By Gerald V. Paul
TD IRIE Musical Festival celebrates its 13th year at a new venue, Fort York’s Garrison Common, come Aug. 1 and 2, then on July 11 and 12 at Mississauga Celebration Square.
Organizer Phil Vassel said the festival celebrates African-Canadian culture with music, dance, spoken word, literature, art, food and drink from the Caribbean and across the African Diaspora.
This year’s headliners include Trinidad’s top musical power couple Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Messenjah, one of Canada’s most successful and popular reggae groups, plus Black Uhuru, Junior Reid, Inner Circle, 20th Century Rebels and Lyrikal.
On Aug. 2 at 4 p.m. at Fort York, there will be a dance immersion, featuring a variety of African-Canadian dance ensembles. These include Harambee Dance Company (U.S.), Inica Dance Industries. Edify Dance, and Ngoma Dance Ensemble.
A new and timely initiative this year is IRIE Rum Sessions at TD IRIE Fest Toronto and TD IRIE Fest Mississauga. This program will feature world-class Caribbean rums for rum tasting, rum cocktails and a master class with a rum expert on the different varieties of Caribbean rums.
Vassel noted that “the first TD IRIE Music Festival was presented in 2002 in collaboration with the Toronto Urban Music Festival. IRIE Music Festival has since continued to expose culturally diverse artists to hundred of thousands of fans while providing the larger community with a unique opportunity to celebrate African-Canadian culture.
“The TD IRIE Music Festival is widely recognized as a world-class event offering the highest quality of reggae, world music genres including Latin and African and gospel music to our community.”
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