It's starting to feel a little more tropical in Toronto, and that can only mean one thing: time for the TD IRIE Music Festival. This city-wide free music festival celebrates African-Canadian culture with music, dance, spoken word, literature, art, food and drink from the Caribbean and across the African Diaspora, with this year's headliners including the likes of Alison Hinds, the undisputed "Queen of SOCA"; Richie Spice, "the Gideon of contemporary reggae";Etana, one of Reggae music's best new female stars; Grammy winner Richie Stephens; and David Rudder, widely regarded as calypso's monarch. The Irie weekend at Nathan Philips Square concludes with a traditional island style "blocko", a block party featuring some of Toronto's best DJs spinning a mix of Reggae, Calypso and Soca.  The TD IRIEMusic Fest Toronto celebrates its 12th year in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square fromAugust 1 to 4, 2014.  Now in its 3rd year, IRIE Fest at Mississauga's Celebration Square will be held from August 23 to 24, 2014 rather than mid-July. Irie Music Festival-2014-Alison-Hinds Showcasing some of today's top reggae music acts, TD IRIE Music Festival offers several on-site attractions and cultural activities designed to showcase everything from Reggae to Latin, Soul to African; dance, spoken word, visual arts, delicious tropical food and drinks and more.   In addition to the musical presentation, TD IRIE Fest is delighted to present the 12th annual dance Immersion Summer Showcase.  A special one hour showcase slated for the Nathan Philips Square festival stage on Sunday, August 3rd at 4pm, dance Immersion will feature variety of African Canadian dance ensembles including:  
  • Beyond Sound Empijaha collective of young, professionally trained drum and dance performers from organizations from across the GTA, such as Ballet Creole, Collective of Black Artists (COBA) and the Ngoma Drum and Dance Ensemble
  • Esie Mensah has danced for industry icons such as Divine Brown who opened for the Backstreet Boys, Deborah Cox, Anjulie, Flo Rida at the MuchMusic Video Awards, and many more
  • Caribbean Dance Theatre (CDT) is an 10 year old, all female dance group, specializing in an array of African Caribbean based dance styles
  • Manding Foli Kan Donis a Toronto-based group that performs music from the Manding area. The name Manding Foli Kan Don means to play, sing and dance the music of the Manding people
  • Tsingory Dance and Music of Madagascar a lively company based in Toronto and Montreal who perform Malagasy dance with live accompaniment, using traditional instruments such as Marovany, Kabosy, Valiha, Sodina, Langoraona, and Amponga be
  Celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2014, the TD IRIE Music Festival is a FREE multi-day, family, friendly festival that takes place over two great weekends of the summer: Friday-Monday, August 1-4, 2014 (Toronto) and Friday-Monday, August 23-24, 2014(Mississauga).  The full schedule is available here.