It’s time for the ‘New year, New Me’ posts across all social media platforms. By this time you may have already developed an automatic eye-roll response to these posts, however, it is quite beneficial to engage in reflection and set new goals for yourself. A lot of our success will lie in our ability to understand our flaws and strengths and whether or not we choose to find ways to overcome our challenges or settle in complacency. Our thoughts and words are powerful and so our resolutions could be the key to unlocking our greatest year yet if we are willing to commit wholeheartedly to the process it takes to see them through. When we truly believe and act on the things we speak over our lives, we can create a brighter tomorrow for not only ourselves but everyone around us. In the upcoming year, how about we work on resolutions as a nation?
1.Resolve to create jobs (and opportunities in general) for ourselves as opposed resting the employment responsibility so heavily on the government and big-name companies. These outlets are becoming saturated so now is the time when we need innovators and visionaries to step up and build new companies from the ground up. We are talented people. We have gifts, skills and expertise that we can tap into and create new streams of income for ourselves. What Rasheid Sutherland (pictured above) has done with Boss Raw Media is a good case in point. He has made his love for film and photography and his management skills into his livelihood.
2. Speaking of creating new streams of income, we can resolve to appreciate career paths that are non-traditional and the individuals who find contentment pursuing them. Quite often societal pressure forces persons to believe that they are only making a worthwhile contribution to our society if they are a doctor, lawyer, teacher or some other vocation viewed as being safe and stable. Some of us are burning with passion for a career path we are afraid to pursue because of what others may think or say. It is about time that we recognize, support and appreciate the brave ones, whether they choose to gradually ease into their passion by doing it as a side job or they choose to quit their day jobs and fully commit all their energy to whatever makes them excited to get out of bed each day.
3. Resolve to support local. We can make the decision to buy products that are made here by Vincentians instead of imported items. We can do this with our food, clothes, jewelry, décor items and more. When we decide to support our entrepreneurs it has a direct positive impact on our economy and we can feel good about impacting the lives of people we know and care about. You can read about some of our great local entrepreneurs and their products by clicking here.
4. Resolve to respect the viewpoints, religions and lifestyles of others. We are diverse people and we do not always see eye to eye on the issues that affect our daily life. This does not mean that we have to hate our brother just because they chose a way of life that is not in alignment with our own beliefs. We can respectfully disagree with each other’s opinions and still live in peace and harmony.
5. The last resolution ties into this one. Let’s resolve to do away with political division. Electing capable individuals to make decisions our behalf is a big deal. However, over the years we have seen this process causes great segregation within families, communities and the country as a whole. We become vicious and hostile and we are blind to the fact that at the end of the day we ALL have to live with the outcome in any case. Whether the flag you choose to fly is red, yellow, blue or green, it is time to wave the white flag on war we fight against each other because of differing political allegiances.
6. We can resolve to take good care of our physical selves. Vincentians tend to be seasonally healthy. In the months leading up to Carnival, we are in the gym regularly and we cut out bread and eat every fruit and vegetable in site in hopes of losing weight and looking flawless in our costumes on Carnival Tuesday. After that, it’s back to chilling on the couch and eating junk more often than we’d like to admit. However, we need to come to the realization that our health is our wealth. We can work hard to build the perfect life and have it stripped from us by a disease that may have been prevented with eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. This year, let’s commit to an all-year-round healthier lifestyle.
7. Resolve to treat mental health awareness like the serious issue that it is. Too often we sweep mental illnesses under the rug and pretend that they don’t affect our everyday life. It is important for us to recognize and address problems relating to our emotional, psychological and social well-being as this could be the determining factor between a life we truly enjoy and a life that feels like torture. Let’s get rid of the stigma associated with this conversation and support and encourage persons to seek the help they need.
8. Resolve to do better with our garbage. For a small nation, we sure do create a lot of waste and we are not doing well when it comes to proper disposal of this waste. Too often our streets are littered especially with food and drink containers even in places where garbage receptacles are present. We have to change our way of thinking as it relates to this issue and each of us has to take up the responsibility to keep SVG clean. We have to be proactive in reducing waste, reusing whatever we can and recycling what we can’t. It would be great if more incentives were to be offered to companies such as All Island Recycling, that actively help us combat this issue.
