Tourism group plans two major events

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) officials recently rolled out details of two unique events in Toronto – the Rum and Rhythm Benefit and the Caribbean Investment Day Forum, scheduled for the end of this month.

The Rum and Rhythm Benefit will raise funds for two special projects – the CTO Foundation and the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative.

The other event will bring together Canadian investors and Caribbean business decision-makers.

A number of Caribbean spirits along with cultural and culinary experiences will be the highlights of the CTO signature event, Rum and Rhythm Benefit, scheduled for Oct. 30 at Ripley’s Aquarium.

The evening will include a silent auction and a costume fundraiser themed The Caribbean Sea. Guests will sample a variety of award-winning rums of the Caribbean and experience the talents and artistic flair of Toronto’s renowned Daniel et Daniel’s authentic Caribbean flavours.

To date, the CTO Foundation has provided 143 scholarships worth more than $1 million to deserving students across the Caribbean to pursue studies in tourism and tourism-related studies, says Sylma Brown- Bramble, CTO director of the New York Office.

And according to SickKids Foundation Associate Director for Major Gifts Colin Hennigar, their goal is to raise $8M for the five-year SickKids-Caribbean Initiative, which works with six countries – Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

The initiative is in its second year and so far, the funds raised amounts to $7 million, thanks to some big donors such as Scotiabank and CIBC.

Tickets for the Rum and Rhythm Benefit can be purchased at More information can be obtained at

Caribbean Investment Day Forum, set for Oct. 29 at TIFF Bell Lightbox is the first of its kind in Toronto and hopes to strengthen Caribbean-Canadian business relationships. It`s intended to provide opportunities for Canadian investors to expand their business in the Caribbean and showcase investment opportunities in the region.

Brown- Bramble tells The Camera this forum will be an exploratory one and they are hoping to have it on an annual basis. “It`s the beginning of a conversation.”

CTO Events Co-ordinator, Canada, Anne Brobyn says they are hoping to set up discussions “in a B2B environment where officials of the governments can talk to investors, they can share their ideas, where the gaps are, what initiatives are needed and try and fill those gaps.”

She explains there are many areas of investments within the Caribbean such as information technology, agriculture, hospitality, medical services, airports, solar energy and financial services.

Brown-Bramble says so far the Bahamas and Barbados have confirmed attendance.