Media Release

ARCHIVE: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | All Media Resources

Island Soul (July 31 – August 3)
Harbourfront Centre WORLD ROUTES 2009 presented by RBC

TORONTO, July 13- Harbourfront Centre becomes a vibrant haven of Island Soul over the July 31 to August 3rd long weekend. A killer Calypso double-bill features world renowned artist and former Calypso Monarch winner The Mighty Shadow opening the festival Friday evening with the heat and flavour of the islands. Opening for Shadow is fellow legendary Calypsonian and alto-sax player Roy Cape and the Kaiso All Stars.

With a Reggae career spanning over two decades and 10 albums, Tony Rebel will command the stage on Sunday. Rebel is also well-known for running the Rebel Salute festival in Jamaica and is the chair of Artists Against Aids – a UNICEF Jamaica initiative he has spearheaded since the early 2000s. Hardcore Band featuring Anthony Davis aka globalcentric-poet Peculiar I and his friends open the concert. Jamaican-Canadian (and once Toronto resident) Leroy Sibbles, who many know as the lead singer of The Heptones, and one of the major players in the Studio One Rocksteady era of the 60s, takes to the stage. Trombone-led Ska group The Arsenals begin the evening.

Dominica’s oldest and most accomplished band, Swinging Stars are in the weekend line-up celebrating their 50th anniversary. Other musical offerings over the weekend include the dulcet tones of the Pan FantasySteelband and the Silhouettes Steel Orchestra. Carib-Latin Jazzers Kalabash perform. DJ’s from SuperheavyREGGAE warm up an evening and CIUT’s DJ Patrick Roots and CHRY’s DJ Natty B go head to head in a track-by-track showdown.

On Saturday, August 1, celebrate independence with the first officially recognized (by the Province of Ontario) Emancipation Day with an Emancipation Jubilation event hosted by B. George Blake. He is assisted by the Kalalu Folklore Theatre and many special guests (in partnership with the Ontario Black History Society.) The island of St. Lucia also gets a freedom spotlight when they celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their independence. Former MTV Live host and Comedian Gilson Lubin hosts the musical celebration event.

Dance fans will enjoy the colourful Tche Kreyol dancers from Martinique and Aya Dance Collective perform their work, “Origins,” merging African and Caribbean cultures. Formed to mark the Quao victory over the British in Jamaica, The Charles Town Maroons drum and dance their stories. Rated X for Xcitement entertain crowds in the round and the Caliente Drum and Danz light up the evening with an interactive glowstick dance performance. Those inspired to dance, can join in with the Caribbean Dance Lesson with Anthony “Prime” Guerra.

The Jerk Jamboree Competition promises to be an intense competition where chefs from restaurants all over Toronto compete for the Best Jerk in Toronto. Online voting is already underway at and is open until July 15. The winner will be on hand on August 2 at Harbourfront Centre.

Foodies can also get their fix by watching food demonstrations by Anthony Mair of Harlem Restauraunt, La-toya Fagon of Twist Catering Services and Selwyn Richards from The Art of Catering.
Family fun highlights include rhyme & rhythm workshops, and a Steel Pan Workshop led by one of Toronto’s best – Joy Lapps. The Djollification: Kids Jump Up is the perfect pint-sized Calypso event that closes the festival.

[High-res images for all World Routes 2009:]

About World Routes
A series of FREE festivals that run from July through September, World Routes presented by RBC explores ideas in contemporary culture, bringing together rich, artistic traditions from around the globe. For complete information visit or call 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, in Toronto.


Media Contacts:
Rebecca Webster 416- 973-4518
Althea Linton 416-973-4428


Roy Cape & the Kaiso All Stars: Friday, July 31, 8 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
Roy Cape is the world’s leading alto saxophonist of the calypso genre. Along with his dedicated band of musicians, they boast a repertoire that spans the entire spectrum of Caribbean music.

The Mighty Shadow: Friday, July 31, 9:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
There are many calypso lovers who await Shadow's annual release more than that of any other calypsonian. Totally unique in approach to his music, he has never failed to deliver some of the toughest basslines, most infectious grooves, and most original compositions of anyone in the Caribbean.

