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A vocalist performs in Calgary at Carifest, a festival which showcases Caribbean culture in Canada (June 2007)

Caribbean music in Canada has developed significantly since the year 2000, particularly in the genres Soca and Calypso. Recent changes in Canada's immigration laws have seen several prominent musicians from the Commonwealth Caribbean like David Rudder and Anslem Douglas resettle in Canada and help to develop the Caribbean music industry based there.

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New York Caribbean radio

The Caribbean music industry in Canada has been reinforced by a decreased influence of the New York City area spurred significantly by the rebranding of the historically Afro-Caribbean radio station WLIB 1090-AM in 2004. Prior to its rebranding, WLIB was the only radio station to feature a schedule rotation of near 24/7 Soca, Calypso and Reggae music outside of the Caribbean region. The 2004 rebranding by Inner City Broadcasting Corporation was a tremendous setback to the Caribbean community and splintered the Commonwealth-Caribbean and Caribbean music industry across the New York City metropolitan area. The Caribbean community in New York gravitated towards competitor WWRL 1600-AM briefly until talk radio Air America moved their programming from WLIB to WWRL in 2006.

Some members of the Commonwealth-Caribbean in New York City have since launched 1-2 low-power pirate radio stations to broadcast Soca and Calypso but are not powerful enough to reach all of New York's boroughs or produce the monetary capital to drive a whole music industry.

Growth in Canada

In Canada, station's like Flow FM and CHIN, both located in Toronto, Ontario have served to bind the Caribbean music industry with their regularly rotated scheduling for Soca and Calypso music. During this time several of the leading Caribbean music DJs in the industry (which just happen to be based in Ontario) take to the air and launch new songs or mixes. Many of these DJ's have even started to launch various websites that feature some of the largest online collections of Caribbean Soca and Calypso music samples on the Internet. Several song mixes created in Canada have even been entered for various Carnivals back in the Caribbean region and have served to create more awareness in the Caribbean region of the new Soca and Calypso talent and music influence based in Canada.

The Canadian Urban Music Awards have also begun to award various award titles in the Soca and Reggae genres.

In 2007, Anslem Douglas who originally wrote the song Who Let the Dogs Out?, re-entered the Caribbean music scene after a 4 year hiatus. Anslem recorded several of his 2007 Carnival songs from Canada. Additionally, Deejay Mystro D, entered his song Thunder for the same Carnival. Neither song won, however it is expected that the number of Canada-based Soca and Calypso music entered into Caribbean based competitions should stand to increase.

Companies of Canada in Caribbean music broadcasting

Beyond the scope of Canada-based Caribbean artistes, a growing number of Canadian companies are being tapped both in Canada and in the Caribbean region for their expertise in broadcast technologies.

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Jamaica

JumpTV Inc. has been busy in the Jamaican market. In Jamaica the company provides Internet solutions for HomeViewJamaica.com and various radio and television stations including Hot 102FM, Roots FM, CVM TV and Hype TV.

Trinidad and Tobago

Besides Jamaica, in Trinidad and Tobago several Canadian-based media broadcasters have licensed their technology and partnered with Caribbean-based media houses to simulcast their live island-based broadcasts onto the Internet.

The company NetroMedia continues to provide solutions to Red 96.7FM for broadcasting their island-based FM radio onto the World Wide Web. Additionally Canada-based Moontaxi Media had also been a solutions provider for Trinidad's i95.5FM to also simulcast that frequency's live island-based broadcast onto the Internet. In 2006 JumpTV Inc. of Canada moved ahead to seal a deal to become the preferred Internet broadcaster for HomeViewTNT.com and it's handful of radio and television stations. Some of those stations include: Radio 90.5FM, Ebony 104FM, The Vibe CT 105FM, 103 FM, Sangeet 106FM, Radio Trinbago 94.7FM, Gayelle The Channel and ieTV (a.k.a. "that is TV").

See also

References


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