9. Resolve to be more kind-hearted, compassionate and generous. Think of the positive impact we will achieve if each us performs one random act of kindness for someone else daily. Community spirit seems to be dying as we have become cold and distant from each other. Everyone’s primary concern is to look out for themselves and survive in a dog-eat-dog world. But we have the power to change this. If we spread love and positivity with our words and actions, we can experience once again the warmth and friendliness we had become renowned for. Whether it’s buying lunch for someone, donating to a charity or giving a compliment, there are many ways we can see this resolution through.
We’ll get into the next 9 resolutions in part 2 of this post. Look out for it next Sunday on the 7th of January, in the new year! (Click here to read Part 2) Click subscribe (below if you’re using a mobile device or on the side bar, at the top of the page if you are using a computer) to stay in the know when new articles are posted. Which of these resolutions resonate the most with you? Leave us a comment.
© 2017. All rights reserved
St. Vincent and the Grenadines will join entities with more than 170 countries in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 13th– November 19th, 2017, through Ignite, a Global Entrepreneurship Network partner. This year, the network will celebrate 10 years of helping millions of people unleash their ideas to start and scale new businesses. Ignite as a marketing and public relations consultancy that interfaces with various entrepreneurs, will be hosting a range of activities designed to inspire new & existing entrepreneurs.
To celebrate this special week, Ignite will have the MAKING IT HAPPEN SERIES – FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY. This is an online video series (each video 5-8 minutes max ) on the Ignite! Facebook page that includes sit downs with about eight (8) entrepreneurs across different sectors who have made it and are making it happen in SVG. They will highlight their struggles, challenges, success stories and most importantly how they went from having an idea to making it a reality. Candice Sealey the founder & Principal Consultant at Ignite will share the importance of public relations for businesses as well as the importance of entrepreneurs building their personal brand. She will also host a feature discussion on the importance of quality branding materials for businesses with graphic designers, audio production personnel, photographers & videographers as well as panelists. Each panelist will be a freelancer/entrepreneur and will also share how they took their idea and made it into a business.
The celebrations will also include the Make it happen video competition which is open to early start-up businesses. Each early start-up must submit a video no more than 5 minutes pitching their business/product. The video must be submitted via email to email@example.com. They will be judged by a panel as well as the public (via Ignite facebook page). The top 5 pitches as judged by the panel and the public will then go through to the finale where they will pitch their ideas to a LIVE panel as well as members of the public.
The Winner will receive free logo design & free 10 mins marketing consultation from Ignite, a 10% discount off brand essentials design from Ignite! (business cards, letter head, social media design-profile & cover art) and banners for 3 months. They will also get exposure to additional funding through Global Domination Capital, a Caribbean fintech start up based in Trinidad & Tobago and even more prizes which are yet to be anounced!
In addition, Ignite, local partner for Women Entrepreneurship Day (WED) will to host a brunch on Sunday November 19th which will have Miss Rene Baptiste and Miss Kimya Glasgow as guest speakers. There will also be a PITCH IT session where female entrepreneurs have 3 minutes to pitch their ideas after which they will receive feedback from a panel as well as persons in attendance. The panel will consist of Ms. Anette Mark, Executive Director of Invest SVG, Mr. Kenrick Quashie, CEO of Global Domination Capital & Founder & MD of Youth Business Trust and Ms. Kimya Glasgow – Entrepreneur, CEO & Founder Kimya Glasgow Designs Inc.
