Caribbean Beat Magazine

Happenings – May/June 2011

A round-up of current and coming events on the Caribbean calendar

  • Barbados – the Celtic connection. Photograph courtesy Carol Anderson
  • Sol Rally in the sunshine. Photograph courtesy Sol Rally Barbados
  • Style, Jamaica. Photograph courtesy Style Week Jamaica
  • Triathlon at Turtle Beach. Photograph courtesy Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club
  • Aruba Hi-Winds. Photograph courtesy Aruba Hi-Winds
  • Angling in Antigua. Photograph by www.josephjones
  • Guyana honours arrivals. Photograph courtesy Ray Sloper
  • Jamaica marks Indian Heritage day. Photograph courtesy National Council For Indian Culture
  • Designing Dreams in T&T. Photograph courtesy FWTT

Designing Dreams in T&T

“Go on designing your dreams,” Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told participants at Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago last year. “The world is waiting to wear them.”

These inspiring words sum up the philosophy of FWTT, which aims to raise the international profile of the local and regional fashion industry.

FWTT will include not only runway shows but also seminars, a buyers’ gallery, and after-parties. After a gala opening on May 24 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain, it continues at Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook, and at venues in Tobago until May 30.

For more information:



On the catwalk in Tobago

Tobago Fashion Weekend (TFW), says Ashley Christmas, hasn’t set out to be separate from Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago (FWTT), and shouldn’t be seen that way. “It isn’t a sense of competition but of working collaboratively,” stressed Christmas, himself a designer with his own clothing line, earthmember4life (see Caribbean Beat issue 96).

In 2010, Christmas suggested part of Fashion Week be held in Tobago, to make it truly a Trinidad & Tobago event. That show was held at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, which will be the site of the 2011 edition of TFW on May 27 – 29.

The shows will include designers not just from T&T but also from Barbados, St Vincent, Jamaica, and the Caribbean diaspora. Regional and international buyers are also expected to attend.



Barbados – the Celtic connection

If anyone mentions the word “Celtics” to you, you probably think of an ancient European tribe – or basketball. So it may come as a surprise to hear of the Celtic Festival Barbados. Festival organiser Carol Anderson notes, “There is a ‘Scotland’ district in Barbados and many Celtic connections here, with descendants from Scottish, Irish and Welsh indentured servants.”

Visitors can experience Scottish folk legend Eddi Reader and her band, Celtic rock band Killin’ Thyme, Sandra Macbeth and the Shoogle sisters, Donna Maciocia, and a major new dance show from Rhythm of the Celts, a new troupe formed by Ireland’s Ciaran Devlin, former principal dancer of Riverdance.

Music isn’t the only attraction: visiting Scottish chefs will work with Bajan chefs to present demonstration events and special dinners. Anderson also tantalises enthusiasts with the possibility of a Bajan haggis by chef Paul Wedgwood, for those intrepid foodies out there.

The festival, which has taken place over many years, will be held from May 23 – 30 this year.

For more information, visit or e-mail Anderson at



Sol Rally in the sunshine

The Caribbean is better known for cricket and beach sports, so Sol Rally Barbados’s chairman, Barry Gale, says most people will be surprised to know that motor sport is comfortably the most popular spectator sport in Barbados.

He describes Sol Rally Barbados, which is scheduled to take place on June 4 – 5 and is organised by the Barbados Rally Club, as the Caribbean’s biggest annual international celebration of motor sport. The rally weekend will be preceded by Scrutineering and the Shell V-Power King of the Hill “shakedown” on May 28 – 29, a perfect opportunity for international drivers to get a chance to learn the course and get a feel for the road surface.

For more information: e-mail, or visit



Style, Jamaica

Over the past ten years, Jamaica has developed a reputation for being one of the “it” places to experience Caribbean fashion, playing host to several premier events. One of these is StyleWeek Jamaica (SWJ), which will be held on May 26 – 29, and is organised by Deiwght Peters of Saint International, founder and executive producer of the fashion week. Started five years ago, Peters explains one unique aspect of the fashion week is its grand finale, Fashionblock, when Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston, is closed to traffic and a 150-foot catwalk is put up.

Another part of the fashion week’s allure is that the main shows are held in some of Jamaica’s historic houses, such as Devon House in Kingston and Fort Charles in Port Royal.

This year, Peters says, SWJ has garnered interest from designers in New York, London, Paris, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Los Angeles, Barbados, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guadeloupe.

For more information contact Deiwght Peters at or visit



Triathlon at Turtle Beach

With an expected field of 500 participants, onlookers can expect an action-filled weekend on May 28 – 29, when the Toyota Rainbow Cup International Triathlon will be held at Turtle Beach’s Heritage Park in Tobago.

The event has been held in Tobago six times already, and is now being expanded from one to two days. On May 28, the Olympic and sprint races will be held, and on May 29, there will be a 2000m open-water swim, the kids’ triathlon and a tag-team triathlon relay.

Ian Gooding, president and co-founder of the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club (RWTC), organisers of the triathlon, said triathletes come to compete from all over the Caribbean and beyond, including Grenada, Barbados, Nevis, St Croix, Martinique, Suriname, Jamaica, the USA, and Canada.

