Rastafest on August 8

Canada’s largest celebration of Rastafarian heritage and culture kicks off on Thursday, August 8 at York Woods Public Library, (1785 Finch Avenue West) with Kuumba visual art exhibition featuring works of Rastafarian artists and continues on Thursday, August 15 with TweenFest where children and youth performers will showcase their talent in dub poetry/spoken word, African/Caribbean drum, dance, music, theatre, visual arts and martial arts.  Admission is free.  Show time:  6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.

The activities culminate on Saturday, August 24 at Downsview Park, (Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West) starting with free workshops in African dance, drums, dub poetry, a youth talent show, ital food demonstration, domino tournament and oware (capitalized(?) games at the Flex Zone from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

The family-fun festival continues with an international reggae concert featuring Queen Ifrica, Everton Blender, Screwdriver, Tasha T, CharDavid aka Iley Dread, Papa Levy, Jah Kettle, Jannett Scott, Prince Everald, Empress Lyrics, Dahlia, Leta Montague, Trinity Drummers, Majestic Warriors, and FND from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Backing bands:  Mountain Edge and Hardcore.  Admission:  $5.

About Rastafest:

Rastafest is a multi-disciplined festival showcasing different aspects of the Rastafarian heritage and culture based on the rich and diverse Rastafarian lifestyle and history. The festival is a continuation of international and national Rastafarian initiatives in Canada and Jamaica since 1977; namely, the First International Rastafarian conference held in Toronto in 1982 and the Second International Rastafarian conference held in Jamaica in 1983.

About Upfront Theatre Foundation:

Upfront Theatre started in September 2000 as a student based drama club at York University but has now grown into a service learning non-profit organization serving children, youth and women in the Jane and Finch community and surrounding areas. The mandate of Upfront Theatre Foundation is to organize and produce cultural, educational and social programs using arts and multi-media as tools to sensitize the society to the serious social problems afflicting children and youth in the community.

Upfront Theatre Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Western Union and Victoria Mutual Building Society.

Rastafest will be web streamed live on www.flexradio.net and www.rastafest.com.  The festival will be videotaped as part of the documentary, The Evolution of Rastafari in Canada to be released in 2014.


For media information, please contact:

Masani Montague, festival coordinator at 647-341-9031 or email info@rastafest.com