Arts, Business Buzz, Buzz, Community Buzz, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fashion & Beauty, LifeStyles, Main Blog, Vinci Foods
We’re all about our blue, yellow and green throughout the month of October. We anticipate the days when we can come out in our colours and proudly wave the national flag and declare that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the piece of rock in the Caribbean Sea that we are glad to call home. This year after the annual Independence Day parade we had even more activities through which we could express our Vincy pride thanks to Invest SVG. The Everything Vincy Exhibition held at the E.T Joshua Airport over a three day period (October 27th-29th), was the place to be during the independence weekend. This new initiative is aimed at highlighting the products and services that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to offer and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit as we continue on in nation building. Training workshops were also offered to the business owners who took part in the exhibition to gain knowledge on topics such as customer service and marketing which equips the business owners with tools that would help them take their businesses to the next level. This initiative is one that we are happy to see so well executed and the patrons are excited to attend in the coming years as it gets bigger and better. This is part 2 of the article where we bring you a little insight on some of the exhibitors and their products. If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Brio Ché is the brainchild of Bernadette Warren (pictured above) who many may know as Camille. They provide a line of luxury health and beauty products which inlude virgin coconut oil, body scrubs, lotions, lips balms, foot soaks, soy scented candles and massage oils. After looking at the list of products offered by Brio Ché, you’ll notice that just about everything has coconut in it and here’s why. Bernadette was raised primarily by her grandmother and coconut was a huge part of how she earned a living. Along with selling vegetables, she would make and sell coconut snacks and coconut oil and the profits allowed her to provide for Bernadette. She also credits coconut oil as the reason she’s able to stay in good health as she would consume it and use in her hair and on her skin. When Bernadette started out making concoctions to soothe her own and her husband’s skin conditions, she did some research and she knew coconut oil had to be a part of it. The end products were all natural, organic and infused with herbs and healing plants. After they experienced how well the products worked for them and received great reviews from family and friends, she officially registered the Brio Ché business in 2013. The effort that goes into producing such a health conscious yet aesthetically appealing line of products is apparent even in the packaging (which Bernadette shares she plans to make even more eco-friendly). Very soon, you might be able to watch your purchases being made from start to finish; Ms. Warren has high hopes for the next phase of her business which could include a storefront with designated production and retail areas.
Since 1985, Nzimbu Browne has created art that thoroughly reflects the rhythm of Vincentian living. Our history, culture, traditions and landscapes are so eloquently expressed through collages made from what some would consider to be waste. “I take it up and add some intelligence into it” he said as he explained that dried banana leaves and coconut shells are his choice of medium. In addition to his beautiful collages, he also does tie-dye and makes drums. He refers to his creativity as his survival kit as this has been his way of earning a living for over 30 years and his passion and determination shines through in his work ethic. Browne expressed a desire to be on an international market to have his work appreciated and purchased by millions of people and says he’s ready and willing to put in the hard work that this will take.
Melissa Ashton’s Jewelry making talent is actually the gift she prayed for and she’s passionate about putting her blessing to good use. When she made her first pair of earrings she used her teeth to do what her hands couldn’t. Fortunately, her sister saw her need and bought her a pair of pliers which she still uses to this day. She attributes her success thus far to the fact that her aim is to make her customers happy which in turn gives her the greatest feeling of fulfillment. At the moment she makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, beaded key-chains and has just started dabbling in the production of scented candles. She hopes to eventually have a storefront where she sells not only her jewelry but glass beads and the findings and components that are involved in the craft. She’s eager to continue building her business and see her small beginnings blossom into great achievements.
If you’re an avid snacker, chances are you’ve seen and probably buy several Cyrus Snacks. After retiring from her day job, in 2008 proud owner Betty Cyrus started making plantain chips for sale. Since then, sweet potato, breadfruit, spicy banana, eddoe and sweet cassava chips have been added to the line of snacks offered. It started out as her way of making use of the food items that she saw would go to waste. It has now blossomed into a substantial business that makes the snacks many Vincentians love to munch on. Betty’s products can be found in almost all of our major supermarkets but she hopes to eventually develop the demand necessary to export her snacks.
Michelle Bacchus Barbour the talent behind tasty creations of Me-Shelli Unique started out as a seamstress. Over ten years ago, she learnt the basics of baking from a friend and went on to try out new things to create cakes and cookies as requested by friends and family. She incorporated these two skills as well as her crafting abilities into a venture that would provide a one of a kind wedding package. This package included custom clothing for the bridal party, handmade bouquets and of course, she could provide the wedding cake. Over time, she became more renowned for her baking than her sewing and so she has decided to stick with it.
