Friday, September 7, 2007

WE Cover - Issue 002 (September '07)

WE Cover Story - Natural Mystique

Profile of dancer, choreographer and aspiring actress, Tanisha Scott

By Stacey Marie Robinson

Everybody wants to be a star. They work hard, train hard, dress hard, and try diligently to fit the image and persona of a celebrity. For some it takes years of sacrifice, unfailing commitment, and deliberately placing themselves in the right place at the right time. For others, like Jamaican-Canadian choreographer Tanisha Scott, her appeal is multi-faceted, and the fame is a natural result.

You might have seen Scott live on stage with dancehall artist Sean Paul, who she is currently touring with as a dancer, and choreographer of his show. You have definitely seen the results of her training as R&B artist Beyonce moves her waistline with Caribbean flair in the “Upgrade You” video. You’ve also seen her performing in videos with artists from Ne-yo to Beenie Man, or take it back a few years and you’ll remember Scott ‘shaking it fast’ with Mystikal and ‘riding’ down Toronto streets with Choclair. She performed with the ever-hype Do Dat dance crew, and those from Toronto’s old school of partying will remember her Bogle-ing and Pepperseed-ing back at the Spectrum nightclub in the 90’s, when dancehall was defining itself, and fans worldwide were exploring this relatively new aspect of reggae music.

Scott realizes that dancehall is in her veins, and despite the international touring, the diverse dance movements from ballet to hip-hop that she has immersed herself in, and the unique cultures she has had the privilege of experiencing first-hand, she knows that you cannot ignore your natural tendencies. She is a true Jamaican at heart, and one of the experts in the reggae movement of our time.

She was able to take individuals like Beyonce, and Sean Paul’s all-American dancers, to expertly move like true yardies; she praises dancehall for being able to transcend culture, race, and even geographic barriers.

“It’s amazing to see how people have adapted the culture,” said Scott. “From Alicia Keys to the Pussycat Dolls, everyone wants to experience dancehall. I would love to see it get to the point where it’s taught at Julliard and truly respected as a form of dance.”

But with or without the official acceptance of dancehall’s soulful movements, Toronto-born Scott is always open to learning, and perfecting her skill in any style. As a child, she would absorb the lessons learned by her friends at their own ballet or jazz classes, and managed to internalize the movements just the same. She has reached this level of success without formal training; however her dedication to learning and practicing has made her as efficient and authentic as her counterparts.

“You might have a gift for something, but you still need to practice anything you do,” Scott said. “I practiced my butt off before I went to university, going out and dancing all the time, any and everywhere that I could. Also, Luther Brown taught me how to learn routines. I was always a great freestyler, but he taught me the technical aspects of dance through rigorous rehearsals; Luther always had us [Do Dat] training and learning.”

With dreams of dancing professionally still on the horizon, Scott was focused, and earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Windsor. While her studies did not translate directly to the dance floor, the lessons learned while pursuing her post-secondary education, have continued to help her on her career path.

“When I first moved to New York, I was there by myself. The culture is different, the people are different; my experience in Windsor definitely prepared me for that. The independence, being away from home, time management, and growing into my own woman,” said Scott.
Stopping off briefly in Toronto after the European stretch of Sean Paul’s tour, Scott was prepared to leave town again to continue touring. While she’s able to come back home for special occasions and holidays, Scott spends a lot of time on the road, and in New York where she currently resides. She’s living every young girl’s fantasy, having fun on stage, touring with the greatest acts of our time, working out, practicing, and ensuring that she stays at the top of her game.

“The only moment it doesn’t feel like work is when I’m on the stage,” said Scott, who admits that while the lifestyle of a dancer/choreographer might contain elements of fantasy, there is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes.

While everyone wants to mingle with the rich and famous, Scott feels that people often underestimate the effort it takes to sustain oneself in the entertainment industry: the 8-hour rehearsals, learning intricate routines in short periods of time, and sometimes being prepared to change those routines at the last minute to accommodate the headlining artists.

Top recording artists continuously seek her guidance, not only because of her obvious talent and dancehall flavour, but also because of her personality and the reputation she has developed as being a great person to work with, and work for. She encourages her dancers to be themselves, and incorporates aspects of their personal style into her routines that are hot enough for BET and Much Vibe, sexy enough to capture the interest of men, and classy enough to gain the respect of female viewers.

Scott confessed that Sean Paul is the only person she will dance for, as she continues to choreograph, and pursue a career in acting (look out for her as Deandra, in the upcoming step-dancing movie, “How She Move” also featuring Keyshia Cole).

She can hold her own with the biggest of celebrities or the girl-next-door in Toronto, all without changing her style or forgetting who she is – and who she has always been. This quality in itself holds a sense of mystique in an industry of illusions, financial motivation, and cultural disregard. While everyone strives to be a star, only some, like Scott, can naturally possess the necessary elements to maintain that status.

“This is my dream,” she said. “I’m really living out my dream.”

WE Spotlight - Kassav’ - Zouk is Here

By Cheryl Nneka U. Hazell

When we think of the French Antilles islands, images of graceful streets and gardens, a beautiful language, colourful traditional garb, and a spicy uniqueness to its music and dance come to mind. The musical flavours of Martinique and Guadeloupe (or as the indigenous peoples called them respectively Matinino and Karukera) have influenced many soca and calypso artists to the south as well as in turn been influenced by the music of its neighbouring islands of Jamaica and Cuba. But there is a legend that has been born of Martinican melodies and Guadeloupean grooves. This legend is Kassav’, the Kreyol name for cassava, which was first formed in 1979 when Paris-based George and Pierre Edouard Decimus, Freddy Marshall, and Jacob Desvarieux elevated the Antillean music style that was coming out from Guadeloupe and Martinique to a more modern and polished level. Although the band has roamed far from home and toured almost the entire globe, Martinique continues to be the group’s eternal source of inspiration. The rhythmic style of zouk, which means “party”, has its roots in Haitian kompa and Dominican cadence, beguine and quadrille while its evolution has been heavily influenced by heavy-metal guitar, funk, soul, Congolese soukous and a variety of Latin rhythms. This genre has gained international popularity since it first was heard in the early 1980s and is considered one of the most important contemporary pop innovations.

