A Taste of the Caribbean 2014
A TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN – FESTIVAL WEEK TO CELEBRATE
THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY – MAY 12, 2014 TO MAY 18, 2014.
The 15th Anniversary of A Taste of the Caribbean (TOTC) will present a Caribbean Week which
the culture of the Caribbean to the various communities in Quebec. The Festival will commence on
May 12, 2014 and run for an entire week culminating with the Food and Culture Festival on May 18, 2014.
It will be a week of excitement, featuring restaurants from across the City of Montreal along with local
performers and entertainers from various communities. We expect over 5,000 young and old will enjoy a true Island experience! Famous chefs, both local and visiting, will serve up their national specialties at booths representing 20 Caribbean countries. Visitors will also enjoy folk performances, local musicians and entertainers, not to mention networking with various craft booths and exhibitors of Quebec artisans and Caribbean tourism associations.
Our theme for 2014 is “GOIN’ DOWN SOUTH” and will make the ethnic link of the culture of the South of the Border and the culture of the Southern Caribbean. From Monday May 12 to Wednesday, May 14 our three culinary presentations held in Restaurants across the City of Montreal will explain the history of the spices typically used in traditional Caribbean cuisine, from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago and the French Caribbean: Guadeloupe and Martinique, which are known for their culture and history, having developed their own customs, musical styles and varied cuisines. Their ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European, African, and Caribbean components. These presentations will be held at local Caribbean restaurants throughout the city.
As a prelude to the main Sunday event, Wednesday, May 14 will feature a Youth Culinary Competition. Culinary students from the island nations have been invited to showcase their national cuisine. This cook-off will be held at a local culinary institute in Montreal so as to attract local chefs and protégées. Caribbean cuisine has had its ascendance in recent years and Canadians are embracing the rich and varied cuisine. This day will be a great introduction for local youth, students and budding chefs to taste and explore the delights of the Caribbean cuisine today. On the other side, it will be an opportune time to showcase Canada’s regional Caribbean flavours of Montreal, which is developing on its own. Teams competing in the Taste of the Caribbean International Caribbean Youth Culinary Team Challenge are given a "mystery basket" of ingredients (the provisions for the competition consisting of a meat, fish, poultry or game) which they must use to develop a three-course menu. The youth chefs have one hour to create and submit the menu and three hours to prepare and serve an appetizer, entrée and dessert for attendees at the luncheon. Trophies for the winning teams will be presented at the Saturday Family Day event (May 17).
Thursday, May 15: The Official Launch of the Festival will take place at Montreal City Hall, presided by the Mayor of the City of Montreal. All sponsors, media and guests will be invited to officially kick off the 15th Anniversary of this Festival.
Thursday, May 15 will also be the “Nights of the Caribbean” featuring the performing arts of the Islands. We will be highlighting the Steel pan, the only instrument founded in the 20th century, originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Local steel band artists will perform along with other local artists. This will give listeners insight into the wonderful, rich melodies of Caribbean music so that Canadians can better understand how Caribbean music is an offshoot of the totality of African music around the world. Such an event can only serve to promote Montreal’s excellent reputation as a city that fosters diversity of cultural expressions and interculturalism.
Friday, May 16 will be reserved for the Caribbean Film Festival featuring films and stories drawn from the Caribbean Diaspora. This 3-film event will be opened to the general public with capacity of 250 per showing. The films are current and will give the audience a glimpse of Caribbean life in Canada, and in the countries of origin. We expect that this will encourage a greater appreciation for the legacy and heritage of Caribbean peoples in Canada and will promote dialogue and networking between cultural communities and others.
Saturday, May 17 “Family Day” will be reserved for youth and their families. It will be free admission though the children will be encouraged to give back to their communities by asking each child to donate one can of non-perishable food to Sun Youth Organization who will set up barrels on-site. Everyone present will have the opportunity to experience expressions between cultural communities and individuals of all origins. We will have storytelling workshops, cooking workshops, arts and crafts workshops, including drawing and sketching, making face masks which will be used for carnival parades. The children will also be engaged in face painting with traditional folklore characters and decorating of cupcakes and cookies by children from ages 2 to 6. A Talent Show, encouraging mixing of ethnic expressions, will be performed by local children of all origins ages 7 to 17. The families and children will appreciate their own heritage here and how they can enjoy being Quebecers while appreciating the Caribbean legacy in Quebec. This, we believe will help bond neighbors together in a greater appreciation of their shared heritage here. Children of all nationalities and backgrounds will glean insight into the benefit of stories, of play and of imagination. This children’s festival becomes a highlight of our art, talent and genius because it is the perfect avenue to illustrate the West-Indian influence that enriches Quebec’s community’s artists.
Also included in the Saturday Family Day will be an Anti-Bullying Campaign which will take place as a Rap Festival. High School children will be asked to write and perform a Rap against bullying. A trophy will be given to the winner of the Rap Festival and a CD of all the Rap songs will be distributed to the children and later, to various schools.
Sunday, May 18 will be the culmination of all things Caribbean; food, music, and dance, to close our week of cultural expression: The Taste of the Caribbean. The Taste of the Caribbean highlights the culture of the Caribbean that is common throughout the region. The event features a Marketplace with Caribbean and Canadian arts and crafts which will be on display for the entire weekend. Revelers will experience Caribbean culture through a variety of gourmet appetizers and desserts; they can sample signature cocktails, listen to authentic Caribbean music and gather information from exhibiting Caribbean countries. The piece de resistance of our grand finale is a Fashion Show which will permit us to showcase local Caribbean and Canadian designers. Our beautiful White, Brown and Black models will be the center of this attraction, amply illustrating the racial diversity within Montreal.