The Richmond Vale Academy’s attendance was a timely reminder of the role we play in global warming and climate change. This organization has researched and taught lessons on climate change and initiated projects that include beach cleanups, tree planting and setting up model gardens. They also produce informative radio and television programs and hold open days to help spread their message. The team was eager to share flyers and have insightful conversations with the attendees in hopes that more of us will become Climate Activists and fight to make our country more energy, food and disaster secure. Climate change is real and we have to work together to build a nation that can withstand and overcome its effects.
The exhbitors mentioned are only a sample of what the Everything Vincy Exhibtion had to offer. Some of the other businesses that attended the event included Immense Bags, Link Up, Erica’s Country Style, Escape Health and Day Spa, Fanfare Events, Searles Agro Products, Mudulla Propagation, East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) and so much more. We can’t wait for next year’s Exhibition!
If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Photos by Ricky Hill, exclusively for Express Vinci®
© 2016. All rights reserved
Arts, Buzz, Community Buzz, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fashion & Beauty, History, LifeStyles, Main Blog
We’re all about our blue, yellow and green throughout the month of October. We anticipate the days when we can come out in our colours and proudly wave the national flag and declare that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the piece of rock in the Caribbean Sea that we are glad to call home. This year after the annual Independence Day parade we had even more activities through which we could express our Vincy pride thanks to Invest SVG. The Everything Vincy Exhibition held at the E.T Joshua Airport over a three day period (October 27th-29th), was the place to be during the independence weekend. This new initiative is aimed at highlighting the products and services that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to offer and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit as we continue on in nation building. Training workshops were also offered to the business owners who took part in the exhibition to gain knowledge on topics such as customer service and marketing which equips the business owners with tools that would help them take their businesses to the next level. This initiative is one that we are happy to see so well executed and the patrons are excited to attend in the coming years as it gets bigger and better. Here’s a little insight on some of the exhibitors and their products.
Eight years ago, Christal Oliver the founder of Olive art Designs, was a lab technician at the St. Vincent Girls’ High school with some free time and a hobby. This was the beginning of her journey to business owner. She hand-sewed bags at the time as a way to overcome boredom but her peers had such a positive response to the items she made that is wasn’t too long until she saw the opportunity to make her pastime into something greater.She decided to invest in a sewing machine to experiment. Experimentation led to new creations and opportunities and Olive Art designs is the end result of a young lady following her passion, believing in her vision and striving to give her very best to her customers. She credits her success thus far to patience, practice and persistence, and she’s always reading and learning so as to execute new ideas that could help her improve her business. She makes high quality custom handbags for every occasion and hopes that her creations will allow her to put St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the map, as she endeavors to cross boundaries regionally and internationally showcasing and gaining appreciation for her handiwork.
About six months ago, Rene Benn had a literal dream. A dream that one day, she went ‘dumpster-diving’! In the dream, she was accompanied by her husband and they were taking some huge bottles out of the trash. She then proceeded to decorate the bottles and they turned out beautifully. She awoke from her dream and realized what a great idea it was and Rene’s Ornamentations was born. She collected bottles and jars from her friends and family and any shops that were willing to give them to her. The artistic ability came naturally and she transforms trash to treasure creating vases and candle holders by hand. Her desire is to have a storefront for this venture as currently she only makes her items by order and uses social media to showcase them.
The Kalinago Tribe Essential Oils were definitely one of the standout items. There was basil, lemongrass, ginger, peppermint and many more to choose from. Each essential oil has its list of health benefits and the potency is unmistakable. The business was founded over 15 years ago by Augustine Sutherland and he’s proud to say that every ingredient is tested and harvested here from our rugged rocky mountains and undergoes a steam distillation process to produce these pure organic essential oils. In the beginning as a trained hair and scalp specialist, he would make small batches of the oils to combat problems his clients were experiencing and it has grown since then into a business that offers also eucalyptus inhalers and infused massage oils. His hope is to have the oils certified as organic by the agricultural department so that the world would know that the products are of the highest quality and are prepared with our health in mind.
