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Home » The Scene

Manifesto: A festival five years in the making

Submitted by on September 27, 2011 – 10:05 pmNo Comment

Another year has come and gone for the culture and community festival known as the Manifesto. This year for its fifth anniversary the festival’s organizers pulled out all the stops, from headlining hip-hop acts to integrating other events and activities to engage the general public.

At five years of age, Manifesto Toronto has grown into more then just a showcase for aspiring or recognized talent, it is becoming a place where the community can have a dialogue about what’s happening in their lives and communities.

One of the new events that included this year was “106 & York,” an event which helped showcase and celebrate youth talent in the arts in high risk neighbourhoods. The Wombmanifesto, a series of workshop and panels exploring woman roles as a mother, teacher, artist, collaborator, mentor, and also their own identity in everything they do, followed.

As always, Manifesto’s finale, live at the square party was live, with its merchant alley to the b-boy/b-girl showcases, the graf wall, and last but not least live stage performances. We were treated to some great performances during the day and it only got better from there.

As day turned to night we got things started off with DJ Dopey’s group Notes to Self, then we were treated to the melodic sounds of Juno award nominee Zaki Ibrahim and Saukrates produced Andreena Mill.

As darkness began to fall over the square the pioneer of women’s hip-hop emerged, the one and only Michie Mee. Even though she only had 18 minutes to perform, she rocked the stage and got the crowd fired up.

Next up we had Jd Era hit the stage and rip it up, and just when you thought it couldn’t get better, Raekwon came out and joined Jd on stage for a song. As Raekwon departed the stage you could hear the crowd calling his name and saying Wu-Tang forever!

Phonte and 9th Wonder hit the stage and kept the energy going from where Raekwon left off. After their set 9th wonder kept the crowd energy live while we waited for our headlining act to appear.

Thankfully the border guards were in a kind and generous mood this evening, finally allowing one of the best DJ’s ever Kid Capri and the Original MC, Master of the Mic Rakim into Canada.

They hit stage running and delivered a shortened but amazing set that left the crowd wanting more. After the show, Rakim and Capri spent time talking, taking photos, and signing for their fans. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year’s Manifesto.

Story and photos by Tee Onek


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