Emancipation Jubilation with B. George Blake and Kalalu Folklore Theatre: Saturday, August 1, 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Celebrate the first officially recognized Emancipation Day by the Province of Ontario with B George Blake and Kalalu Folklore Theatre! With stories, songs, and percussion the show will recap the colonial status of former British territories and lead up to celebrating the freedom of independence.

The Arsenals: Saturday August 1, 8 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
The band has been playing together since 1994. They have since perfected their signature blend of authentic Jamaican ska, rocksteady rhythms and pop.

Leroy Sibbles: Saturday, August 1, 9:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
Leroy Sibbles is a wonderful vocalist and fine bassist, whom initially gained fame as the lead singer for the Heptones. In Canada, he won a 1987 Juno Award for best reggae album.

SuperheavyREGGAE: Saturday August 1, 11 p.m. (Brigantine Room) Late Night NOW presented by Heineken
Featuring selectors Friendlyness, Jeremiah and I-Sax the Hornsman, this collective produce one of Toronto’s finest sound system experiences. Their mission? To give the reggae massive the best in Modern Roots, Lovers Rock and rare Classic Dubs.

Kalabash: Sunday, August 2, 2 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
The rich Latin Jazz genre evolved as the result of a fusion of the folk and popular music traditions of the Spanish speaking Caribbean, especially Cuba.

Silhouettes Steel Orchestra: Sunday August 2, 4:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Led by arranger Mark Mosca, a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Silhouettes Steel Orchestra is one of Canada’s premiere Steel Pan Ensembles.

Pan Fantasy Steelband: Sunday August 2, 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Formed in 1986 as a subset of the North York Inter-Community Youth Group, the band has grown from an intimate group of players to an impressive collective of vibrant musicians. With the help of their leader Wendy Jones and arranger Al Foster, the band has earned top distinctions at home and internationally.

Hardcore Band Featuring Peculiar I and Friends: Sunday August 2nd, 8 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage) The Kingston Jamaican born Anthony Davis is also known to many as PECULIAR-I, the Crying Poet. He performs with help from Hardcore Band and some friends in the spoken word community.

Tony Rebel: Sunday, August 2, 9:30 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
(Also, Tony Rebel Artist Talk: Sunday, August 2, 8:00p.m., Lakeside Terrace)
With a career that spans two decades, 10 albums, Rebel is a Rastafarian whose blend of dancehall rhythms with conscious roots lyrics has become legendary. Rebel is not only a musician, but he has built a music empire producing one of the most popular music festivals in Jamaica, Rebel Salute.

Reggae Riddims Meets Zion Train Downtown feat. DJ Patrick Roots and DJ Natty B: Sunday August 2, 11 p.m. (Brigantine Room) Late Night NOW presented by Heineken
DJ Patrick Roots’ Reggae Riddims radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM is considered one of the seminal live reggae broadcast shows in Canada. Natty B’s hugely influential Zion Train show on CHRY 105.5 FM is a one-stop shop for conscious reggae tunes and is on the pulse of the Rastafarian community. Both DJ’s rotate the freshest selections of reggae music, interspersed with vital commentary from the community.

St. Lucia Limin’ featuring Gilson Lubin, The Sheriff, The Voyce more Kerian Piper: Monday August 3, 1:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of St.Lucia’s Independence, Comedian Gilson Lubin hosts an afternoon celebration alongside Soca artists The Sheriff and Kerian Piper along with Hip Hop Soul singer The Voyce, among others.

Swingin’ Stars: Monday August 3, 3 p.m. (SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage)
The Swingin' Stars, Dominica’s oldest and most accomplished band is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The Swingin’ Stars have received several accolades and awards including the prestigious ‘Meritorious Service Award’ from the Government of Dominica (1980); the ‘Golden Drum Award’ from the National Cultural Council in Dominica (1999) and The ‘Caribbean Sunshine Award’ in New York (2004).

Heritage Singers: Monday, August 3, 4:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The group began when some friends got together to sing away the blues of the harsh cold winter. Over the years, the group has developed a rich and varied repertoire. The language of these songs ranges from discernible standard English to Creole with an English lexical base, to French Patois and even hybrid Spanish.