Kassav’ recently played in Toronto for the first time ever in the band’s 25 plus years career to a packed concert hall on Emancipation Day, August 1, where the crowd went wild in a carnival-like atmosphere. Core members Jocelyne Beroard and Jean-Philippe Marthely were supported by vocally strong back up singers and a full band with lead musicians - Jacob Desvarieux on guitar, Jean-Claude Naimro on keyboards, and Georges Decimus on bass. The audience obeyed the call-and-response chant of “Nou la! Toujou la!” led by Marthely. And it didn’t even matter that an English-speaker couldn’t understand Kreyol. According to lead singer Jocelyne Beroard, “A lot of people don't understand everything Michael Jackson sings but that doesn't stop him from being a hit in non-English-speaking countries. Our music is strong enough in itself to reach audiences of different nationalities. You just have to know how to listen.”
The strength of the performance, the perfect pitch, tone, and harmonies of the singers and musicians added to the energy coming not only from the performers themselves but from swaying, singing, hands-raised, sweat-drenched bodies moving in one accord from the front of the stage, in the aisles, way up in the balcony, all the way to the back of the concert hall.

This type of love affair with their audiences and a love for their culture has helped Kassav’ to navigate through the production of 30 successful albums that inevitably blessed them with a dizzying array of awards. Songs like Mi Che Mwen, Rété; Siwo; Difé Soupapé, and the unforgettable Zouk la sé sèl médickaman nou ni (Zouk is our only medicine), which brought the group international fame far beyond the Caribbean and is on many a soca DJs play list today, have all been runaway successes placing Kassav’s albums in the big league. There may have been past mutterings within the music world of a boredom threshold but those were stymied as the band’s considerable recording output gave the public no time to forget the group between two hits. Kassav’ continues to dominate their genre’s ratings as they leave their musical footprints on a world that – from America, to Japan and Russia - has grown to recognize the culture of the Antilles and that of the Caribbean in general. Sak pasé? Joie de vivre!

WE Spotlight - An Intimate Look at Kees Dieffenthaller

By Karen L. Richardson

Away from the open-air stages of soca fanaticism, there is a quieter side to Kees Dieffenthaller that few would expect. The 26-year-old frontline vocalist for Kes the Band is a self-proclaimed nerd. Aware of his blessings as he is concerned about his future, Kees relishes each moment of his ascent in the industry with grace and humility.

“On de stage there are moments when you feel sexual, because that is the energy that you use,” Kees said about his sexy image. “I think that just developed over the years and it’s something I try not to pay attention to. Obviously, you love de attention from de female population. It’s nice, but it’s something that ah doh really think about too deep.”

When Kees gets a moment away from adoring fans, he visits the countryside to observe nature. “When I go home I going and see turtles lay eggs,” Kees said. Other times, he relaxes himself with a plate of food in front of the tube.
Before forming Kes the Band with brothers Jon and Hans, in 2005, Kees contributed his silky vocals to Imij and Company. The Dieffenthallers would have a big challenge ahead as they attempted to establish their own niche in the market. Having since proven its musical credibility as an act, the young band has begun to taste the limelight. “Now you find a lot more attention especially at home. In the region also, cause there’s [MTV] Tempo. They be like, you dat guy from TV,” said Kees. “The fan base has increased and it has been a little tricky at times, because women love to flirt.”

“Right now I’m actually single, hey!” Kees winked, letting out a hearty laugh. “I think now in my life I’m kinda happy being single because music is a pretty taxing industry at times. Sometimes you get lonely. You wanna have that special someone there, but it’s an industry where you really have to understand your spouse. I think now I’m getting my hands dirty in the music and ah giving it a really good kick, I need to be on my own beat. For now, yeah I’m a single guy,” he said with a playful smile.

When the time comes, Kees says he knows how to spot the right girl. “As cliché as it may sound, it does stem to personality and vibe. Is a very very personal thing to me, when I feel a connection to somebody on some level. That has a lot to do with the attraction. I can’t just off de bat see somebody I like and all of a sudden be all over dem. No! I don’t know what it is, but definitely I believe in the unspoken language of souls, and it’s very important who you have around you.”

For now, his only partner is music. Kees is determined to keep climbing higher as he shows fans what he can do. This year Trinidad and Tobago saw its son in a new light, helping Nadia Batson to a second-place win performing My Land on the International Power Soca Monarch stage. “Yes, I like to groove on romance, but there’s a time to get on bad and wild, and that side is a big part of me also. So, I took that opportunity to really bring that style out. A lot of people, even at home, were confused ‘Kees is dat you on that track?’”

What may confuse others is liberty for Kees. “I don’t feel pressure to fit any kind of mold. I look at the industry as we are now taking baby steps into something bigger. What we don’t do is, we don’t limit ourselves. We don’t limit our musical landscape. We are a Caribbean music band, rather than just a soca band out of Trinidad and Tobago.

“We refuse to be pigeonholed into one particular sound. Sometimes I’m contemplative and I think about the deeper things in life and sometimes I just wanna wine and jam and get on bad,” said Kees.

Kees began considering his purpose as a teen. He credits his parents’ spiritual influence for enabling him to pursue music as a career. “At a young age, I really was searching for the answers. What is this life all about. I was gonna study veterinary science and become a vet. Though I loved school, music was something that I always wanted to try. I had to find myself and know what I was really about.

“My mom used to read a lot. She would just drop books on my lap and she would pull a paragraph and say ‘read this,’” Kees recalled as a nostalgic mist enveloped his eyes. He arrived at a personal turning point after reading Neil Donald Walsh’s Conversations with God. “Who I am is music. So from then, I found it easy to sit silent and sit aside from everything and just question myself. Are you really doing something that represents who you are? Is this me? Am I going the direction that I need to be? And I think once you keep that kinda connection with who you are and that kind of connection with God, those lyrics are not something that you have to think about, it’s something that you live.” said Kees.

The sex-appeal emanates effortlessly as every word displays an enviable self-knowledge. Kees Dieffenthaller knows what he wants, and one can’t help but join in hoping that he gets it. “I love de fact dat we’re getting our bligh, but I also know that there is so much more. I really want the world to be a smaller place for music, for Caribbean music…and if it is that we just pave de way for somebody else, so be it. At least we would be remembered for making a difference, putting a dent into de ting. Dat is my mission really, to travel de world with music and change some lives – somehow.”

For more information on Kes the Band visit

WE Spotlight - Mr. Dale - Junkie wins Barbados Peoples’ Monarch and Road March

Karen L. Richardson

The music of Crop Over is best known for its uncompromising pace. This year Barbadians traded in the wuk up, for a wine-down to the sounds of Mr. Dale. The heavens opened on Kadooment Day. Only the true soca faithful could weather the rain that accompanied the festivities. A new Road March king was crowned.

“A friend of mine came down and said ‘Boy we win it!’ I ain’t had no kinda response. Just had to get home and actually hear it on the radio officially to confirm. So, when I got home and heard that the Nation Newspaper and CBC were trying to find me, then I knew for sure,” said Mr. Dale about his victory.

“It was very close,” said Mr. Dale, “but most people always thought that once the rain fell on the day and slow down de jump Soka Junkie would take the Road. If otherwise, Lil Rick's Can’t Wait would win… When de rain started to pour like crazy and outside get black, Rupee turn and said to me ‘De road is yours dawg!’"

Lil Rick and Mr. Dale enjoyed some healthy competition throughout the Crop Over season as Headliners tent mates. Lil Rick came first at Party Monarch. While Mr. Dale had to settle for second at that night, he felt honoured to capture both the Peoples’ Monarch and Road March titles instead. “My greatest thrill is to see the happiness and joy that my creation via the Almighty evokes from the masses. Music is so powerful!” said Mr. Dale.

He is a 10-year veteran from the community of Deacons Farm, Barbados. He emerged in 1999 with the release of Kaylaylay. Since then he has approached the music from all creative angles. In 2007, he finally got the formula just right.

Soka Junkie came to him in the wee hours of the morning. Hem had been listening to a riddim he got Double Xplojun’s Shawn Layne to produce. Mr. Dale says, he worried about the connotations of the word junkie, but he wasn’t satisfied with the alternatives. “I definitely set out to create a song that spoke to every and anyone who has ever been to a soca fete, waved a flag or played mud, powder, sailor or any kinda mas on de road. Something that we, de soca generation, could all identify with and call our own,” said Mr. Dale.

Written, composed and arranged by Mr. Dale, Soka Junkie boasts an all-star team of collaborators; Krosfyah’s Tony “Rebel” Bailey (Guitar), Karl Raggy (Keyboards), Adrian Ashby (Bass), and background vocals from Mikey, Lorenzo and Indra Rudder. “This song has become much bigger than Mr. Dale and it now belongs to the people. So wherever it goes, I will follow like a faithful soca servant. This has revitalized the interest in my music and is only the beginning of things to come from Mr. Dale,” he said.

There is already some speculation that Mr. Dale will attempt to fill Biggie Irie’s massive shoes at the 2008 Groovy Monarch competition in Trinidad. Till then, Dale Rudder is content to take care of business at home. As Peoples’ Monarch, he won a new car. Ever a pedestrian, Mr. Dale placed it on auction to the highest bidder. Mr. Dale says, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Deacons Development Project. The organization provides education, training and job placement for underprivileged youth.

Mr. Dale’s joy in his recent success is coupled with a genuine gratitude that lights his way; “I need to thank the Almighty God for his continuous blessings despite my many shortcomings…and everyone in the soka game who continues to create this music of love, peace and celebration. Let's put aside petty island insularities and unify to take this glorious thing of ours to the world.”

WE Feature - ‘Da Kink in My Hair’: Not sacrificing drama for Comedy

By: Krysta Celestine

Ask any Caribbean woman who’s ever stepped foot into a salon on a Saturday morning, and she’ll tell you what you’ll find: long waits, impatient clients, humour, gossip, and drama all rolled into one. ‘Da Kink in My Hair, which premiers on Global Television this fall, captures the very essence of this lively environment.

Based on Trey Anthony’s highly successful stage production of the same name, the series is set against the backdrop of Letty’s, a successful black salon in Toronto’s West Indian community.

WE chatted with Ordena Stephens-Thompson, who plays Novelette, (AKA “Letty”) the strong-willed owner of the salon.

KC: Congratulations to you and your cast mates on the show.

OT: Thank you very much!

KC: I had the pleasure of seeing the stage production of “Da Kink” a few years back, and I couldn’t stop talking about it! It was great One of my favourite characters was Patsy; a mother who had recently lost her son at the hands of gun violence. This was a role that you played, right?

OT: Yes.

KC: Now you’re playing Novelette. Is the Novelette in the play any different from the Novelette on the TV show?

OT: Novelette, who owns the salon, is a little different from the Novelette in the stage production. The Novelette in the TV show is more conservative, more business oriented, and we see her heart. Every week, there will be a new client who comes in to the salon… sorta’ like the stage production: whenever the client would come on to the stage, (Novelette) would take a look at their hair, and a part of their life is revealed. In the TV show, basically the same thing happens. (Each new client) that comes in will have an issue.
And Novelette, like the stage Novelette, has the ability, or the sense to figure out what’s going on with the person by touching their hair to see what’s going on with them. This (ability) is something that’s been passed on from generations and generations of hairdressers.

KC: Trey Anthony originally played the (lead) role of Novelette and did an absolutely amazing job, just as she does in the television series as Novelette’s boisterous sister, Joy. Were you a little intimidated taking on such a big role?

OT: Only because I’ve never played a leading role in a TV series before. TV series works a lot different than stage. The discipline is different. You know, with the camera…. the technique. It’s all really different. But (not intimidated) with having Trey there and taking over the role. Like I said, the role that she played is a lot different. Same character, but different. It actually really helps having her there. We play sisters, and having had that background and working with her so many times before, there was a level of comfort there, so it really helped.

KC: Besides yourself, Trey, and Ngozi Paul,are there any other familiar faces and/or characters (from the stage production) that we can expect to see in the series?
OT: Well, there are cameos. d'bi young, who played the young girl in the stage production, has a cameo in one of the episodes as…. well, I won’t give it away! There are a couple other characters (from the play) that will have small roles.

KC: I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

OT: Yes!

KC: In what way do you feel that the series keeps it “real”?
OT: Well, I think the writing.The writing relates to the characters and where they come from. Joy and Conrad (Novelette’s son) just came from Jamaica and are adjusting to life in Canada. All of that…. the newness of being a so-called “freshy”, (and) the accents are very authentic… bad accents make me cringe! The language (in the series) is very authentic. We do represent! It’s not that people won’t understand what we’re saying, but the West Indian flava’ is still there. The storylines are very much representative of our community.

KC: The stage production touched upon such issues as interracial relationships, racism, gun violence and homosexuality. Will these issues be addressed in the series?OT: Definitely! There are 13 episodes, so there are a lot of different issues that will be addressed… a lot of real issues. For the sake of comedy, we don’t sacrifice the drama.

KC: What are your hopes and expectations for the show?

OT: Oh! Most definitely a second season, a third season… I hope it really heals the Caribbean community. Just really positive feedback.
‘Da Kink in My Hair, created by Trey Anthony and Ngozi Paul, premiers Sunday, October 14th, 2007 at 7:30 PM ET/PT on Global. The series stars Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Ngozi Paul, Richard Fagon and Conroy Stewart.

WE Spotlight - HOT VEGAS

By Natasha G. Samuels

On August 28, 2007 Clifford Smith, affectionately known to dancehall reggae fans as Mr. Vegas, released his fifth album on the Los Angeles-based independent record label Delicious Vinyl Records. With hits like “Hot Wuk” and “Tek Weh Yuhself” the “Hot It Up” album is destined to be another “sell-off”compilation for the Jamaican born artist.

Mr. Vegas, is a living legend of sorts considering his swift climb to the top. His single, “Heads High” released in the late 1990’s and debut album of the same name was an instant hit and catapulted the “sing jay” to the top of the charts in Jamaica, America and Europe.
His efforts, right out of the gate, earned him recognition as the Best Reggae Artist from the British Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards and the Tamika Reggae Awards. His crossover hit “Heads High” skyrocketed to the top of the charts and remained in heavy rotation on urban radio stations such as New York’s WQHT (Hot 97) and on mainstream music television programs on MTV.

Imagine, all this success from an artist whose career was almost derailed back in 1997 when someone broke his jaw with an iron pipe. His mouth was wired shut and many who compared the singer to Sanchez, Tenesaw and Barrington Levy (his idols) were convinced that the career of Mr. Vegas, who was a studio regular since 1986, was over. But determined, energized and focused Vegas overcame adversity and returned to the studio. Although his damaged jaw limits his ability to belt out reggae tunes as he used to before the assault, it forced him to adopt a new sound called singjaying, which has blessed our ears since “Nike Air.”

Vegas remains one of the most sought after artists by producers who pull him into studios on the regular to voice tunes. As a result of his busy studio schedule, Mr. Vegas’ pristine catalog of music includes “Hot Gal Today” from his sophomore album which was voted one of the all time best combinations by the American urban music publication, Vibe Magazine. His third album entitled “Pull Up” included the hit song of the same name (the Spanish cover which also catapulted Miami, Florida based artist Pitbull into international fame) and “Tamale” which was released on Delicious Vinyl Records.

Not only is Mr. Vegas hot on the tracks, he is also hot on stage. The artist remains in high demand by show promoters as evidenced by his schedule, which took him from Italy to Jamaica and back to the UK, in a five day period during his tour in August.

During his performances, it is not uncommon to see Mr. Vegas behind the safety ropes in the midst of a sea of his female fans who step on each other simply to touch and fondle one of our living legends from the dancehall reggae genre. “Hot It Up,” was subsequently released in Japan and Europe following the August 28th debut in North America and will be released in Germany on September 21, 2007.


In the last edition of WE I posed a question to you the readers, asking if you felt that soca music needed mainstream recognition in order to “tell dem we reach”? (The results were split 50/50 on that issue, by the way)

Now that Caribana is behind us, I am left contemplating a more grass-roots question. Forget mass and mainstream recognition for soca music for a moment. Can we truly expect North American recognition for our music when we in the scene and industry can barely get access to tracks from our “small island” musicians?

Coming down from the musical high that was KOS J’OUVERT (held on Caribana Friday) we had a chance to appreciate the vast wealth of musical talent that our islands contain. KOS J’OUVERT featured “small island” talent such as Problem Child and Zoelah.

I always get requests from listeners for more small island music. Nothing specific, just music from other islands. This is my question to you: If music is not available at a retailer, and we don’t have a link from a certain island to send me their music, how is a DJ to obtain the tracks from the islands that you are requesting?

In a perfect world, a DJ would go to a record store and purchase any and all of his music regardless of the artists' island of origin. What are we to do when a vast majority of these tracks are not even available for sale? To be completely honest, most of our music as KOS DJ’s come directly from the artists or producers. Tracks are emailed to us here in Toronto from Trinidad or Barbados etc. and we play them! Seems simple? What about producers and artists from islands who do not send out their tracks? If a DJ does not even have access to new music from these islands, how can we push the music to gain greater exposure?

A prime example of this lack of availability is the talented Zoelah, nicknamed St. Vincent’s Princess. Her smash hit “Go Down Low” is so popular that it has recently been slotted into the regular track rotation on my home station, FLOW 93.5 FM. Suppose a station listener, not familiar with soca, hears the song on the radio and likes it. Searching for a record store in which to purchase her album would be an exercise in futility! I know you have the song on your laptop at home. How did YOU get the track?

What do you think? Who is to push the music if a DJ cannot even get access tracks from certain islands? Who should be promoting the versatility of our small island artists? Where does the responsibility lie?

Now that is THE QUESTION.

Dr Jay de Soca Prince welcomes your feedback on this topic at Results will be published in the next issue of “WE”

WE Culture - CARIBANA’s 40th – The biggest and best ever!

The FMC (Festival Management Committee) proclaimed CARIBANA™ 2007 to be ‘Bigger and Better’ at the launch of the festival on July 10th. And was it ever. With the addition of several new events to the program, stretching the festival to a full 4 week celebration (from 2 weeks in previous years), Toronto residents and visitors got the best CARIBANA™ showing of all time.

This year’s celebration saw the addition of a Jazz series, Caribbean Art Exhibit, Performing Arts showcase (CARIBANA™ Village), Calypso tents and a new music concert (Imagine Music Festival). The 2007 Junior parade, Kings & Queens Extravaganza and Pan Alive also drew record numbers and this seasons Mas rivals faced the fiercest competition of all time.

CARIBANA’s 40th goes down in the history books as the biggest and best ever.

Photos by

As reported by the CARIBANA™ festival producer.

'Viva Las Vegas' - Jamaal Magloire (Toronto Revellers)

'Tribal Warriors' - Dexter Seusahai (Tribal Knights)

Rudy Rampersad - 'The Ring Master' (Carnival Nationz)

Tamara Alleyne-Gittens - 'Abracadabra' (Carnival Nationz)

Kerth Alexander - 'Master of the Seals' (Carnival Nationz)

Joanne Boisson - 'Gateway to Atlantis' (Borokeete Canada)

'Viva Las Vegas' - Jamaal Magloire (Toronto Revellers)

Andrew Ramsaroop - 'The Atlantean Prince' - (Borokeete Canada)

Keyra Best - 'Keeper of the Coral Reef' (Borokeete Canada)

Kishi King - 'Apache’ (Arnold Hughes & Associates)

(TIE) Coryn Defreitas - 'Fly Pretty Butterfly Fly' (Evolution) / Chenez Power - 'The Atlantean Princess' (Borokeete Canada)

PAN ALIVE 2007 - Salah's Steelpan Academy - 271 points

Full CARIBANA™ results are available online at

WE Culture - Trinidad Carnival 2008 …. Are you ready?

by Antoinette Ifill

(Island People 2K8 Costume - Photo by Kwesi Marcano)

It seems insane to be thinking about Trinidad Carnival 2008 only 5 months after Carnival 2007, but the band launches have started in Trinidad with so much gusto that one would think Carnival is mere weeks away! In fact Carnival 2008 culminates on February 4th and 5th, fairly early in the year. This might be the reason why the big bands scheduled the showing of their costumes and opened Mas Camps at the end of July. Die hard masqueraders and potential first timers thinking of experiencing Trinidad’s Carnival next year should be prepared to keep up with this frenetic pace as Carnival 2008 is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever.

Kicking off the Carnival 2008 season was big band TRIBE with their 2008 Carnival presentation “Myths and Magic”. It was a launch of aptly mythical proportions, drawing thousands of patrons to Pier 1 where fanciful and whimsical costumes with names such as “Autumn Sprite” and “Pixie Dust” were revealed to a waiting public.

Following on the heels of TRIBE, Harts opened their mas camp on July 30th to such a demand huge for registration that one section was completely sold out by July 31st! Carnival 2008 will see the debut of several new bands, among them Ronnie and Caro, formerly a section of the band Legacy. They started the month of August with the launch of their 2008 offering “De Gulf”. Right behind them was the launch of another new band called “D Krewe” which will bring to the streets of Port of Spain their interpretation of “Love Is…” through the mas.

As I get ready to explore my wild side when Island People presents their highly anticipated 2008 Carnival production “Animal Instincts” on August 18th , the magnitude of this phenomenon of Trinidad Carnival hits me! With Carnival bands such as, Trini Revellers, Legacy, Genesis, and Mc Farlane still to reveal their designs for the 2008 season I anticipate a plethora of costumes to dazzle the eyes and feed the senses between now and November! In addition to these Carnival stalwarts, Dream Team, Pulse 8 and Image Nation, bands which enjoyed their inaugural year in 2007, will again be making a foray into mas for 2008. Carnival bands Oracle and Taboo, which are creating quite a stir in Trinidad with promises of costumes that shirk the conventional norm, are still to be unveiled.

Subsequent to all these bands launching in Trinidad comes the time to register for costumes; seasoned masqueraders know how important it is to ensure a spot in your favorite band in a costume of your choice. And if you think attending a band launch in July is outrageous how about making a deposit on your costume for 2008 in August?

Trinidad Carnival has undoubtedly become a legendary event and if one wants to be part of it for 2008, now is the time to start getting ready for the mas! Popular hotel and guest houses in Trinidad are already booked solid, savvy travelers have been snapping up cheap fares to Port of Spain and most importantly, masqueraders have their costume deposit in hand.

The popularity of Trinidad’s Carnival, fueled by the growing emergence of similar International celebrations worldwide, draws an increasing number of visitors to the island festival each year. If the number of band launchings taking place in Trinidad is any indication, masqueraders will not lack for choice in 2008!

So the question remains; are you ready for mas again?!

WE Entertainment - It’s Reigning Men! – The Sizzling Showdown Promoting Positive Images of Caribbean Canadian Males

By Carol A. Allen

What do you get when you put a few hundred screaming women in a room with 10 of the hottest men representing the Caribbean? Pandemonium! And, it all resulted from one of the year’s most anticipated male-focused events, Mr. Caribbean Canada 2007.

The 11th annual event took place on Sunday, August 19th at the Shrine Banquet Hall located in Toronto’s west end. The contest aims “to promote positive images of men from different Caribbean backgrounds.” The contestants represented some of the most exotic vacation spots including: Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago; Costa Rica; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Antigua and Barbuda; Puerto Rico and Barbados.

Their charm, distinctive personalities and eye-catching physiques, kept the ladies in a frenzy throughout the evening as the men competed in African wear, swimwear and formal wear categories.

But, this competition wasn’t just about good looks and great bodies. The contestants were cut from 10 to five after the formal wear segment. Thus, leaving the finalists Ryan Goddard, Lee Bascombe, David McFarlane, Marlon Daley and Fitzroy Feare, vying to become the new Mr. Caribbean Canada with just one thought-provoking question left to for them to answer.

Each contestant was asked what he felt is one of the greatest challenges facing the Caribbean Canadian community and what he would do to offer suggestions to its resolution.

In order to prevent the contestants from hearing each others responses, they were ushered off the stage and taken to a private area as they responded one by one.

Goddard, a Mechanic representing Barbados, answered that a lack of respect was a challenge and said that “as a community we have to teach these children respect.”

Bascombe, a Financial Credit Manager, of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, took a different approach and felt that educating the people about proper nutrition and eating habits was important.

McFarlane, a Telecommunications Analyst, felt that there is a lack of unity and many challenges to unify our people. He commented that “increasing positive energy, supporting and participating in events such as Mr. Caribbean Canada and volunteering” is the key.

Daley, a Mortgage Specialist, responded that the youth are a great challenge and as a community we need to “focus and spend more time on them.”

Feare, who aspires to become a Research Scientist, was very passionate in his response. He believed that “a lack of communication within families is a huge challenge facing the Caribbean Canadian community today--especially those who are growing up without dads. I am one of those youths.” Adding, “I would be proud to represent the Caribbean Canadian men and set a good example.”

McFarlane, Daley and Feare all represented the Island of Jamaica.

Although Feare didn’t win this year’s title, he captured the Second Runner-up prize.
First Runner-up honours went to David McFarlane, while Ryan Goddard emerged as not only the new Mr. Caribbean Canada, but also shared an award for Most Reliable with fellow contestant, Morlon Joseph of Antigua and Barbuda. Lee Bascombe’s defined frame earned him the “Best Physique” award. These awards were presented by the CEO/ Producer of the competition, Dave Smith.

Judges included: Karen Richardson; Rachael-Lea Rickards; Sandra Witter; Scott Mullin and Kasey Best.

Siblings, Nicole and Dwayne Morgan, hosted the show which featured performances by Comedian Jay Martin and urban dance group, Next Level.

First-place prizes include a one-year fitness membership, suits from Andrew’s Formals and massage treatments courtesy of the Chakra Spa. Ryan Goddard will also compete in the Mr. Caribbean International event being held from October 1st to 8th at the new Hedonism III resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.

For information on how you can join the group for a getaway or to find out how to compete in next year’s event, call (416) 568-5365 or visit the site

WE People - CLARENCE FORD - Cirque Du Soleil - Kooza

This dynamic Toronto native has choreographed performances for top musicians, Hollywood movies, Olympic medalists and now the Cirque Du Soleil hit Kooza…and he always remembers to give thanks to his city.

By Stacey Marie Robinson

Toronto-born choreographer Clarence Ford has effortlessly evolved from a teenager grooving on CityTV’s dance show Boogie and touring with the dance troupe Soul Express, to designing the intricate movements in the spectacular Cirque Du Soleil production, Kooza. He travels the world, coordinating routines, directing documentaries, and taking in a variation of shows in his spare time. Among his many passions, Ford has deep love and appreciation for his hometown, and the opportunities it has presented him with.

Even in the midst of the hit show Kooza, Ford still reflects on the importance of his culture, and how it easily translates to the stage. This experience has allowed him to bring his natural element of urban movement to traditional circus performers. Ford has been praised for allowing the cast to also develop their own personal language of motion within the production, heartily encouraged in rehearsals with his ritual James Brown-inspired warm up.

Kooza, written and directed by David Shiner, combines the circus traditions of clowning and acrobatic performance, using slapstick humour and extravagant colours. Shiner notes that the production is about “human connection and the world of duality, good and bad,” featuring characters like the Trickster, the Pickpocket, and the Obnoxious Tourist.

Ford finds that working with the diverse cast has provided an enriching experience for him. He stressed the understanding of cultures, and the unique opportunity of working and growing as an artist through these experiences; important lessons learned growing up in one of the world’s most multicultural cities.

“It’s a really great business,” said Ford who plans to continue to create masterpieces within all facets of the arts and show business. “Toronto is the kind of place where you can find work as an artist, and grow. A lot of people think you have to go to the United States to find opportunities, but you can stay in Toronto, work your craft, and get it tight.”

Whenever his schedule brings him back home, Ford makes sure to extend the Cirque Du Soleil experience to the city’s youth, giving them the opportunity to sit in on rehearsals and cast workshops. He recognizes the importance of being able to dream, and having access to new endeavours. Ford is eager and proud to share his passion with the young people of Toronto’s communities.

It’s Ford’s ability to combine his eclectic background, and repertoire of cultures that makes him able to relate to the Toronto public and give them a great show, leaving audiences at the edge of their seats from beginning to end. Ford notes that Toronto audiences require, and deserve, nothing less than a high grade of talent.

Since Kooza’s Toronto debut on August 9 at the Grand Chapiteau at the Port Lands (at Cherry and Commissioner Streets), Ford admits that he still can’t get enough of the show. Not only to watch the death-defying acrobatics and his carefully constructed choreography, but simply just to enjoy the spectacle of it all.

“Cirque de Soleil has changed the world of entertainment,” said Ford. “We have some of the best circus acts in the world. It’s a great show; a circus with a story.” This story of identity, recognition and power will continue to amaze Kooza’s Toronto audience until October of this year.

“I’ve seen about 50 shows already,” said Ford. “And I can’t get tired of it.”

(Tickets for Kooza can be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-361-4595.)

WE SPORTS - The Warrior Path

By Shami Maharaj

So a little over a year has now past, since what I anticipate will always be one of the fondest times of my life; The Soca Warriors in Germany! Ahhh…. the good memories, the face painting, the red, white and black cape, the four Trini flags noisily flailing from every window of my car, and those overwhelming feelings of sensation and patriotism after tying Sweden in our first game. What a ride!

Of course the worst recollection will always be of that disgusting Eric Crouch yanking on Sancho’s locks, getting airborne and heading home England’s winning goal in the second game. Idiotic English robot!

In the third game against Paraguay, my perplexity lingers: why wasn’t Latas used to start? Or why wasn’t he used sooner?

Nonetheless, say wha’! It was de best of times.

I decided to do a little research on just what it would take to get back to dat scene. What are we up against to qualify for South Africa in 2010? So, I contacted Mr. Gino McKoy, Head Officer of the Soca Warriors fan club here in Canada, for some information.

Apparently, T&T’s battle the Goliaths weren’t impressive enough to prevent us dropping to 65th in FIFA’s world rankings. Wha’ is dat one? That ranking places us as the 7th best team within our own CONCACAF confederation, behind Mexico 10th,USA 14th,Costa Rica 50th,Canada 52nd, Panama 57th,and Honduras 63rd; but ahead of Guatemala 75th,Cuba 90th, Jamaica 93rd and the progressing Guyanese and Bajans at number 100 and 118th respectively
Thirty-one spots remain available for the World Cup finals, as host South Africa gains an automatic berth. Each of FIFA’s 6 confederations has been allotted a varying number of spots based on their region’s strength. Europe has been granted the most with 13 places, followed by Africa with 6,South America 4 1/2,Asia 4 ½ and Oceania ½. CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean) has once again been allotted 3 ½ spots, and yes the ½ spot mystification and confusion rears its head again.

At the last Cup, T&T qualified through the ‘back door’ as some say, by winning the ½ spot (4th place in CONCACAF’S final or ‘hexagonal’ round), for the opportunity to battle the winner of Asia’s ½ spot, Bahrain, to consolidate the final entry. This time around it gets more difficult to achieve this as CONCACAF now has to clash with the victor of South America’s ½ spot. No disrespect to Bahrain, but qualifying through South America’s CONMEBOL group is unquestionably more thorny and challenging. This would be a welcome bridge to cross however, should we be fortunate enough to get there. There’s still the daunting assignment of having to ascend and weave through CONCACAF’s 34 improving competitors. Assuming the big three Mexico, USA and Costa Rica lock up the secure spots as projected, the Trini footballers would need to make use of that ‘½’ spot, and with Panama, Guatemala and my other favorite team Jamaica vying for the same position. It could indeed be thrilling.

So early in 2008 I’ll once again be venturing into enemy bars with the other die-hards, at all hours of the night, to support our beloved Warriors as they set out to make a mockery of FIFA’S bamboozling ranking system. Watch out Brazil… we coming for #1! Watch and see…

Email comments or suggestions to

WE Destination - Banff & Lake Louise – Two gems in the Canadian Rockies

By Monica Joseph-McIntyre

If you ever find yourself in Calgary, be sure to take at least a day to visit the town of Banff and Lake Louise. I chanced upon these Canadian gems when I paid a visit to my sister and her family in Calgary, while my husband attended a business conference in the city. We decided to take a couple of days after the conference to see the Rockies up close. My brother-in-law lent us his car and we took off on an unforgettable mini-vacation.

The 90-minute drive up the TransCanada Highway and through Banff National Park was spectacular. We were tempted to stop every half-hour to capture the panoramic scenery on camera as we drove up and through the mountains, which had names like, Castle Mountain (which looks like a castle) and the Three Sisters (a threesome of narrow peaks with similar facades standing in a line).

The town of Banff, established in 1885 as part of Canada’s first national park, is nestled at an elevation of 1,383 metres (4,537 ft.). There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the busy little tourist town. We stayed in the Banff Aspen Lodge, (rates vary from $112 to $262 a night for an economy room, depending on the season) located on Banff Ave., (the main drag), and is also just minutes away from all the shops, restaurants, museums and galleries. The two-room suite was clean and comfortable, with TV and a fridge, and a communal hot tub.

While you’re meandering through the streets and lanes or browsing at the shops and boutiques, the majestic mountains are always in sight. And there is no shortage of restaurants. Dining can be pricey, but there are bargains. We found an excellent Sri Lankan fast-food outlet in a mall for a cheap, exotic lunch. For dinner we went to a Mexican place on Caribou St. called The Magpie and Stump. Dinner for two: under $40.