Grow In Time is a creative social enterprise that seeks to bring together rehabilitation, land conservation and poverty alleviation in one project. Over the past two years a sustainable livelihood project has been implemented in our two correctional institutions that is coordinated by Vonnie Roudette. Through this initiative inmates are being taught and certified in their training to make mats, baskets and other products from Vetiver grass and Grow in time its marketing arm. This venture gives the individuals the skills they need to create an alternative way of earning a living. One of the best benefits of this project is that it takes much less money to start a business making the grass products than to start a business involving other skills that one may learn while incarcerated. The individuals are given a feeling of empowerment and this causes a huge positive change in their self image as they are given an opportunity to take care of their loved ones and contribute to their communities. The conservation aspect is in regards to the grass that is used. The grass is an excellent solution for soil erosion and great for slope stabilization, so this will tie into the next phase of the project which will be the planting initiative that will be executed by the former inmates. It is still early in the game but the results so far have show that all the individuals who have received the training have not committed any further offences and they report a more positive outlook on life. The products are simply exquisite and the initiative is a life-changing one.
From a very young age Anita Garraway knew she wanted to be her own boss and have her own business. As a child she would make and sell crochet crafts, cupcakes and fudge. In 1997 she got the opportunity to do an agro-processing course that laid the foundation for Aurora’s. She learned the skills necessary to produce and bottle her green seasoning, pepper sauces and pepper relish, as well as processing fish and chicken ham. She also produces gluten free breadfruit cakes, beetroot and Black cakes without egg. Her products can be found in supermarkets throughout St. Vincent. After so many years of hard work and sacrifices, she can now say that she is living her dream.
Natalie Cato of Kato’s Katering invited the patrons to ‘Feel the fun’ with samples of her premium rum punch, Red bikini. The Red Bikini is a rich and smooth concoction of fruit juice, spices and local rum and the premium taste is unmistakable. Ms Cato has perfected the recipe over the past few years and has now started promoting the product. Her hope is to get the product on the shelves in our supermarkets. Currently it is only produced by order and sourced directly from her.
Click here to read part 2 and find out more about the exhibitors and their products and services from the event!
Photos by Ricky Hill, exclusively for Express Vinci®
© 2017. All rights reserved
The 2017 Calypso semi-finals held on Friday night, 30th June, at the Victoria Park was indeed a fantastic musical experience. As the first show on the official ten day Vincy Mas festival, it featured twenty two of the nations outstanding calypsonians, ranging from the youthful but experienced Kristianna Christopher to seasoned veterans like, Patches, Fya Empress, Vibrating Scakes , Sulle and Brother Ebony.
The show started on time and flowed well; except for one or two small glitches it was well executed. Free of the on-stage props that will form part of the calypso finals; this show was a lyrical interaction between the calypsonians as social commentators and the expectant audience.
In this time of potentially intense political interactions, most of the singers focused their attention elsewhere: youth and crime, infidelity, emotional and physical abuse, and other real social matters that are important to our lives as Vincentians every day. The songs were informative,melodious, and some satirical and humorous. A combination that resulted in an excellent experience.
Of course I have my favourites, but will refrain from mentioning at this time.
My feelings are numerous and can’t all be articulated in this post. It serves to say though that we are a superbly talented nation and even though the carnival/summer festival season has been extended well beyond the ten days of Vincy Mas, the range of activities are such that calypso in particular and Vincy music in particular are not given the kind of exposure they deserve.
Our musicians and singers should be able to practise their craft effectively all year round; and to make a living as artists is a right they have earned but is yet to be realised. Lance Chapman, Friday night’s guest-artist alluded to this in his melodious and well articulated rendition.
The time seems to be right for a Vincentian Music Festival that will be independent and separate from Carnival and Vincy Mas. This could be a collaboration between private promoters and the department of culture: a week of concerts to showcase Vincentian Music of all genres, perhaps in October, when we celebrate our nation’s independence. No competition needed.
