The first edition of Island Fête brought the vibrant atmosphere of the Caribbean to Montreal’s West Island. The festival took place in the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, known for its cultural diversity and perfect harmony among its residents. The event was a huge success, with attendees expressing their excitement and appreciation for the opportunity to experience Caribbean culture closer to home.
One of the main motivations behind organizing Island Fête was the cancellation of this year’s Carifiesta, which left many devastated. The festival aimed to provide the community with an outlet for celebration and joy. Akilah Newton, the festival’s founder and organizer, was determined to bring a form of celebration to Pierrefonds in response to the disappointment caused by the cancellation.
The idea for Island Fête came from the owners of Tasty Touch, a catering company specializing in Caribbean cuisine. They wondered why there were festivals dedicated to poutine, burgers, and ribs, but not one celebrating Caribbean culture on the West Island. Their question sparked a desire to create a Caribbean festival that would showcase the best of the region’s food and music.
Island Fête not only provided a platform for celebrating Caribbean culture but also raised funds for Overture with the Arts, a non-profit organization offering education in music, dance, drama, and vocal training. The festival was a charitable and fun endeavor, bringing together the community to support a worthy cause.
The event featured various vendors, including 11-year-old Adriana Jackson, an entrepreneur with Bajan roots. Jackson sold scrunchies, bows, bracelets, and other items while proudly celebrating her culture. For her, Island Fête offered a unique opportunity to showcase her heritage and share her passion with others.
Island Fête succeeded in bringing a taste of the Caribbean to Montreal’s West Island, delighting residents with reggae music, delicious food, and a vibrant atmosphere. It served as a reminder of the diversity and unity found within the community of Pierrefonds-Roxboro.