We left Banff the next morning, weaving our way even higher into the mountains.
Forty minutes later, we arrived at Lake Louise. Her turquoise water was a jewel in the bright morning sunshine, and was backed by the snow-capped peaks. The majestic Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise, a luxury hotel, sits steps away from the lake, offering visitors a constant view of nature’s panoramic scenery. If posh restaurants aren’t your style, there’s a coffee shop inside for quick refreshments.

We went in mid-June expecting summer weather, but experienced fresh, 10-degree mountain air – so it’s a good idea to carry a light jacket even in summer. Peak season is July and August, but the park is open year-round. In summer there are guided walking tours, and trails for the adventurous to explore. Or you can rent a canoe and paddle around the lake.

A sign leading up to the trails warns visitors that they are in grizzly bear country. Other wildlife in the area includes moose, wolves and big- horned sheep. We didn’t see any of these creatures, but the breathtaking splendour of the mountains was more than enough.

WE Food - Eating my way around Jamaica

By Natasha G. Samuels

The stress of life that is America had taken its toll. Longing for the picturesque views and slow pace of island life I secured a ticket, shopped, packed and jetted home to catch up with relatives, sleep and most of all good food.

I emerged from the Sangster International Airport into the arms of my nephew and my sister with two overstuffed suitcases, and an orange and white box of Junior’s cheesecake, which would be consumed later with ginger tea over conversations of hard life and broken promises.
I quickly settled into island life oblivious to the poverty and the dangers that the international press warns about by cruising with the locals at fast food “cookshops” like Juici Beef, Mothers and Island Grill.

I stopped to sample the menu at the Pork Pit on Montego Bay’s famous Hip Strip where they serve authentic Jerk –roasted on an open pit over pimento wood.

From there we hugged the coastline, driving past the loudly colored but humble wooden houses perched on stilts in Hanover, then to the tourists Mecca that is Negril. There, after window shopping, we sampled Italian Ice treats flavored in ginger, coconut and banana before settling at Sweet Spice Restaurant for fish tea, curried fish, tripe and bean.

It was on to Ricks Café in Negril’s west end to watch the rum and sun-drunk tourists cliff dive, and to view the devouring of the sun by the sea while we downed bottles of Red Stripe.

The next morning, we ventured into the cool hills of Manchester, to our old farm house, stopping along the way to collect sugar cane, naseberry, mango, sweetsop and guinnep from the roadside stalls.

Later, we gathered in Mandeville to celebrate the marriage of a relative over cups of manish water and plates of curried goat with white rice. Servings of ackee and saltfish with cornmeal dumpling, green bananas and plaintain greeted us for breakfast the next morning. We ate on the verandah in silence listening to the distant hum of a tractor and the conversations, carried by the wind, of farmers as they weeded their fields.

I walked along the road that was still as bad as the days when I walked them in my blue school uniform, past the bamboo trees and the old standpipe, over to my neighbors to pick up the promised sweet potato pudding and coconut drops.

Later, we packed into the little hatchback and ventured down the winding path of Spur Tree Hill past fields of thyme, watermelon and scallions to the fishing village of Alligator Pond where the Little Ochi Restaurant can be found. The hoisted fishing boats with their thatched covered roofs were far more plentiful than my last visit 10-years before, but the charm of the venue was still there.

We handpicked our fish and then it was fried to perfection and served with sides of festival, steamed bammy and roasted breadfruit washed down with cherry juice and reggae medley punch. It was on the road again to Kingston for another family meal and than back to Montego Bay to the Tortuga factory to sample their famous rum cakes before reluctantly boarding my flight for my return trip home.

WE Relationships - Rules of Engagement 2: If Yuh Cyah Stand de Diggin...

by Niama S. Sandy

You know you got what I want. You know you got what I need. I need somebody to work it. Some one who knows how to flex it… "Head Gone" Krosfyah

For some, casual sex is as easy as flipping a switch to turn on the light in a room. For many others it's a harder line to draw. You think you can handle it but only after trial and dismal failure do you know for certain when you can't. There are a million and one situations that can lead to less than favorable outcomes for parties involved in what was supposed to be a strictly sexual relationship. It's one thing when it's made plain from the jump that all that will be exchanged are body fluids and someone breaks the established rules. But is a wholly different set of cards when you are hoodwinked into thinking you are involved in a non-existent relationship. Don't feel bad. It happens to the best of us. Even me!

Some time ago, I met a fella whom we shall refer to as Mike. Though Mike wasn't the most attractive of those who tried to holler that night, what he lacked in looks he made up for in swagger. Warning number one: turns out his name was not Mike at all but it was Ernest (names have been changed to protect the trifling). He claimed he screens people and so he does not tell just anyone his name. I suppose that makes sense and that I should have felt honored? We went out on a few dates, and despite his earlier shenanigans I was really digging him - but of course the other shoe had to drop. Oh and did it!

So on a Monday evening Ernest picks me up for dinner. As we're about to get out of the car, he turns to me and asks that we not hold hands in public anymore because he does not want any friends of his girlfriend (who in all prior conversations was referred to as his ex-girlfriend) to see and tell. So I looked at him and said that I hoped he realized that there was going to be a bunch of things that didn't happen anymore either - in public or otherwise.

Now had this been a situation where I was completely aware of exactly what I was getting into - not-so-ex-girlfriend and all - perhaps I would have reacted differently. The thing that bothered me was that he didn't tell me the truth. And real talk…the sex wasn't good enough for me to even consider putting up with the drama.

So, the moral of the story for those who have mastered or plan on venturing into the art of casual sex is respect your partner enough to tell the full story. Let that person decide if they want to do the dirt with knowledge of all the variables. Don't surprise people – finding out your "mate" has a "mate" when you think you're the only one is not a turn on. One could make the argument that what someone doesn't know can't hurt them, but in this world if I know one thing to be true - what is done in the dark always comes to light.

This brings us to our Rules for the month...

1. Be up front. Let your partner know exactly what he/she is getting into. Let it be clear what you want and what you are willing to give.

2. Make sure you are ready. You can swear you can deal with the consequences of your actions from now 'til people stop missing rent payments to pay down on mas costumes (which will probably never happen); but the truth is, saying it, doesn't mean anything. If you can't stand the heat, step out of the kitchen before yuh get bun!

3. Get what yuh came to get and be done. The more time you spend around your partner the more you will either dislike or like them. Neither of these things work to your advantage. Ladies and gentlemen, let the thing be what it is, don't try to make this person your new best friend.

4. Wrap it up. While all of this sex may be great, what's even greater is your health. Please use protection at all times.