The ten calypsonians moving on to the Calypso Finals scheduled for Sunday 9th July 2017 are :
Glenroy “Sulle” Caesar, Robert “Patches” King, Shernelle “Skarpyon” Williams, Shaunelle Mc Kenzie, Sheena Collis, Lornette “Fya Empress” Nedd, Glenford “Azarah” Charles, Cecile “Lil Bit” Murray, Joanna Christopher, and Kenneth”Vibrating Scakes” Alleyne.
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© 2017. All rights reserved.
As I started to write this memoir of a sort, I had to set the laptop down quickly and make a bee-line to the oven. Frantic that my cake was burnt, Whew ! It’s Mother’s day, which means it’s tea party day.
In Vincy, tea parties are an inherent part of Mother’s day and School fair culture. The phone is ringing off the hook for my mom, and sadly to say I haven’t given her a hug and a kiss yet because I’m caught up making sure the goodies she assigned for me to make are done for her event of the year- Women’s League Mother’s Day Tea !
My memories of this annual activity which is hosted by our Women’s League and by extension, the ladies of the congregation; is that it is a splendid opportunity to get our church and our community together, and display the culinary skills and talents of its members. My mom loves to see little girl in a pretty dresses, So my god-sister and I would flaunt our own pretty dresses on these sunny Sunday May afternoons, showcasing our best moves with then skinny frames…..Applause ! Applause !
As I got older, I retired from modeling but continue to volunteer for different roles. within the past years, I have been expressing myself in the kitchen and my mother who is an active member of the league has been taking the opportunity to utilize my new kinship with the kitchen for her group’s benefit.
Our women’s league, I think is under appreciated because they contribute to our church in such a significant way.This brings us to today, Mother’s Day, 2017. A few days ago, my mother declared that she wanted mini-quiches on the menu. I had no choice but bow to her wish, so here I am preparing mini-quiches with spinach. I added a vanilla cake topped with coconut and almond.
Earlier this year we lost one of our church members who for years had offered his well manicured property as the venue for our annual affair. So because of this, the venue has since changed, but the cause remains the same.
This fundraising social is in celebration of the women who have sacrificed for the children in their care. I know my mommy has gone above and beyond for her family and for this, her gift today is this article. Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, who made Saturday afternoon bread-making fun, because she thought one is never too young to be acquainted with the kitchen. Undoubtedly, I love my Mommy !
Article and Photographs submitted by Roselle Solomon.
Although Mother’s Day 2017 has passed, we hope that this post will warm the hearts of all our mothers out there who strive daily to add a little bit of sunshine to the lives of children in their care and their communities. It’s never too late to say thank you!
© 2017. All rights reserved.
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On Wednesday May 10th , 2017 , Vasita “Sita The Lyrical Diva” Caine endeavours to launch St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ first reality series. The show is entitled Split Personality: Life of a Female Lyricist, and will highlight her talent and more so her versatility as she makes her contribution to the upcoming 2017 “Vincy Mas” festival.
Sita, known for her energetic stage performances and provocative lyrics, made her entrance on the stage of the local music industry some seven years ago with a Dance-hall song called “Kitchen Dunce”. She is respected as SVG’s premier Dance-hall act and remains a force to be reckoned with when she performs live. She has since made some notable strides in the industry, some of which include:
- The first person to receive an award from SVG’s Association of Music Professionals (AM P) for her involvement in Dance-hall music
- The first person to receive an award from Association of Music Professionals (AMP) for her involvement in Dance-hall music twice.
- The first Vincentian Dance-hall artiste to travel and perform internationally.
- The first Vincentian Dance-hall artiste to be featured on a rhythm produced and distributed by an international recording artiste and record label.
- The first Vincentian Dance-hall artiste to film a music video in Jamaica.
- The first Vincentian Dance-hall artiste to participate in the Barbados Reggae festival.
According to Sita, the show is going to be very entertaining and unique. It is being filmed by Mr. Rasheid Sutherland of Boss Raw media and will feature a number of appearances from local and regional artistes, producers, and other persons involved in the music industry.
