As the Guyanalive.com team walked through the entrance of the Guyana Cricket Club Ground on Saturday September 24, 2011 we could not help but think one thing, Guyana Fashion Weekend is going to be big. We were not disappointed, at least not where the fashion exhibition was concerned. The ambience was splashed with bamboo and palm branches which nailed their theme, “celebrating…forests for people…people of African descent”. The runway was positioned under a large white tent and the models strutted their stuff in an oval formation around and through the attendants. Off to the north of the ground was the Liquid Infusions Cocktail Bar where one could purchase beverages that kept a smile on one’s face all evening. The air reeked of make – up and perfumes, ideal for such an occasion.
However, we only had a minute or two to notice those aspects which were insignificant in comparison to the main agenda, FASHION! We saw intricate, stunning, smooth, sexy and sometimes confusing pieces from designers like Carl Brown, Colwyn Abrams, Ginouse Collections, Zad and Eastman Collections, Natasha David, Jah Works Collections and the event’s CEO and local fashion mogul, Ms. Sonia Noel. We can go on for pages about all the pieces and designers that were featured but what fun would that be? Instead we urge you all to go down tonight for part 2 of the festivities. You will not be let down. Ensure you get a seat as close as possible since the turnout will be of great magnitude.
As the last paragraph is upon us please permit us to let constructive criticism ooze from our pores. First there were no garbage bins. So, even though our drinks were mostly served in disposable cups there was no way to dispose of our litter and as a result persons resorted to throwing their stuff in the toilets. Speaking of which, why would someone situate the toilets to face the patrons of the fashion show? Every time the door opened there was a bright burst of light that consistently distracted those in view. Now since the toilets are all mobile, please turn them away from the crowd and place a clear but discreet sign that says “WASHROOM” (thanks Damian). That being said, we again urge you all to get decked out and have a comfortable seat at the Guyana Fashion Weekend 5, it will be a wonderful start to your week.
View pictures at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
Mr. Vegas, Jamaican born dancehall superstar is no stranger to Guyana’s shores and each time he has gone above and beyond to please his Guyanese fans, Friday night was no different. The location was GNS Ground on Carifesta Avenue, the reason was a part of the 252nd anniversary celebrations of Guinness worldwide.
Decked out in a white suit and blue shirt, Vegas in classic energetic style ran on to the stage to “I am blessed” and immediately had the full attention of the large crowd. As expected he continued to belt out hit after hit from the 90’s up to 2010. Vegas also sought to pay homage to the reggae greats that put Jamaican and by extension Caribbean music on the international arena. He proceeded to sing some hits from Dennis Brown and the late great Bob Marley. One of the more entertaining aspects of Vegas’ performance was when he invited one of his dancers to whine for the audience. Decked out in ‘pum pum shorts’ and fish net stockings Tenisha, as she was introduced, moved and trembled while backing the crowd, causing the men to focus their attention on the screen as the cameramen zoomed in on the action for all angles.
Natural Black provided some conscious reggae lyrics in order to get the crowd going and ready for Mr. Vegas. Widely considered as being Guyana’s most popular solo reggae artiste, Natural Black, gave a satisfying performance for almost an hour belting out hit after hit to the large crowd. Songs such as “Sorry Feeling” and “Gideon boot” were among the selections the prolific artiste sang
As expected the concert was streamed live across the Caribbean so that Guinness drinkers and music fans could enjoy the celebrations from their favorite bars, pubs or even in the comfort of their homes. The event brought the curtains down on a worldwide celebration of Guinness, but even as the dust settled and the elaborate Guinness decorations are packed up, the ceremonial drinkers will retire back to their respective beverages and wait until next year, the real Guinness fans will however continue to savor the taste of the “dark” beer whether there is a promotion or not. Guyanalive.com salutes Guinness on accomplishing 252 years of excellence and pledge to continue to raise our glasses, cups and bottles in honor of a man named Arthur and a beer called Guinness; TO ARTHUR!
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By - Andrew Ross
Thursday September 22, 2011 was a day to be remembered as thousands of Guyanese joined Guinness drinkers worldwide in celebrating the 252nd anniversary of a man named Arthur and a beer named Guinness. Persons converged on the various “Guinness” bars across the country to partake in the dark smooth taste of the beverage which can be found in over 150 countries worldwide.
The festivities locally were spearheaded by beverage giant and brewer of Guinness, Banks DIH Ltd. Quite fittingly at 1759 hrs, coinciding with the year the beverage was first brewed in St. James Gate Dublin Ireland, the bar was open and pandemonium broke out as persons rushed to collect as many free Guinness they could get their hands on. Accompanied by excellent musical selections by some of Guyana’s most talented DJ’s, the Guinness Bar on Joseph Pollydore Street Lodge was just one of the many locations where lovers of the dark beverage converged to celebrate the auspicious day.
Though many persons were pleased to collect free beverages, patrons were also afforded the opportunity to acquire Guinness branded apparel with the purchase of 6 or more of the gold labeled beer. As a result before the end of the night there was a sea of black tee-shirts and hats visible at the venue all bearing the distinctive Guinness logo. In addition persons were given the opportunity to watch the Anniversary Guinness concert live which was being streamed from Jamaica compliments of Guinness Caribbean.
Persons were also given the opportunity to gain tickets to the Guinness Greatness concert at GNS ground the following night featuring Guyanese born reggae superstar Natural Black and headlined by the versatile dancehall icon Mr. Vegas. The concert is also slated to be streamed live across the Caribbean.
Guinness is a recognized brand worldwide which stands for excellence and has a taste that cannot be duplicated by any beer maker. Given the successful nature of the brand even after 252 years it is safe to say that Guinness will be around for a long time and the Guyanese market for the beverage is only growing. Anytime, anywhere good beer is sold purchase a dark cold Guinness and stick it in the air and toast TO ARTHUR!
View pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Andrew Ross
To further commemorate the beautiful stout that is Guinness, the citizens of this nation are throwing a show and dance with local and Jamaican stars Natural Black and Mr. Vegas. However, before we get ready to enjoy ourselves into the wee hours of the morning on Friday September 22, 2011 at the GNS Ground the Guyanalive.com team managed to get a glimpse and mingle with the celebs at the Mojo’s Cocktail Bar and Lounge at Main Street on the previous evening.
The event happened at the poolside of the club where people of all ages had opportunities to take pictures, converse and even dance with the stars. Mr. Vegas, at one interval, even gave a little speech dedicated to Guinness and Guyana and extended gratitude for the chance to entertain us all. When Natural Black took the microphone, he did more of the same sentiment but then serenaded us with one of his hits acapella style. After their brief bits of chatter, Mojo’s DJ spun tracks from both artistes all night, both old and new. We even heard a few songs from other local and Jamaican artistes such as Movado, Beenie Man and he-who-shall-not-be-named (Vybz Kartel). If that did not get your juices flowing there was a well stocked bar (with Guinness of course) and Mojo’s very own “Guinness and Chicken Pizza”.
The Guyanalive.com team managed to get a few pieces and let’s just say that they were finger – licking. We wanted more but to no avail. After chilling at the Guinness Bar in Durban Street, Mojo’s VIP Party was a wonderful way to end the evening.
Don’t forget to check out the GNS Ground later to see Natural Black and Mr. Vegas in action. We can guarantee that they are both here.
View pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
Guyana Fashion Weekend commemorates five (5) years. The second longest running fashion festival in the region features thirty (30) Guyanese Designers with guest designers from Janelle Oosterling (Janoos Collection) of Suriname, Sharlene Lagon (Jhaylene Designs) of St. Lucia, Donna Weekes (Ethel Fashions) St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ USA , and Karl Brown (Khalil’s Hattitude) of Jamaica and Robert Young (The Cloth), Dexter Jennings (Concept Studio),Anthony Reid for Meiling, Dominic La Roche (DLR Designs), Omzad Khan/Nigel Eastman (Zadd and Eastman) all of Trinidad and Tobago . Set on a two hundred (200) foot pentagon runway tented at the GCC Ground.
Come 23rd – 25th September, the Guyana’s own ‘Bryant Park’ will be ablaze with designing and performing talent celebrating the local creative energy confirming our regional fashion identity. The Caribbean brand is coming of age with the existence of fashion initiatives like GFW. The show will pay tribute to ‘The Cloth’ of Trinidad and Tobago acknowledging the designer Robert Young’s the Cloth; 25 years in the business. ‘The Cloth’ will present two (2) collections and host an interactive workshop with the up and coming designers.
Sonia Noel gives accolade to Bob Marley as one of our pioneers of style by carrying our style to the world with his idiosyncratic lyrical reggae music. It is now time to bring the world to us, through our compelling style. One of her two collections for GFW 5 is aptly titled ‘Natural Mystic.’
Another feature this year is the incorporation of the crochet designs from the prison rehabilative initiative. Urban, ready to wear and crochet designs in the most modern silhouette surpass expectations.
Designers from far afield – Linden, Berbice, Essiquibo, Bartica- join Georgetown designers, stylists, make up artists and models in exalting Guyanese style. Designs showcasing vegetation and leather, appliqué, tie dye, batik, crochet and collage art – apparel designers including milliners, accessories’ designers, footwear and bag craftsmen have pitched in to shout style. It’s more than garment manufacture and clothing design; it’s about creating a look – a Guyanese look evidently but moreover a Caribbean look ultimately.
GFW 5 pays tribute to the UN declarations – international year of the forests, celebrating forests for people as well as acknowledging people of African decent.
It has become traditional and also imperative that we utilise the utilitarian platform of fashion to engage global campaigns and prompt critical and current awareness drives. Indeed we are consistently committed to youth empowerment; we are consumed by our environmental eco-balance concerns; we are engaged in holistic living practices and above all we pledge to sustainable development action. All in all, we promote Guyana not only through event tourism for destination marketing purposes, but to encourage pride in nation building.
Sonia Noel, CEO of Guyana Fashion Weekend is passionate about building the Fashion Industry in Guyana. Her convictions has carried her throughout the region and the Diaspora proclaiming a Caribbean fashion perspective for which she is being honoured at the U.S Virgin Islands Fashion Week with an award for ambassadorial service by the Governor J.P De Joung.
Her partner in passion is the production designer Richard Young who is the distinguished purveyor of a concept of the Caribbean aesthetic . Being creative director of GFW as well as Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago and soon to be a more regional brand in the upcoming Caribbean’s Next Top Model. Richard Young continues to spread the word that Caribbean style is the alternative ‘new-world brand.’
Guyana Fashion Weekend is less that a month away and designer Sonia Noel excitement is evident. This Caribbean fashion designer has even more reason to be excited because she will be receiving a Caribbean Fashion Ambassador Award from USVI Fashion Weekend. This two(2) days glamorous event will be on the 8th and 9th of October at the prestigious Frenchmen's Reef Resort on the beautiful St Thomas USVI. Noel was describe by the CEO of USVI Fashion Week Henry Marshram as a phenomenal woman and an inspiration to many including himself. The launch was held in New York on July 29th, and the CEO of GFW Fashion was given the opportunity to tell the audience about Guyana Fashion Weekend(GFW) and Guyana.
"To be acknowledged out of my country for my contribution not only to the fashion industry in Guyana is an amazing feeling and it propels me to do even more in the future because I know we in the Caribbean have something special to offer the world in fashion"
A small contingent of models and designers from GFW will be joining her on the catwalk to promote the tremendous talent we possessed her with in Guyana. Most promising designers of GFW 2008 "Marcia De Santos", most promising designer of 2010 "Nelsion Nurse", Winners of 2010 Model Search "Steven Bagot", Alana Pheonix and designer "Paul Burnett" will be the GFW team in USVI.
'I am so excited to have the contingent from Guyana to the Virgin Islands for this years fashion week "Caribbean Catwalk" and we welcome them. This is what I want to see more of as it is my goal to help and promote the free movement of fashion professional in the region to promote their line and to network and build a bridge so we all can cross and unite as one in the fashion industry. I believe that designers, models, stylist and other fashion industry professionals are talented and have a lot to show to the world. This year Virgin Islands Fashion Week(VIFW) will be presenting two awards, and as the Founder/CEO of VIFW I have been involved in fashion for more than ten years and also following what's happening in the industry in the Caribbean. I am please to announce that the "Caribbean Fashion Ambassador" award will be presented to Ms. Sonia E Noel of Guyana for her outstanding work and contribution in the Caribbean and particularly the US Virgin Islands in the area of fashion.
This is a well deserving award and on behalf of the the people of the US Virgin Islands I congratulate Sonia Noel and we look forward to having you this year to bestow this honour upon you. The award will be presented by the Governor of the US Virgin Islands Mr. J.P De Joung at the opening of the 2nd showing of the Caribbean Catwalk on Sunday October 9th at the host hotel Marriott Frenchmans Reef Resort.
Sonia Noel is the 1st Caribbean designer to be invited to Brown University in Rhode Island to give a presentation on Caribbean fashion duringCaribbean Heritage month. She also received the Shabeau Magazine Award in 2007 and the GMSA presented her with an award last November for significantly raising the bar in the local fashion design industry. She was also awarded for initiating a process for accelerating cross border services trade in the fashion business. In addition, Noel recently celebrated one year anniversary of her popular TV Show "Diatribe".
Noel is also looking forward to attend the Caribbean China Economic Forum next week in Trinidad. October and November will be busy months for this Guyanese leading lady apart from her participation in USVI she will be in Trinidad for a four day fashion event at the Hyatt, Caribbean Top Model Fashion Show in Tobago, Caribbean Fashion against AIDS" on the island of St. Eustatius and Antigua Fashion Week. In November she and her team will be hosting an appetite for fashion fusing the food and fashion in Guyana.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with Bravo Arts brought the Castellani National Art Gallery to life on Friday September 9, 2011 with their “Extraterrestrial” Body Art Exhibition. The show started at 16:30hrs and concluded at 19:30hrs, and featured local models and actors beautifully portraying the world of body art. The theme was grabbed from western - created movie phenom “Avatar” and illustrated their characters in the form of painted and shaped creatures. It was an event for the entire family and the small but consistent turnout proved just that.
When the Guyanalive.com team arrived we were greeted a live step – by – step concept of how to create a work of body art. A known model (Rehana Chester) was on display as the Bravo Arts painters showed their skill. She was painted blue and white, with what looked like a hint of gray, while her man made tail, long plaited locks and prolonged handmade nose really brought out the character “Neytiri” from the movie. As we stepped in the local landmark itself, we noticed two rooms filled with alien like characters, craftily made with paint, special effects and other add – ons. Mrs. Chester’s husband, local model Percival Chester, was especially one to watch, since it was somewhat hard to do so. He was camouflaged into the background of cream, with black and purple lines, and only his eyes gave him away. The crowds were thrilled when these lively characters moved and mingled with them. Amidst the screams of young terrified children, one could hear oohs and ahhs in amazement at this exhibition. We even got to rub shoulders with the current Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, while we watched young children get their faces brightly painted.
Even though we constantly pleased by the spectacle there were some glitches the Guyanalive.com team noticed. First, the outdoor aspect of the exhibition seemed somewhat ad hoc. The painted lady was placed outside the tent and if one were to sit they would only be able to see half her body. Also, there were few chairs to accommodate the large families. Most importantly, there was a poignant lack of themed décor for the outdoors. They focused all their attention inside and outside there was a void of signs and atmospheric accents. Then, inside was blisteringly humid. We were in beads of perspiration even though we saw cooling mechanisms. In the future we hope that Bravo Arts utilizes the time allotted more efficiently and that they work on all aspects of the show to make it an entire success. However, in the Guyanalive.com scale we give it a 7 out of a possible 10. Keep on thrilling!
See more pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
Prolific local striker Vurlon Mills scored two goals to put Guyana’s Golden Jaguars ahead of Bermuda in their second match in Group B of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday evening at the Guyana National Stadium Providence.
The first half of the game was evenly matched with both sides sharing possession of the ball. There were two chances created by the Jaguars but they were unable to convert, much to the disappointment to the fans. Shawn Beveney and Walter Moore both missed critical headers which struck the crossbar showing the lack in Bermuda’s wing defense.
It was the second half of the game that had all of the action however. Just a few minutes after the resumption of play Guyana captain Chris Nurse made a spirited run down the right wing and exploiting the weak defense, crossed the ball into Mills. He wasted no time in completing the opportunity by blasting the ball past the hapless Bermuda Keeper Fredrick Hall in the 50th minute from outside the penalty area. Boosted by the goal and fueled by the energy of the crowd the Jags went on the offensive testing their opponents’ resolve. The persistent probing at the Bermuda defensive line paid off in the 59th minute after a scramble in the Bermuda penalty area saw an excellent header by Walter Moore saved but mills was once again in the picture and scored once again off the rebound.
The visitors were however not going down without a fight as the captain Khano Smith scored a magnificent strike from outside the penalty box beating several defenders and keeper Ronson Williams in the process in the 90th minute. Guyana, though showing lapses in defense in the latter part of the game which undoubtedly resulted in the goal, managed to hold their resolve and hold on to the end.
Technical Director of the Golden Jaguars Jamaal Shabazz was pleased with the team’s performance in the last two games. He however expressed concerns that the foreign based players will be heading back to their respective clubs while the local players are at a disadvantage since no football is currently being played in Guyana. He said “the players have got to play matches to be fit.” According to Shabazz the ongoing disruption within local football administration only serves to reduce the level of football.
Acting President of the GFF Franklin Wilson said he echoed the sentiments of Shabazz but currently there is nothing that can be done until the matter is settled in the courts. Notwithstanding he is also pleased with the performance of the team. Guyana will face Bermuda and Barbados in their respective territories on October 7th and 11th respectively before taking on Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago defeated Bermuda 1-0 and Barbados 2-0 and are currently at the top of the points standings.
By - Andrew Ross
The 44th Annual Labor Day West Indian Day Parade was eventful. Arriving was stress free and in the beginning the place looked very organized.
Although for majority of the parade New Yorkers actually stayed behind the barricades which could have been easily breached, some by-standers
felt it was necessary to join and participate in the parades even with the presence of NYPD at every block along Eastern Parkway. What I
couldn't understand was why shooting still occurred out there.It looked like every police officer was at the Parade and yet madness still
happened, but so it goes every year, regardless everyone enjoyed themselves.
Food and souvenirs were in abundance along the parade route and everyone was representing to the fullest. I was surprised at the organisations that went into this Parade. It was much different than Caribana, it wasn't as congested at least not on the Parade route each float had its time to pass by and showcase itself before the next one would reach, which allowed us to get some great photos and video. The floats started out boring mostly all political parties and the mayor of NYC showed his support waving a couple of flags that I'm sure he didn't even know for what country they belonged to.
The better and not so boring part of the parade featured floats from organisations, associations, local businesses and the Mas Players/Revellers from New YorK. Some costumes were patriotic and some were a bit too revealing but nevertheless everyone represented where they came from. There's nobody who represents bigger and harder than the Guyanase people, our flag was flown, worn, painted, sewed, glued on every body part and piece of clothing available, it was really a moment to remember.
Due to past occurrences and fear, some people disassociate themselves with the Labor Day /West Indian American Day Carnival activities. I don't think it's necessary. You show up early, find a good spot, stand or sit and when the parade is over and "you full your belly till it swell" then get out of there. If you are looking for trouble then that is what you will find. If you are looking for somewhere to end your summer festivities, NYC is the place to be.
See pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Luanna Pedro
Jaime Myers and Ruqayyah Boyer will become one at upscale on Tuesday September 6 at Upscale restaurant and bar. No they will not be joined in holy matrimony but rather be the featured poets on that night to spew poetic gold under that theme.
The talented young poets will join a long line of distinguished persons to grace the stage at Upscale, fondly referred to as the Apollo of local poetry. Both Myers and Boyer have proven their worth by first appearing during the open mic segments of the monthly event then to being put on the list to perform regularly. Both have edgy poems to which patrons can relate to but with a youthful exhuberance that grabs and keeps the attention of the listener.
The poetry night is the longest running poetry production in the Caribbean with this being the 9th year. It is so well known that persons from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and even the United States have graced the Upscale stage.
Sponsorship for the event has been forthcoming from a small but dedicated pool of sponsors over the years. Corporate Guyana is however urged to put more resources into this uniquely special artform.
Though modest, the organizers are reluctant to admit that Upscale has contributed in no small measure to the maintenance and development of poetry locally. Open mic is just that and persons have spoken controversial and vulgar poems at the venue but since all poetry has a message encouragement is always forthcoming.
There is a seriously high level of secrecy surrounding the 10th anniversary celebrations. What I did find out however is that it will be special.
This month's poetry night will be jointly sponsored by Digicel and Demerara Distillers Limited.
By - Andrew Ross