The Crop Over Visual Arts Festival

Have you ever wondered what happens when you combine summer in Barbados, free admission and visual arts? The Crop Over Visual Arts Festival is the perfect tidbit for lovers of art and artists, nestled into its own cultural niche in Crop Over, the best summer festival in the world. From June 29 to August 8, the peak of heritage-oriented activities in Barbados, a celebration of art and creativity will be exhibited at the centrally located Grand Salle at the Central Bank of Barbados and the Queen’s Park Gallery at Pelican Village.

The Crop Over Visual Arts Festival is a cultural mixture of classic Barbadiana and Bajan artistic roots at its finest. It is a visual arts showcase of the brightest and most powerful pieces, which aims to encourage participating artists to pursue an in depth analysis of how Barbados and Barbadians have been molded by their experiences and the development and evolution of the Crop Over festival . One of this year’s themes which supports the showcase, is aptly titled “From Plantation Slavery to Rebellion and Independence; What Mirror Image Do We Have of Ourselves?”

As a nation that ensures its history has a firm grounding in its current and future endeavors, the Crop Over Visual Arts Festival presents an opportunity for artists to challenge their creativity and explore exciting themes that inspire new and innovative pieces. The festival, which is curated by the National Cultural Foundation, encourages artists to experiment with a variety of contemporary fine art and craft which include textiles, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, photography, basketry, jewelry and painting.

Artists, who willingly accept the challenge to create extraordinary and original pieces, and display their talents and skills in their craft, are offered several incentives including free promotion, advertising and educational initiatives. In addition to a platform which markets and provides exposure to seasoned and new and upcoming artists, the Crop Over Visual Arts Festival offers special awards for outstanding participants. Some of the highly sought after awards are People’s Choice, the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados’ Award, Barbados Investment Development Cooperation Incentive Craft Award and the Central Bank’s Award of Excellence.

The Crop Over Visual Arts Festival is your chance to experience Barbadian ingenuity in the arts and crafts. So, take a journey to Bridgetown any day of the week between 10 am and 6 pm and savor authentic artwork showcased by the festival and support local artists. If you’re lucky you might find the perfect painting to accentuate an empty dining room wall or stumble upon the cutest ceramic vase for your favorite plant.


Dannielle is a freelance writer from Barbados. You can view her profile for more information.

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Welcome Gregory

Gregory Blackett, Business Development Manager

We are pleased to announce a new member to the team. Gregory has hit the ground running as our Business Development Manager for Barbados. In this role Gregory will be responsible for all business outreach campaigns in Barbados, including Gregory Blackettrelationship building and product education. Gregory is an aggressively enterprising individual and we are happy to have him come abroad and become a key contributor to our success.

Gregory came to our attention as a result of our mutual participation every Wednesday on #barbadoshour from 4 – 5 pm. We would like to offer a round of gratitude to the organizers of this weekly Twitter networking event and encourage you to join the conversation.

 

 

Twenty Fruits to Try in Barbados

Source: Ministry of Agriculture Barbados (http://bit.ly/1E6tGkH)

Although Barbados is only one hundred and sixty-six square miles, it’s bursting with an abundance of local fruits. Many of these fruits have been given the title of “super-fruit”. Some fruits can be found all over the island, while others are restricted to specific locations and times throughout the year. Bajan fruits can be eaten as they are picked, or they can be used to make condiments like jams and jellies, beverages like teas and juices, local dishes such as Cou-cou, and by-products such as oils, lotions and soap.

A visit to any supermarket will allow you to secure traditional fruit favorites such as apples, oranges, melons and grapes. However, to find the hidden gems such as Ackees, be sure to keep an eye out as you explore the island.

Here is a list of twenty fruits we have compiled. Some you may be familiar with, and others are sure to be new.

We want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite Caribbean fruits, recipes or cocktails?

1. Ackee

The ackee, a small fleshy fruit with a round seed, is synonymous with summer. Its green, outer casing cannot be eaten, but when opened, it reveals a lovely, orange morsel. The perfect ackee is one where the flesh easily separates from the seed in your mouth.

2. Barbados Cherry

The Barbados Cherry, which is available year round, is famous for its vitamin C properties and is a favorite among locals. Popularly known as the Bajan cherry, this small fruit which turns bright red when ripe, is used to make a tasty beverage.

3. Breadfruit

The breadfruit is a versatile fruit that is often treated like a vegetable. Roasted with some butter is only one of the many ways this fruit can be prepared. It is not eaten uncooked, and can be boiled, scalloped, baked or roasted.

4. Carambola

Also known as five-fingers or star-fruit, the carambola is a star- shaped fruit that tastes best when eaten ripe. When it ripens, the carambola is yellow with brown spots.

5. Cashew

Cashew trees are usually found in the eastern parishes of Barbados. It is one of the few fruits where all segments are edible. It is a fleshy fruit that can be eaten when it turns yellow, orange or red, and the seed or nut can be roasted for a great snack.