“I tried as much as possible to endorse mainly businesses that are one hundred percent (100%) Vincentian. I am pleased to be associated with the Paragon Modeling Agency and Invest SVG who are extremely excited about the project. The show is indeed reality and will hence, showcase everything that comes with it [reality!]: the good, the bad, my shortcomings, my strengths, likes, dislikes, including the difficulties I encounter in the music industry; everything.”
The series will be distributed via Social Media including the following Facebook and Instagram pages :
- Vasita Caine
- Sita Di Lyrical Diva
- Rasheid (Boss Raw)
- Austin “ZJ Powa” Cain
- @Austin Cain
The show is also scheduled to be distributed via the following Jamaican YouTube pages:
- AKAM Entertainment
Article and Photos submitted by: Vasita ” Sita Di Lyrical Diva” Caine.
We at Express Vinci extend best wishes to Vasita on her new venture!
© 2017. All rights reserved.
The SVG Rowing Association is making strides in ensuring that its athletes are motivated to perform at the highest level. The Nicha Branker led organisation received two training camps and a boat building technical session.
Then early in March, Coach Jonte James, and rowers Jaheed Thomas and Markell Holder went to Uruguay to train at The Club Mercedes, under the care and guidance of FISA expert Osvaldo Borchi and other Uruguayan coaches. This high level training is in preparation for the youth Olympic games.
They travelled to Brasilia for the South American Rowing Championships April 27-30 and return home May 02. Jaheed has been earmarked to participate in the Youth Olympic Games 2018 to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 6-12th,2018.
Also during the month of March, para-rower Devin Richards from Victoria Village went to the USA also receiving training ahead of an international para-rowing competition.
While on camp, Richards was fortunate to be selected as a tester of a new para-rowing seat developed by RESOLUTE RACING. Reports indicate that his enthusiasm and demeanor inspired the coach to offer Devin further assistance in fitting him with new prosthesis. This resulted in him staying on until mid-April in Florida in this regard.
More athletes are expected to be recruited in the sport here, as Rowing St.Vincent at its base in Layou in March also received technical assistance to build six news boats for beginners. The venture was sponsored by FISA (World Rowing Federation- from the French, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) and executed by their development officer over a one week period.
Rowing St.Vincent is looking forward to raising the level of competition and increasing rowing’s scope and creating camaraderie within the sport.
Article contributed by Justin Douglas. Photographs from SVG Rowing Association Facebook Page.
© 2017. All rights reserved.
The recently opened Youlou Art Centre in Villa is proud to announce its second exhibition. This time the work of a single artist is being featured: the veteran Vincentian Artist and Mas-man, Owen Ralph.
Ralph, who hails from Sion Hill, has been a huge force in cultural events in St. Vincent and the Grenadines over the past 60 years, by providing creative inspiration and entertainment to the people of this nation. He is known for organizing carnival activities in that community: he has played steel pan, sang calypso, and became well known for designing and building carnival costumes with his cousin, the late Roy Ralph.
Owen has been the ‘man’ behind the Carnival band ‘Owen Ralph and the Professionals’ for over 30 years, which has brought joy, fun, and entertainment to the Sion Hill community in particular and the nation in general.
In addition to his involvement in Carnival, he has distinguished himself as a true visual artist. He began painting at the age of fifteen, while still in School. After leaving school, he went to Trinidad and Tobago to join his father, who worked for an advertising company, painting signs. While working for his father, he was able to augment his painting skills. He returned to SVG three years later, and began his Carnival career, which continues to this day.
Owen stated that he gets his inspiration from reading, and from his surroundings. He paints nature, people, and buildings. He shared that each year after the Carnival Season, that’s the time he sits down to paint on canvas and make sculptures.
The Owen Ralph’s Retrospective Exhibition opened on Thursday 13th April 2017 and runs until May 15th. A Press Conference will be held on Wednesday April 19th between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon, where Mr. Ralph and up-and-coming visual artist, Miss Sherika Sayers will speak about their work.
Sherika’s work was part of the Youlou Art Centre’s opening Exhibition in March. Her striking painting, The Pond, will be auctioned at a reception for both artists on Saturday 29th April, 2017 at The Youlou Art Centre, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, when both artists will speak to the public about their work, and a video of Owen’s carnival work will be shown.
