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Artistes of the Caribbean unite in Trinidad for flood-hit neighbours

Published: 
Friday, October 20, 2017
Pulse
For Dominica...Cricket fans during the Charity Cricket Match 2017 between Red Force and Caribbean XI at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain last Saturday. PICTURE CA-IMAGES/ALLAN CRANE

It promises to be the most ambitious relief fund locally for the hurricane victims in Antigua, Barbuda and Dominica. The Caribbean Strong Foundation (CSF) is staging the Trinidad & Tobago Relief Concert & Telethon on October 28, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain and several of the regions to top artistes are on its bill.

To get ticket for admission all you is make a minimum donation of $100 and the event is scheduled to begin at noon and runs until midnight.

CSF official Tony Chow Lin On said this week: “All the powerful genres of music in T&T will be represented as well as some from across the Caribbean. Beside the $100 donation, it is also optional to donate more money or a can of non perishable foodstuff.” Chow Lin On added: “This is not a one-off effort and we wont be waiting for a disaster in the future to assist those in need. We have put a foundation in place and have applied for NGO status.

“The Saturday is one day when people can turn down their pots and close their kitchens at home for beside the 12 hours of performances lunch will also be available for sale as we have partnered with Bess Guide catering company. So you can say it will also be a food truck festival as we will have over 60 food trucks and vendors providing a wide range of culinary delights, including smoked meats, BBQ, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Indian cuisine, not to mention traditional local fare, vegan meals, desserts and frozen treats.”

Chow Lin On and a team from CSF visited Dominica recently. About that experience he said: “Three Sundays ago we went to Dominica and got a first hand look of the damage done. We flew up relief items and were accompanied by Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

“Seeing the devastation first hand is much worse than what is seen in the photographs. The first thing that came to me is doing nothing is not an option. I want to personally commend Trinidadians and Tobagonians who have been among the first responders. Dominica has far reaching needs. Just imagine everything in your country being completely destroyed; homes, schools, government buildings, everything.

“The other thing that hit me most is that even though people lost everything there is a will to get back what was lost. The spirit of the Dominicans is strong and alive and they are determined to fight to rebuild their country.”

About future CSF plans, Chow Lin On said: “We will be doing a similar show in Antigua the day after the Trinidad event with Machel Montano headlining as well. For the show, to be held at Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, beside the T&T artistes the show will also feature Shaggy, Tessanne Chin, Konshens and other top Caribbean artistes.”

Headed by Machel Montano, other artistes billed for the October 28 show are Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Kes, Destra, Ravi B & Karma, Rikki Jai, Olatunji, SuperBlue, Teddyson John, Patrice Roberts, Nailah Blackman, Chuck Gordon, Shal Marshall, Nadia Batson, 3 Canal, Positive, Erphaan Alves, Aaron Duncan and several more.

Also billed to make a special appearance is Trinbago Knightriders T20 cricket captain Dwayne Bravo whose mega hit single Champion is still very popular.

Nagar, dance and more

Taking a look back, the weekend past, blessed with sunshine weather, was one mixed with a wide assortment of cultural and entertainment activity. From as early as the Thursday, Divali celebrations continue nightly at the Divali Nagar complex in Chaguanas with the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) staging its 2017 Youth Champ Finals on Sunday night. Despite the inclement weather thousands turned up to be thoroughly entertained by a number of star performers and a dizzying array of East Indian culinary delights.

The NCIC also held its 2017 Miss International Divali Pageant, featuring a star studded cast of entertainers including violinist Shiva Chaitoo, Amritan Shakti Dance Group, T&TEC Gayatones, Radha Krishna Dance Group and Dragon Boys Tassa. At the end of an enthralling production Seema Moonilal emerged winner of the pageant, followed by Suvina Smolsky and Navina Misir.

Noble Douglas Dance Company also staged its Vanishing Pointe show at Queen’s Hall and again the production was an outstanding one.

Calypso History Month events continued at various venues nationwide but Tuco’s Wednesday night Kaiso in Yuh Pweffen was the cherry atop the icing.

On Saturday night, sport entertainment exploded at the Queen’s Park Oval when SporTT staged a benefit T20 cricket game between a Caribbean XI, led by Darren Sammy, and TT Red Force, led by Kieron Pollard, for the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria. More than 7,000 fans attended and all proceeds went toward the benefit. Residents of the Triniposse Stand had themselves a ball partying to the music of DJ Kern Crosby and 5Star Akil. Also making the night memorable were Triniposse stalwart Sam Salloum, Sheldon Stevens of Experience Effects, Carib, the Red Force and Caribbean X1 cheerleaders, SM Jaleel and the Carib Girls.

Sunday’s entertainment saw two sides of our mosaic of entertainment with this year’s Tobago Blue Food Festival being held at the Bloody Bay Recreational Grounds, and Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain, being the venue for Renewal...the Ava Songbook, a jazz production featuring Ava Hutchinson, Ralph Davies, Neil Payne, Douglas Redon, Roger Salloum and others.