6. Coconut

Anywhere you go around Barbados, you will see at least one coconut tree. Ripe coconuts can be either green or yellow on the outside. On the inside is coconut water, which is a popular beverage and natural diuretic, and creamy, white jelly which can be eaten.

7. Dunk

The dunk is a small berry-like fruit with a hard, inedible seed in the middle that grows on a thorny tree. When ripe, it’s skin turns yellow and orange. The first dunks usually ripen just before Christmas and stay in season until late February. Dunks are best eaten with salt.

8. Fat Pork

The fat pork is an unusual fruit that grows close to the beaches on the eastern side of the island. Usually found in the summer months, the fat pork has a purple skin and white flesh when ripe. There is a seed which can be cracked open to reveal a small, bitter nut.

9. Fig

The fig is a relative of the banana family, but its differences are easily identified. The fig is much shorter and fatter than the banana, but it also grows in a bunch. There are different species of figs, but the most popular figs turn from green to yellow when ripe.

10. Golden Apple

The golden apple is a delicious, juicy fruit with a large prickly seed in the middle. It can be eaten when it is green and not yet fully ripe, or when it turns yellow and has ripened. The golden apple is used to make a popular local juice.

11. Gooseberry

Known for its high content of calcium and yellowish-green color, the gooseberry has a tart, acid taste. However, it is best known as a purple, sweet, savoury preserve or jam. The transformation from tart to sweet is a process of extensive boiling with spices and either honey or sugar.

12. Guava

The guava is a fruit with several small seeds hidden in either pink, yellow or white flesh. Best eaten raw, with a bit of salt, the guava is a versatile fruit. It is used to make jams, jellies and a tasty guava drink.

13. Plum

There are several types of plums grown in Barbados. The hog plum is the largest of them all and turns bright yellow when ripe; the Jamaican plum, which is slightly smaller, is extremely sweet and turns bright red. The Bajan plum is a small fruit that can be eaten either green (nearly ripe) or yellow (ripe.)

14. Mango

Mango is a tropical year-round fruit with several varieties. One similarity that the many varieties share is the bright golden-yellowish flesh of the ripe fruit. Some mangoes are extremely juicy, and the outer layers of skin are edible. Mangoes are used to make condiments such as jam, jelly and chutney.

15. Passion fruit

The passion fruit is a round fruit which grows on a vine. It can be found climbing on almost anything. The passion fruit turns from green to yellow when ripe. Its insides are fleshy seeds which can be eaten or soaked to make passion fruit drink.

16. Pomegranate

The pomegranate tree is a shrub-like plant that grows anywhere on the island. The fruit consists of fleshy seeds which are eaten. Known as a super food, the skin of the pomegranates grown in Barbados turn a dark, reddish-brown when ripe.

17. Sorrel

Sorrel is used to make a popular Christmas drink with the same name. The drink is made using the flowers of the sorrel plant, spices and water.

18. Soursop

The soursop is an unusual looking fruit. It’s outer skin is green with dark brown nubs. The inside is thick, white, fleshy “meat” and dark brown seeds. The soursop can be eaten as is, or it can be made into a rich, creamy punch.

19. Sugarcane

The sugar cane is a long, juicy, grass with juicy, sugary stalks. Sugar cane, which is known as cane is Barbados, is a favorite among locals. It is one of the few fruits where all of its parts can be utilized. The end of the sugar cane season signals the beginning of the best summer festival in the world – Crop Over.

20. Papaya

Also known as the paw-paw, this oval shaped fruit can be found growing all over the island. The outside of the fruit turns from green to a yellowish orange when ripe. The flesh of the papaya is bright orange and has a mass of black seeds. The leaves of the papaya tree are steeped in boiling water to make a tea to treat diseases.

 Special thanks to Serenity  for inspiring this article with news of a tree that grows 40 different types of fruit. Read the full article here.


Dannielle is a freelance writer from Barbados. You can view her profile for more information.

Spreading Android Love

Happy New Year Everyone,

Get it today

Team Bimoo is excited to announce that we have delivered the Bimoo app to the Android platform. This marks an important milestone and one that we hope you will enjoy. From day one it has been our mission to always support Android and the great legion of fans on this platform. All the great features and value that you have to come expect have been crafted in an interface that is uniquely Android.

Hop aboard and start exploring the island of Barbados and engaging with your fellow dreamers.

Thanks.

 

Android screenshots

What do you dream for 2015?

 

 

 

Bajan Fusion Interview

Bajan Fusion is a Healthy Lifestyle Event Management Service designed to fuse Barbadian dance, music and sports on the world stage.  It is a growing movement in Barbados, spearheaded by Celia Collymore,  founder and source of immense passion. We were naturally intrigued and wanted to find out more about the movement: its origin, mission and message. Enjoy!!