Ask WE

Dear Sonya,
My boyfriend is always out with his friends, he never has time to even call me at the end of the night. I feel that I am his part time girlfriend and his friends get the best of him. When he is out with his friends, he can stay out until 4am, but when he is out with me, he is tired before midnight! What should I do?

Dear Sad,
This is typical for men. Mind you girls do the same thing as well. Why don’t you try doing something a little different, mix it up a bit? The typical boyfriend/girlfriend night is going out to dinner and a movie – complete snoozer, not to mention it is making you even more tired by the end of a movie, large popcorn and jube-jubes. Try doing things that get both of your adrenaline going! For a girl, adrenaline is getting ready and going out with your new outfit and good hair day, having stimulating conversation about what some other girl did to piss you off, gossip of the day or what outfit you saw that would match your new shoes. For a guy, adrenaline would be doing something physical (not only THAT), but going rollerblading, playing a sport or even pool. You will find that you will have better conversation and interaction while you are ‘doing’ something rather than sitting face to face forcing a conversation.

Dear Sonya,
My girlfriend is borderline psycho when other girls come around. I cant even glance at another girl even in the most innocent way. As soon as I see a girl from a mile away I look in another direction just to avoid the whole conflict. I like her a lot , I think she is beautiful, but she is so insecure, its just a turn off.
Signed, just looking

Dear Just looking,
Nothing that YOU can do (ie looking away) is going to help her, she needs to do this on her own. If she is insecure, you cannot live your life trying to reassure her. The more you adhere to her, the worse it will get!. Nothing is wrong with looking, as long as you are not leering. Send her to Chapters and direct her in the self help section.

Have a question? Ask WE.
Email Sonya at mhtml:%7B1F9EBF59-48E8-4360-842E-ADFE88B3AA12%7Dmid://00000144/!

WE Beauty - Developing a Decent Skin Care Routine

Do You Know What Your Skin Type Is?
(Part 2)

By Carol A. Allen

Everyone wants to have a healthy and radiant appearance and the beauty industry is churning out thousands of skin care products annually in attempts to meet the demands of hungry, complexion-conscious consumers.

However, before you venture into selecting good skin care products, you need to know what type of skin you have in order to achieve the best results.

Skin can be dry, normal, combination or oily and within those skin types, you can also have sensitive skin. Some people have problem skin, specifically acne which appears in various forms including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and even deeper lumps such as cysts. It usually affects teenagers, however, people in their twenties to forties or even older can also develop it. Acne can develop on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even on the upper arms and often leads to scarring if not treated properly. Over-processed skin or photo-aging, is a combination of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmented areas, and is usually the result of sun damage, requiring a higher level of skin care designed specifically for anti-aging.

To achieve a pore-deep cleansing, aloe vera based lines are a good choice because the gel naturally contain Vitamins A, C and E. Aloe vera penetrates deep below the skin’s surface and sloughs away dead surface cells stimulating new cell growth. This process naturally leads to fresher, healthier, younger-looking skin with a smooth, radiant tone and texture.

It is best to look for products made with natural botanicals that are dermatology tested, sensitivity tested, and non-comedegenic meaning it won’t clog the pores.

Dry skin tends to be characterized by small pores, a dull finish and may be rough, itchy, flaky or crack. Expression lines are common, especially around the eyes and mouth. Conditions such as rosacea, redness affecting the cheeks, face, and forehead, is quite common in fair-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 60, particularly those living in hot or cold low-humidity climates.

Normal skin usually appears to be healthy-looking with a very smooth texture. The oil and moisture is balanced, while blemishes and clogged pores are uncommon. Wrinkles are very minimal and usually not visible until the later years.

Combination skin generally has a healthy appearance and smooth texture, but there tends to be excess oil in the "T" zone--across the forehead, down the nose to the chin. There may be a bit of dryness around the cheeks, but again, as with normal skin, lines and wrinkles usually do not appear until later in life. Breakouts may be occasional. About 70% of the population has combination skin.

Oily skin is caused by extra oil being produced in the sebaceous glands, making your skin appear shiny and greasy. People with oily skin tend to have larger pores that are more prone to breakouts, clogging and blemishes. Oily skin may look younger longer, however, it can be a constant hassle trying to frequently remove the excess oil.

Skin types will vary from person to person. Seasonal changes, diet and age will also make a difference. Warmer weather tends to bring on more oily skin, while cold weather may make it drier. Menopause also has an effect and may make skin appear and feel drier. A low-fat diet compared to a diet consisting of essential fatty acids can cause skin to change from dry to normal.

So, now you should have a good idea of your skin type. No matter what condition your skin is in, you need to develop a consistent routine by selecting the right products for your skin type and knowing how and when to use them.

We’ll explore the Steps to Great Skin Care in the next issue.

Carol Allen is a Skin Care Consultant and Make-Up Artist for Aloette Cosmetics
You can book a personal consultation by calling (416) 410 7556 or by email to

WE FILM – Rush Hour 3 - Tag Team Back Again

Reviewed by: Krysta Celestine

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker reprise their roles as Lee and Carter (respectively) in the third installment of the Rush Hour franchise.

Lee, now a bodyguard to Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), and Carter, a traffic cop, are in Paris when an assassination attempt is made on the ambassador’s life just as he is about to announce the identity of the leader of the notorious Triad society.

Lee and Carter’s Paris mission is a comedic and action-filled rollercoaster ride as they attempt to crack down on the Triad.

With the usual, frenzied action - sword fights, martial arts, and a well-choreographed scene at the Eifel Tower - the aging Chan proves that he’s still got it. Yet, despite his impressive moves, this was never intended to be a serious action film. Rush Hour 3 is what it is: slapstick humour at its finest.

The comedic rapport between this duo is stronger than ever. The play on racial stereotypes is as much prevalent as it was in the first two films. Case in point: after a “lover’s spat” between Lee and Carter, the two decide to go their separate ways, but are so overwhelmed with memories of the good times that Carter decides to buy some Beef and Broccoli, while Lee orders fried chicken…. Yes, it gets that corny.

If you’re hoping for just an action film, you won’t get it here; instead it is laced with several genuine laugh-out-loud moments. But if you’re looking for a great comedy, you won’t be disappointed.

In addition to Chan and Tucker, Rush Hour 3 has a strong cast, including a cameo appearance by controversial French Director Roman Polanski.
Also deserving of recognition is George; (Yvan Attal) the French cabbie-turned-“Superspy”, and French supermodel-turned-actress Noémie Lenoir who plays the beautiful and mysterious Genevieve.

Word of advice to Director Brett Ratner: No need for a forth film. Rush Hour has reached its peak, and can only go so far. Let it bow out with dignity.

3.5 stars out of 5

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