Organization celebrates 20 years with a massive “A Taste of Tea” event on Sunday, March 8,
Since Playmas Montreal Cultural Association was launched in 2000, it has propelled itself to the forefront of the cultural scene in our community, with a series of annual shows that reflex the story of Black and Caribbean people in this city.
Founded as a masquerade band for the 2000 Carifiesta celebrations by the indefatigable Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, Playmas made an immediate impression with its presentation of “Shortknee Madness,” one of the biggest bands on the road that year.
The association expanded into an organizational force behind some of the biggest events to be featured on this city’s social calendar, including “A Taste of the Caribbean Festival”, which it organized for 15 years until 2015, as well as the “Montreal Caribbean Fashion Week”, “Caribbean Rum Splash”, “Coconut Bread Competition” and “Triumph Through Adversity”, an initiative that provided youth with opportunities to enroll in a culinary program.
Over the years it handed out more than $10,000 in scholarships.
Today, Raeburn-Baynes, inspite of her announcement of retirement several years ago, continues to head the organization, ably assisted by a supportive group of community workers, including Thierry Carries who serves as vice-president, Herla Oasis, secretary, and Nerissa Phillip-Thomas, treasurer, as well as board members: Dale King, Adrienne Jackson, Shernett Emanuel, Elissa Williams, Johanne McMillian, Lovinna Mark, Caroline Thelamaque, Dawn McNichols and Raphael McKenzie.
For the past decade or so, Playmas’ annual “A Taste of Tea-A Caribbean Tea Party” has become a signature event in Montreal as a celebration of International Women’s Day. The Sunday afternoon soiree has become increasingly popular for the “Woman of Merit Award,” which pays tribute to women in our community who have distinguished themselves by their achievements and contributions to our society. Over the past 10 years, over 50 women in Montreal have received this Award with honor.
To mark its 20th anniversary, Playmas Montreal is going all out with a special celebration on Sunday, March 8 at the Cote St. Luc Aquatic and Community Centre paying homage to honor six female doctors who have been practicing in and around Montreal for the past several years.
Among those receiving the Woman of Merit Awards this year are: Dr. Stephanee Omotayo Bakare, Dr. Penny-Jane Baylis, Dr. Anita Brown-Johnson, Dr. Nana Graves, Dr. Fadji Koffi and Dr. Zahra Sohani.
And organizers are hoping to have Quebec’s deputy minister of Health, Dr. Lionel Carmant, on hand to present them with the coveted awards.
In addition to the delectable variety of teas and other culinary delights from the Caribbean that will flavor the evening, this 20th anniversary event will be highlighted by a Motown Special featuring performances by Skipper Dean (formerly of the Platters) and Montreal soul icon, Ms. Michelle Sweeney and her live Band.
Info.: (514) 620-6612