For more information, contact the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club at, or (868) 632 9004 



Island Hopper

Aruba Hi-Winds
When: June 29 – July 4
Where: Fisherman’s Huts, Malmok
What: The top amateur windsurfing/kitesurfing competition on the island
For more info: or call (297) 747 9497

Pakistan v West Indies fifth ODI
When: May 5
Where: Guyana National Stadium, Providence
What: Part of Pakistan’s cricket team’s West Indies tour, with other matches taking place throughout the islands
For more info: call the Guyana Cricket Board at (+592) 227 7130

20th annual St Lucia Jazz
When: April 30 – May 8
Where: Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island
What: A jazz festival showcasing acoustic/straight-ahead jazz, new age jazz, fusion, rhythm and blues
For more info:

When: May 26 – June 1
Where: Barbuda
What: A five-day celebration, with a street parade, calypso competitions and J’Ouvert
For more info:

41st Sunfish World Championship
When: June 8 – 11 (Youth)/ June 12 – 19 (Open)
Where: Curaçao’s south coast, near the Sea Aquarium Beach and Lions Dive Hotel
What: Over 100 sailors are expected to race in sunfish boats
For more info: or

Vincy Mas
When: June 24 – July 5
Where: Kingstown and all across St Vincent & the Grenadines
What: Vincy Mas has carnival bands, street parade, Dimanche Gras and other activities
For more info: or call (784) 457 2580

Anguilla Regatta
When: May 6-8
Where: All races start just outside Road Bay
What: An annual yacht-racing fundraiser in support of the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club
For more info: or



Anyone for tennis?

The 37th annual Antigua Tennis Week takes place at the Curtain Bluff resort on April 30 – May 7. It’s not just an opportunity to watch the professionals play tennis; the resort has plenty in store for those attending, including stroke and strategy clinics and Pro-Am matches, and that’s just the tennis-related activities. Anyone who’s not up to hitting a few can watch exhibition matches, snorkel, take sightseeing or shopping tours, or just enjoy the resort’s amenities.

For more information:


Angling in Antigua

The 44th Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament promises to be another enjoyable event, if its tag line, “Enjoy the fishing. Enjoy the lime”, is any indication. This annual tournament will be held on June 11 – 12, and is managed by the Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Association.

Prizes are given for the largest fish, most poundage and for the largest blue and white marlin. This year, Alison Sly-Adams, who handles marketing, PR and communications, says one new day of fishing will be added – the Antigua and Barbuda Marlin Classic, a one-day tournament where each boat puts in a fee and winner takes all.

Of course, this tournament isn’t just about the fishing. As Sly-Adams enthuses, “The shore-side party is fantastic!”

For more information, visit or e-mail:



Guyana honours arrivals

On May 5, 1838, East Indian indentured labourers first set foot on Guyana’s shores. This historic event is celebrated as East Indian Arrival Day, and is also an opportunity to honour the arrival of Chinese and Portuguese migrants to Guyana, says the Guyana Tourism Authority.

Celebrations are held throughout Guyana, and there are mega-melas at the National Park in Georgetown and the National Stadium in Providence, where thousands will gather to enjoy skits, music by Indian singers, lectures, and dances by Indian cultural groups. It will also be the perfect time to sample Indian cuisine with distinctive Caribbean influences.

For more information, contact the Indian Arrival Committee at (+592) 226 6715 (IAC Secretary) or the Guyana Tourism Board at



Take the dive in Tobago

Months after getting sunburned in Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival, you have a chance to participate in a carnival of a very different kind – the Tobago Underwater Carnival.

This “carnival” is a week-long event scheduled to take place from May 16 – 23. The main attraction, of course, is the diving sessions to be conducted in Speyside (north Tobago) and at Crown Point and Mt Irvine, to the south of the island.

Warren Solomon, director of tourism at the Tobago House of Assembly, says the sessions are for recreational divers, dive media and local secondary-school students.

In addition to diving, divers can also attend one of many seminars on photography (hosted by professionals from Dive Training, Scuba Diving and Sport Diver magazines); safe diving practices (hosted by Divers Alert network); marine biology; equipment care; and identifying fish.

If you’re not up to getting your feet wet, there are other activities you can enjoy during this week – an island tour, attending the Tobago Culinary Festival or checking out the Diving Open Day – all of which aim to highlight the best that Tobago has to offer.

For more information, visit



Jamaica marks Indian Heritage day

On May 10,1845, the SS Blundell docked in the Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, carrying the first Indians to Jamaica. The 261 passengers were immigrants who had come to the British colony to work in the sugar plantations after the abolition of African slavery.

This historic day has been proclaimed Indian Heritage Day by the government of Jamaica in recognition of the Indian community’s contribution to the country’s social and economic development.

Today, an estimated 30,000 Indians call Jamaica home, but have preserved Indian customs relating to food, language, music, dance, and religious festivals and practices. Members of the Indian community also mark the arrival of their ancestors on Jamaican shores with a puja (prayer ceremony) on May 10, as well as a family day and cultural show (this year at Chedwin Park, Old Harbour Road, St Catherine, on May 8).

Trinidad & Tobago artistes frequently perform for Jamaica’s May 10 celebrations. Among them this year are Rakesh Yankaran, Lilly Jon, and Veejay Ramkissoon, alongside Indo-Jamaican artistes Dr Winston Tolan, Suren Chutkan, and Terry Maragh.

For more information, visit the National Council for Indian Culture in Jamaica at: or e-mail:



Jazzing up Jamaica

The Ocho Rios Music Festival, which was started in 1991, is usually scheduled to end on Father’s Day, so this year it will be held on June 11 – 19.

The festival’s events will be scattered throughout Jamaica, from Negril to Ocho Rios to Port Antonio to Kingston to Treasure Beach. Jazz aficionados can expect performances by trumpeter Etienne Charles, the Antelope Valley Big Band, and the Jamaica Big Band featuring Myrna Hague, pianist and vocalist Marjorie Whylie, and drummer Desi Jones, as well as many others.

The closing Father’s Day jazz concert will be a free event from noon – 6 pm at the Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios.

For more information: