Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 27 May 2020
During this Pandemic an oft-asked question is, what summer events have been cancelled? Quick answer: EVERYTHING … unless you are talking about the annual Grace JerkFest, which is taking the party online this August!
Late last week the Toronto government announced it has cancelled all City-permitted major festivals and events which attract an attendance of at least 25,000 through August 31st. That means that everything including the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, the Pride Parade, Taste of the Danforth, and horrors, the venerable CNE have been shelved as a result of City Hall’s action.
The Grace International Jerk Food & Music Festival is, by virtue of its popularity and size, on the City’s hit list. However JerkFest may not be taking place as normal, but it isn’t throwing in the bib on 2020 either. The producers of the Grace International Jerk Food & Music Festival have announced that this annual event will take place on Saturday August 8 and Sunday August 9.
Grace JerkFest is an annual event celebrating jerk cuisine and Caribbean culture organized by the not-for-profit organization, Caribbean Promotions Arts & Culture. Organizer of the food fete sent out a media release shortly after the city announced this summer’s ban on festival saying it is NOT cancelling JerkFest and that it will take place, albeit in a virtual format on Saturday August 8th and Sunday August 9th.
” We are now living in a different time and safety comes first and so we had to pivot and come up with a new way to bring the food, culture and music to Torontonians,” said Anthony Plummer, Executive Director of the Festival.
The Grace JerkFest, as in past years, will consist of top headline performers, local acts, chef demonstrations and will incorporate a jerk food experience for participants.
“We are still in the planning stages and currently working on booking the artists,” JerkFest spokeswoman Fenella Bruce. “Once all is confirmed, a media release will be sent out.”
When asked if the online festival would just be using previous taped material of Caribbean performers , Bruce assured us that would not be the case. “I can tell you that no previous material will be used (other than a look back at previous festivals), performers will be in the safety of their home and there will be an online food component!”
The festival will be posting updates about its early August event at its website (www.jerkfestival.ca)