By: Gemma Raeburn-Baynes
Organizers are say that the first Oil Down Festival and Competition was a phenomenal success to ushser in The Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Quebec. Over 400 guests were in attendance at Le Manoir on October 21 for the event.
The Grenada Ensemble opened up the festivities with their patriotic song and dance number, followed by the authentic Grenadian Shortknee children and adults’ dancers to take you back to the Spice Island. A beach scene and beautifully decorated Oil Down Stalls with that lovely smell of Grenada Oil Down made everyone feel that they were back home.
Mr. Frank Baylis, MP for Dollard-Pierrefonds/Roxboro, was on hand to welcome the crowd and invite them to the West Island to enjoy the Spice Island Cultural Day on July 21, 2018.
“The West Island is the Centre of Quebec,” he said. “We invite you all to come and experience the beauty of the Spice Island on the West Island.”
Also attending the launch were Mr. Sekou Stroude, sales director of Canada for the Grenada Tourism Authority, and Ms. Renee Goodwin, the marketing executive of the Grenada Tourism Authority in Grenada.
Also on hand, Mrs. Shirley Shillingford, president of the Boston Carnival, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Antoine of the World Carnival Commission and Mrs. Lynette Rooker, representing the Grenada Blue Horizon Resort and the Spice Island Resort.
Entertainers included former Montreal Calypso Monarch, Doggies, Jenny and Jenna Noel, and Delta Antoine. Special thanks to DJ 20/20, D.J. Percy and D.J. Barbu for keeping the evening alive. M.C.’s were Honorary Consul for Grenada, Mr. Leonard Wharwood Jr. and Ms. Gemma Raeburn-Baynes.
Special thanks to the distinguished judges: Lennox Antoine of Ottawa’s Caribbean Flava Restaurant, Mr. Leon Charles of Greenz Restaurant, Dr. Bertha Pitt-Bonaparte, Mr. Egbert Gaye of Community Contact newspaper and Mr. Howard Stretch Carr of CKUT 90.3 FM West Indian Rhythms.
In the end, Hazel-Ann Cato-Perry, originally from St. Patrick’s, was declared the “Oil Down Champion for 2017-2018”. Second place went to Kelson Peterson of Team Greenz and third place was given to Helensha David-Charles.
Team Greenz also received the People’s Choice Award to much applause and excitement. Thanks to all the contestants who were magnificent and received their certificates of participation.
Sponsors and supporters included the Grenada Tourism Authority, Montreal Community Contact, Caribbean Airlines, Greenz Restaurant, Grenada Market, Prosonic Products Canada Inc., Karib Shipping, CKUT 90.3FM and CJLO 1690. Save the Date for July 21, 2018 for the Spice Island on the West Island.