Friday, September 26, 2008

Cutting Style: A Taste of Trinidad and Tobago in Fashion and Textiles

Trinidad and Tobago bring high fashion to Toronto
by Jon Sarpong

September 25, 2008 3:42 PM

The vibrant energy of the Caribbean will be on display as nationals from Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Republic Day in Toronto with Cutting Style: A Taste of Trinidad and Tobago in Fashion and Textiles.

The fashion gala takes place at the Westin Harbour Castle on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

"This event celebrates the culture of Trinidad and Tobago culture," said publicist Wendy Vincent. "It's a grand affair. and we invite families, friends and all those who connect with the region to join us at the gala."

Cutting Style is a joint production of the Trinidad and Tobago Community (via the program advisory committee, representing nationals in Toronto) and the Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago. The principal objective of the gala is to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago's cultural gifts to the world by promoting the region's fashion and textile industry in the Canadian market.

The event also acts as a fundraiser aimed at providing assistance to children who are living with AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago. A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the Cyril Ross Nursery, an organization owned and operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which acts out a vision of supporting and encouraging children.

The gala, which works to raise the profile of Trinidad and Tobago in Canada, has become a signature event for individuals throughout the GTA.

"When thinking about the impact of those from Trinidad and Tobago within this city, people most obviously think of Caribana," Vincent said. "But there is so much more in the way of contribution that is tied to our community. This event attempts to showcase that wide range of involvement."

The event will include the conferral of the Consul General's Diaspora Award for Excellence. This year's recipients are Eleanor Wiltshire-Rodney of Hamilton for her dedication and perseverance displayed through a lifetime of community involvement and Earl La Pierre Sr., a noted musician and educator who will receive honours for his decades of promotion of the steel pan in Ontario. A special award will be conferred on the Naparima Alumni Association of Canada for its 35 years of community work, as well as the group's major contribution to the seven schools in Trinidad and Tobago that belong to the Naparima group.

"Our unique T and T (Trinidad and Tobago) cultural expressions will of course be displayed and demonstrated and our guests will be greeted in true Trini style," said Rita Cox, a partner and organizer of the event. "The stage will be adorned with fabric of rich hues and patterns featuring T and T designs, batik and hand-painted material. This will be a gala with a difference; a new and exciting way of exploring and celebrating some of the many gifts that the people of Trinidad and Tobago share with the world."

For tickets, scheduling and information connected with Cutting Style: A Taste of Trinidad and Tobago in Fashion and Textiles, call Joan Pierre at 905-201-2836 or Bonnie Hector at 905-665-5496.

Jon Sarpong is a diversity consultant. He provides independent diversity training and consultation for various organizations. Contact Jon by e-mailing

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