By: Phillip Mathew
The Montreal International Reggae Festival (MIRF) blasted Montreal's cool Old Port recently with 30,000 patrons packing into the quays of Canada's oldest city for three days of uplifting cultural reggae vibes. Many young patrons came out this year and all were eager to see the top artistes billed like, Tony Rebel, Third World, I Wayne, Gyptian (left) and Turbulance. "The high anticipation and high attendance of patrons made the huge Reggae Fest preparations worth it, and the entire program a big success," Audra Yearwood, MIRF spokesperson said. For the first time an entire evening was completely presented on a free stage, courtesy of Loto Quebec.
This year, the Friday night free stage hosted Kymani Marley as the main feature. His performance was well delivered in front of about 5,000 patrons. He performed his own songs as well as renditions of his late father"s songs. He certainly spread some warmth in an atmosphere that was ideal even if appearing dulled by a cloudy day.
Known for bringing the music of peace love and unity to one of Canada's most diverse hubs, the MIRF strives to elevate the positive voice in music and finds that voice most prominently in the reggae genre.
Above all of the outstanding presentations by artistes who are highly favoured throughout Canada and the world, Queen Ifrica bonded extraordinarily well with the crowd. One enthusiastic concertgoer said, "Queen Ifrica buss a Montreal through Reggae Fest!" Another said, "I never heard about her before, but now I am a sure fan of hers."
Queen Ifrica was one member of a small representation of women on the MIRF bill and she exhibited the versatility associated with the "Flames Camp" name. When "Camp Master," Tony Rebel, took to the MIRF stage he was in high form and astounding.
His rendition If Jah is Standing By My Side, sung in French, English and Spanish, was truly one of the main highlights of the entire festival.