The public is invited to view the exhibition Mondays to Fridays 10:30 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Entrance to the gallery is free but donations are accepted. The reception on Saturday 29th April is free to the public, local foods and drinks will be on sale.
The Youlou Art Centre is owned and operated by the Youlou Art Foundation. A Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), focused on developing and preserving the arts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Article submitted by Mrs. Camille Musser of The Youlou Arts Foundation. Featured photos from Facebook Group: Owen Ralph and the Professionals, and Facebook: National Public Library of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
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From his first major single ‘We good’ Ft Ranks, all the way up to his current single ‘RICFLR (Ric Flair)’, Prez has demonstrated that he has the drive and the aptitude to make a name for himself and leave a mark in the music industry. On the 4th April, 2017 Tarakon Records owned by Vincentian multi-platinum selling artist Kevin Lyttle, and his wife Dr. Jacqueline James-Lyttle, signed Prez as the latest addition to the team.
Prez was born in Campden Park. However, he was raised in Brooklyn, New York, USA, from the age of three. He returned to his homeland about six years ago and set out on a path to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Prez was smitten by music at the age twelve when he discovered mixtapes by artists such as Rakim, Jay-Z and The Wutang Clan. He found himself playing the songs, rewinding the tapes and jotting down the lyrics. He would rehearse these lyrics and regurgitate a performance much like the original and just like that he taught himself ‘flow’ and melody. It didn’t take him long to start writing his own bars so his teenage and young adult years were then centered on capturing the world around him in song, recording and school.
He reflects on how his music and his creative process have changed over the years. When he was just beginning, his lyrics were disjointed and his subject matter was very superficial. These days he can write a complete song in 5-10 minutes and his life experiences are reflected in the depth and honesty of his more mellow songs. The great thing about being submerged in the art from such a young age is that it allowed him to become seasoned as each new track is an opportunity to grow and challenge himself to perfect his craft.
Often times his songs stem from seeing a single word or phrase or hearing a simple melody in the backdrop of a conversation. From there he marinates on that initial stimulus in solitude as he comes up with the melody and creative ways to convey his message. At this point he’s half-way through cooking up another banger. Once the beat is added to the song “It’s over!” He allows himself to really feel the music to know what finishing touches to add and what tweaks to make.
“Being able to save people and impact lives”, that is what Prez says inspires him. He shared that to him there’s nothing greater than being able to tell his story in a song and have persons come up to him and confess that his music got them through a rough patch because they could relate to his struggle and admire his ability to overcome his struggles. This is especially true about his track ‘Beautiful Nightmares’ which is one of his most popular tracks to date. He enjoys using his challenges and triumphs as encouragement for his listeners to persist in the pursuit of their goals.
“Music means everything, it’s all I wanna do… there’s nothing more exciting than writing a song and being on stage and having people chant back your words to you. It’s the most beautiful art in the world.”
Never, not even for a second, did Prez ever doubt his talent and his purpose in the music industry. He would have earned his spot and the right to ‘some respect on his name’ on the local scene by consistently producing music that has won him 5 SVG AMP (Association of Music) awards, a Digicel Top Artiste award and the opportunity to work along with brands like Hairoun for their “On the ends” campaign.
Certainly his journey to this point in his career was not without challenges. Establishing himself as a Hip-Hop artist in a country where this genre of music is not necessarily a part of our culture was not an easy task. There were critics who didn’t believe in his vision and were convinced he was wasting his time, but in true underdog fashion, he persevered and relentlessly continued to do what he loves. He made leaps and bounds with each track and each performance that earned him a headline or made him the topic of conversation on the radio.
Now, the sky is the limit for him since signing with Tarakon Records and this comes at an opportune time since they have just secured a major deal with Sony Ultra. He is looking forward to every challenge whether that means sleepless nights, practically living in the studio or being away on tour. He is hopeful about the possibility of expanding his portfolio by securing more endorsement deals and working along with different brands or companies. He embraces the opportunity to unleash his full potential.
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