Three days of festivities, which kicked off yesterday and will end tomorrow, have been planned to commemorate Guyana's 40th independence anniversary in Canada.
According to a press release from the Guyana Consulate General, the
Guyana Independence Festival Committee in Canada has planned to make the eleventh annual Guyana Festival the most colourful yet, expanding on the theme 'A taste of Guyana'.
Guyana's Honorary Consul General, Danny Doobay, said at the Guyana Awards ceremony in 2004, that prior to 1995 independence was marked with a simple flag-raising ceremony or dinner.
This year, the festivities began with a Diaspora Conference yesterday, followed by the opening ceremony today, which includes tassa and African drumming and a flag-raising ceremony at 12 pm. A trade exposition and craft sale will be held today and tomorrow, where companies from Guyana will display and sell items from Guyana, including Amerindian craft and traditional Guyanese dishes. Three cultural shows will be put on at 2 pm and 4 pm today and at 2 pm tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the activities will start with an interfaith service scheduled from 10 am, followed by a reception at noon. The festivities will continue with a Duck Curry Cookout Competition at 12 pm that will feature 12 competing chefs. Tasting is scheduled from 2 pm to 4 pm. The winner of the competition will receive two tickets to Guyana and an opportunity to represent the Diaspora at the national duck curry competition in Guyana. MoneyGram is sponsoring the duck curry contest.
The 'Taste of Guyana' food sale will run concurrent to the duck curry competition. This activity aims to introduce an array of Guyanese dishes to the non-Guyanese patrons.
Tomorrow's roster also includes the Guyana Independence Show 'N' Shine, which will feature 60 specialised cars designed by Guyanese. A Western Union-Guyana Festival Celebrity cricket match is also scheduled. The match will feature a national team from Guyana against a Canadian 11.
The highlight of the programme is expected to be the Independence Lime, which will see the run off of a number of games and competitions. Also, a display that chronicles Guyana's 40 years of independence, dubbed 'Histalgia,' is expected to attract many spectators.
All activities are being held at L'Amoreaux Community Centre in Scarborough.