Michael Van Cooten
TORONTO, Ontario August 11, 2019 – In addition to enjoying Barbados’ rich, varied, vibrant culture in Toronto, this weekend, you may be able to, possibly, improve their health and longevity.
This year’s edition of the popular, free “Barbados on the Water Festival” — produced by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and Harbourfront Centre, from Friday, August 17 to Sunday August19 — will highlight Barbados’ 2019 Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure, showcasing the island’s diverse offerings, from sustainable massage therapy to healthy eats.
The 166-square mile island that attracts over a million visitors each year, offers a wide and diverse range of activities to inspire the wellness or adventure traveller, including scuba diving, surfing, marathon series, beach yoga, forest-bathing, hiking and much, much more.
The Festival will also provide the opportunity for attendees to, not only enjoy relaxing Barbadian and Caribbean music, but also sustainable massage therapy sessions, and healthy, diet-conscious cuisine and tropical juices.
Barbados is considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and Festival attendees will be able to sample a taste of the country’s rich culinary offerings, produced by vegan chef, Chantel Selman; chefs, Creig Greenidge and Javon Cummins; and mixologist, Barbados’ 2015 Bartender of the Year, Philip “Casanova” Antoine.
The Festival, hosted by Kevin Carrington, Sonia Hunte, Jamarr “The Star” Browne, Red, and SKF The Champ, will entice patrons to satisfy their taste for Caribbean cuisine, by sampling popular Barbadian delights, such as fish cakes, swordfish and macaroni pie during the legendary Oistins Fish Fry event.
The island — awarded the Caribbean Best Destination 2016 by Expedia and rated the ‘Best Caribbean Beach’ by USA Today in 2015 — is also rated as one of US News and World Report’s Top seven Caribbean Islands for Foodies, and the culinary capital of the Caribbean.
“’Our Barbados On The Water Festival’ is a true Bajan celebration of our island,” said Peter Mayers, Director of BTMI in Canada. “Toronto is a blend of cultures and communities, and we are happy to showcase Barbados’ culture, over this three-day festival.”
Showcasing Barbados’ bold, vibrant culture — which comes from its African and English heritage, and is “marinated in folklore and served with music of a unique Afro-Caribbean blend” — the Festival will also offer popular musical and comedic performers on stage each night for a free, Barbadian-themed concert, including:
- Red Plastic Bag (Stedson Wiltshire), the record 10-time winner of the Barbadian Calypso Monarch Competition, this Calypso icon has become one of the most popular performers throughout the Caribbean.
- Bashment Soca Monarch, Lil’ Rick has, has, over a 10-year span, blasted onto the Barbadian soca scene with mega hits, Hard Wine and Bumper Inspector, becoming one of the most popular soca entertainers in the Caribbean.
- Arturo Tappin is described as the Caribbean’s smoothest, jazz and reggae saxophonist.
- Susan Grogan, lead vocalist and band leader of Neu Jenerashun, one of the top Caribbean dance music bands in Canada.
- G-Syndicate, Barbados’ premiere a Capella group, singing spouge, son montuno and soca with jazz.
- Barbadian deejay, DJ Puffy, who shook the world with an energy, as vibrant and infectious as the Caribbean hits that spin from his Technics 1200s.
- Barbados’ famed jazz musician, Elan Trotman.
- The Gibbs Brothers, with Robin Gibbs and his unique guitar style.
- ZigE Walcott, traditional jazz and classic R&B tenor pannist.
- The John Roett Project, featuring Leigh Phillips and Alix Cage.
- Energetic Paula Hinds, one of Barbados’ top vocalists, with a captivating smile.
- Tuk bands with costume dancers.
- Gospel singer, drummer, and church pastor, John Yarde.
- The Harmony Children’s Choir, an important part of the Niagara community and a popular program that trains children to feel the power of being part of a group of singers.
- Riddim Tribe, a phenomenal dance collective of award-winning dancer and choreographer, Aisha Comissiong.
- Hypasounds — a popular disc-jockey, soca artist, songwriter, and producer in Barbados.
- DJ Niterider will spin music all weekend long.
- RedBull Thre3style World Champion International.
- A fashion show, directed by the famed Rodney Powers, and comprised of Barbadian-inspired outfits – from Crop Over costumes, swimwear to elegant dresses.
- Laff-It-Off, a crowd-pleasing comedic show, featuring satirical commentary on the social and political delights of Barbados, with a mix of written script and improvisation. This is a ticketed event: $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
Additionally, several exciting events for children will keep children of all ages, including adults, entertained, from face painting, kite-making, to learning about Crop Over Festival accessories and other arts and crafts, with visual artist, Karen Bell-Higgins.
“Barbados offers stimulating music, delicious bites and an exciting fashion product,” notes BTMI’s Mayers.
“Our festival promises to be a fun weekend catering to all ages. We welcome Toronto and its visitors to join us for the largest celebration in Canada of unmatched Bajan entertainment, and we promise that all attendees will have a deeper appreciation for Barbados, thanks to this event.”