Jerk Jamboree Competition: June 15 – July 15 and August 2 (Lakeside Terrace Tent)
Who makes the best jerk in Toronto? Your vote counts! Vote on-line, and come August 2 to meet the winner and taste their jerk. (For those not in the know, jerk is a hot, spicy, unique, and delicious Jamaican way of cooking.)

Jamaican Curried Veggies with La-toya Fagon of Twist Catering Services: Sunday August 2, 4 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
A passion for food and a long standing family tradition of West Indian cuisine influenced La-toya Fagon to pursue a career as a Chef. La-toya often merges Italian with West Indian cuisine and brings her “Culinary Simplicity with a twist” to Harbourfront Centre for a demonstration.

Anthony Mair of Harlem Restaurant: Monday August 3, 2 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Executive Chef of the newly opened Harlem Restaurant in downtown Toronto which is inspired by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and celebrates the joy of Toronto’s cultural diversity and the art of entertaining.

Selwyn Richards from The Art of Catering: Monday August 3, 4 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Executive Chef, Selwyn Richards from The Art of Catering has an unparalleled dedication to great food, great presentation. Selwyn has been planning and cooking delicious food with artistic flare for over 25 years.


Caliente Drum and Danz: Friday, July 31, 9 p.m. & Sunday, August 2, 9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Audiences will be entertained and excited by Caliente’s intricately layered, high-powered drum figures, energetic dance choreographies and stunning costumes. The group raises Latin, African and World cultural awareness, social consciousness, as well as the ideals of unity and community in their performances.

Caribbean Dance Lesson with Anthony “Prime” Guerra: Saturday, August 1, 1:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Anthony “Prime: Guerra brings 18 years of experience as a professional dancer, actor, and chorographer. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he is currently serving as the Artistic Director/Choreographer for the Afro-Caribbean Dance Group.

Rated “X” for Xcitement: Saturday August 1, 4 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
In 2008, this troupe won best dance crew on live on national television at Much Music (Much On Demand Dance Competition.) The group was founded to promote and give positive opportunities and an outlet for young people with talent to enhance their abilities, develop new skills, and learn to compete.

Aya Dance Collective: Saturday, August 1, 5:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Aya Dance Collective shows their piece Origins, an exciting drum and dance performance celebrating Caribbean and African culture. The company repertoire is based on traditional African and Contemporary dance, with a central focus on social change.

Charles Town Maroons: Saturday, August 1, 8:45 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The Maroons are descendants of run-away slaves in 18th century Jamaica. They escaped into the hills and waged war against the British slave owners, and have managed to develop and retain their own rich culture. They use the music of their drums as well as through dance to describe the heritage of their past.


Films curated by Caribbean Tales: Sunday, August 2, 1:30-3:30 & 5-7 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Caribbean Tales Annual Film Festival is Canada’s only standalone festival, offering the best of Caribbean cinema from all around the world. It is proud to partner with Harbourfront Centre to present a day of exciting film screenings and thought-provoking Talk Back sessions at the Island Soul Festival.


Voice O Matic & Put Your Whole Self Into It: Saturday, August 1, 1-6 p.m.(HarbourKIDS Zone)
Create an harmonious impromptu soundscape and move to the beat in these rhyme and rhythm workshops with artists Deidre Walton and Marika Schwandt of b.current and Art Starts youth programs.

Steel Pan Workshop for Children by Joy Lapps: Sunday, August 2, 2-3 p.m. & 4:30-5:30 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone)
Children will experience the steel drums, hands-on, by learning how to play this unique, historically significant instrument. Joy Lapps is the founder and program director of the Steel Pan Experience. Joy began playing the steel pan in 1997.

The Amazing Miss Lou: Sunday, August 2, 1 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Come and join us in Miss Lou's room as we sing, dance, tell stories, play games and learn about the amazing Miss Lou! We will be checking in on the mischievous Anancy to see what kind of problems he finds himself in, as well as taking an island tour of Jamaica to see what goodies we can find.

Djollification: Kids Jump-Up: Monday, August 3, 1 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent and Ann Tindall Lawn)
Led by costumed Flag-wavers and stilt-dancers, surrounded by painted faces and feathered head- dresses, kids can celebrate and dance to bouncy Calypsoca music in the new circular stage-in-the-round on the Ann Tindall lawn.

Where you are:   Home / Who We Are / Media Resources