Festival headliners Junior Kelly (L) and Anslem Douglas will be at the Soca Reggae Festival.
It's important for people to know that we can retain our roots, the culture but more importantly, exposing the culture to Winnipeg.
—Anthony Hatt, festival organizer
The latest incarnation of a Caribbean-Canadian festival, the Soca Reggae Festival was first held in 2006 and is organized chiefly around the music. Reggae fans will recognize Jamaican hit maker Junior Kelly, and Trinidad-Canadian Anslem Douglas, the festival's headliners.
Hatt suggests festival goers also check out Jermaine Cowan, an up and coming artist from Toronto slated to go the way of past festival headliner Souljah Fyah. The reggae songstress went on to earn a Juno nod following her performance at Winnipeg's Soca Reggae Festival.
However, much of the stage-time is reserved for local musicians such as Idrissa & the Peace Makers Band, Voice of Boom and Glen Williams.
The air will be filled with the sweet smell of Caribbean and Latin flavors. Festival goers can expect to sample traditional foods such as jerk chicken, peas and rice, patties, curry goat, roti and much more. "It's important for people to know that we can retain our roots, the culture but more importantly, exposing the culture to Winnipeg".
A native of Trinidad,
Hatt is looking forward to recapturing the feeling he had at last year's festival. "Being there in the
park and thinking, 'Wow this is cool!' Like back in the Caribbean...a real labour
When asked why he puts in the countless hours it takes to pull off a festival such as this, Hatt says it's the little things that inspire him. "I look at my grandchildren, born here, Canadians, Canadian mothers...yet when they hear the Soca music, they're so into it. They bring it to school on their iPods and now the kids in her class are saying 'Kyla taught me how to wind it up!' That's why I do this."
The Soca Reggae Festival runs July 12-14.