Island Cultural Festival YouTube Channel.
Over 140,000 viewers clicked in on the various platforms to watch the Fashion Industry of Grenada with six fabulous Fashions Designers who took their designs on a world tour to show off what they got in beauty and style. A major way to showcase the creativity of Grenadian fashion designers: Angella Alexis of Montreal, Dali Belle Rose, Over 140,000 viewers clicked in on the various platforms to watch the Fashion Industry of Grenada with six fabulous Fashions Designers who took their designs on a world tour to show off what they got in beauty and style. A major way to showcase the creativity of Grenadian fashion designers: Angella Alexis of Montreal, Dali Belle Rose, Aniona Hamid, Kim Francis and Tricia Grant Lewis of Grenada, Millicent Lawrence-Tamssot of Toronto and Fe Noel of New York created buzz from all over the world and showed the splendor of this majestic Island.
Fabulous Grenadian Executive Chefs showing off their creative cooking skills whipped up some of the most delicious Grenadian cuisines. Mike Modest aka Tiger Jones (Grenada), created his famous dish of Oil Down, the national dish of Grenada, and Executive Chef Brian Benjamin of BB’s Crab Back in Grenada made his original Crab Back recipe. Celebrity Chef Lennox Antoine of Island Flava Restaurant (Ottawa), created his Island Flava Caribbean Burger and Executive Chef Leo Charles of Greenz Restaurant (Montreal) gave away his secret recipe for his Crab and Callaloo Soup. Riverside cook Brandon Blazzer Joseph (Grenada) incorporated his special dishes along the backdrop of an authentic St. Patrick’s River Festival with drumming, dancing and eating. From Grenada’s national dish Oil Down to a River festival, dreaming of the Spice Island was easier than ever!
Top legendary Grenadian Calypsonians Beast, King Scholar and Squeezie, joined the festival, performing their greatest hits backed by The Royal Grenada Police Force Band. Other top Grenadian artists: Mexy D Messenger, and 13 year old Elliya Young, both directly out of the Spice, along with Calypsonian Doggies, Jenny & Jenna Noel, Eddie Bullen, West-Can Youth Drummers, and the Carriacou Train String Band got everyone up on their feet enjoying the rhythms of calypso, soca and the groovy sounds of the Spice Island. With the sounds of The New Dimension Steel Orchestra you were immersed in an exotic trip to the Spice Island.
The Carriacou Train String Band
The program also featured amazing children activities facilitated by singer/composer Ms. Jenny Noel. Storytelling, dancing, singing, drumming, cartoon creation of Anancy Story by Kevin Dolland and making of Nutmeg Ice Cream, enticed the children and adults too.
“We were fortunate to have support of most media organizations in Montreal such as CTV and Global TV, and even received coverage in a few international outlets including a Special Edition of Mélange Magazine with a readership of over 1.2 million and the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) TV who carried the entire program live. “The over 2,000 comments we received were overwhelmingly positive, and the YouTube chat function brought Grenadians together from everywhere”. says Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, Vice-President and Coordinator of the Spice Island Cultural Festival.
Special kudos to Dan Delmar of TNKR Media for guiding the technical troops as they made the virtual Spice Island Cultural Festival of Montreal come alive, one more time.
The President of the Spice Island Cultural Association of Quebec, Mr. Byron Cameron offers his special thanks to The Grenada Tourism Authority, the Government of Grenada and all the other sponsors, donors and participants of this great production.