With the theme The Journey Continues, the Saint Lucian community will celebrate their 37th Anniversary of Independence here in Toronto with a gala set for Feb. 20.
The event will be at the Brighton Convention and Events Centre.
Ross Cadesse, president of the Saint Lucia Association, told The Camera “The Legendary Ronald Boo Hinkson with the band Just Friends will be featured at this year’s gala. Our keynote speaker will be TDSB Trustee Tiffany Forde.
“And in the house? DJ Toxic will be playing the hits and Da Great Buddy Luv will bring you back to Saint Lucia.”
Cadesse said the official launch of Saint Lucia’s Anniversary of Independence took place last Thursday in their native land where chairman of the Independence Standing Committee Darrel Montrope noted that while they have their own flag, constitution, national anthem, etc, “independence 37 is about our journey.
“One cannot expect to have resolved all limitations within a 37-year span but we have made significant strides over the last 37 years and this is what we want to celebrate,” Montrope said.
The 25th Anniversary of Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is slated for April 29 to May 8.
Cadasse said the headliner of the 10-day event will be top-selling tropical salsa recording artist Marc Anthony, slated to perform on May 8. The Grammy award-winning Latin singer has 25 Billboard Chart hits.
He added that Shaggy, Kassava, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and Air Supply will also perform.
Alison Theodore, regional marketing manager (Canada), noting that brides will get to see the Saint Lucia Sweet Life Wedluxe Wedding Show at the Carlu, said Saint Lucia is becoming the Caribbean’s preferred island for destination weddings.
Ladera Resort general manager Olivier Bottois said he is looking forward to Saint Lucia’s independence celebrations, noting that the “romance paradise” resort was once part of the Rabot Estate, one of Soufriere’s oldest and most famous cocoa plantations.
The 32 suites all have an “open wall” – the west side of each unit is left open to expose the breathtaking view while the orientation of the buildings maintain complete privacy. All units are decorated with local artwork and feature magnificent views of the Pitons and Caribbean Sea.
Ladera is the only resort in St. Lucia located on the UNESCO World Heritage site overlooking the Pitons and Caribbean Sea.
Theodore added that Walcott House – in honour of Derek Walcott who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992 – has officially opened in Saint Lucia, an additional draw for tourists.