…I saw a diverse group of people and this diversity is what I really liked…people of all shapes and sizes were dancing and having fun without feeling intimidated.

How was Bajan Fusion conceptualized?

Long story…but let me try to make it very short. Bajan Fusion was conceptualized in September 2011 while I was living in New York, [after leaving Barbados on a Basketball Scholarship]. I worked for a Financial Services Company for a number of years in New York. One of my colleagues approached me one day about an exercise dance instructor who was playing my type of music. I was surprised, so I asked him, “What type of music? ” He responded, “I mean soca and reggae.

This was surprising since where I lived and worked was not predominantly black. I am always intrigued by anything Caribbean, so I decided to check it out. My colleague invited me to one of the exercising sessions. At first, he told me that the instructor was going to do a flash mob and asked me if I wanted to join. My immediate response was “Me? I don’t want anyone to watch me dance or mess up.

He assured me that it would be fun, and since I was moving back to Barbados [in one or two months], it would be something good to do. After I  attended some practice sessions, we did the flash mob in Union Square on 14th Street, and it felt really good. It was at that time I got excited and said, “WOW, this is something that could be done in Barbados“.

 What came after the insight?

Once I experienced the flash mob, my colleague encouraged me to take part in a Zumba session which was also directed by the same instructor.  A few days later we attended a session. When I got there and looked around, I don’t even think that they had five Caribbean people in the room, but it was all reggae and all soca that she was playing. I remembered saying in amazement,  “WOW, these people are just taking in MY music…[not because they know of it, but simply because] it made them feel good and the fitness movement was helping them to lose weight, to get fit and stay active.

At the end of the session, I felt really inspired by the community that the dance instructor was building. I saw a diverse group of people.  There were Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, and Caribbean people of all shapes and sizes, and this diversity is what I really liked. I approached the instructor with the idea of traveling to Barbados. I don’t know why I did it – [maybe because of the energy in the room], but I said:  “I would love to bring you to Barbados.” Her response was: “What? That would be a dream come true!

I told her that I was about to move back to Barbados and this seemed like a prime opportunity to develop a partnership, even though I had no idea whether it was possible or not. A formal meeting was convened days later [on Saturday], and I presented the idea of bringing the instructor’s Caribbean dance/fitness movement to Barbados to experience the island culture…[which goes way beyond just the music in the Zumba dance sessions]. The competitive side of me also wanted the instructor to get to Barbados before any other Caribbean island.

Monday morning I got back to the office and I asked myself: “Celia, are you crazy? What have you just put yourself into? What are you doing?”  That whole day I just could not think about work. I had spoken to this lady and now I had to do something about it. I just decided to say, “Well, I am Bajan (Barbadian), and all I am doing is trying to fuse cultures; hence, Bajan Fusion.” [The Zumba group members] were already dancing to the music. They were whining, but we “wuk up”. I saw an opportunity for them to learn more about how we do it in Barbados [fusing music and dance]. And so, Bajan Fusion was designed to fuse Bajan music, dance and sports. It’s nothing more complicated.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced after returning to Barbados?

When I came back to Barbados, I knew that I needed to connect with people. I didn’t come back home to be an entrepreneur; I came back home to look for a job! I had literally taken out thirteen years of my life and returned to Barbados, and of course I had to adjust. To come home on holiday was different, but imagine now one week passing and then two weeks going by. For me, it was a process of getting familiar with the unknown. Being able to acclimate was really hard. The next thing was connecting with professionals and networking. [And, yes, I also had to look for a job!].

I went to an entrepreneurship networking event and I just started to introduce myself to people. I mentioned Bajan Fusion to people briefly, but there was one guy who took an interest in it. He really liked the concept, and the first thing he asked me was, “Celia, have you ever written a proposal?”

My response was a resounding “NO!” He helped me to pull together the Bajan Fusion package. That’s where it all started. I started meeting with people to introduce them to the package, and it was hard. I knew the concept of Bajan Fusion was great, but no one knew who “Celia Collymore” was.

Six months after returning to Barbados, I was still working very hard to get support and develop the instructor’s project, and nothing was happening. I was working part-time with an HR company and one day  I was speaking to my colleagues in the office about the project and someone recommended that I contact the marketing manager of  ICBL – a leading insurance company in Barbados. ICBL became my only financial supporter during this time. Without the cash from ICBL, Bajan Fusion would not have been possible. I will be forever grateful, and I am always willing to help with ICBL’s sponsored initiatives.

And, what came of the instructor led event?

When ICBL said yes, everything started to fall into place, however things became very last-minute. Days later I received a call from Goddards Shipping & Tours. They were interested in lending support by providing two of their locations. If that’s not divine intervention, I don’t know what is! Also, I am very grateful to my family and friends, and to the professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses who supported the project with in-kind products and services to help execute the event.

There were seventy-five people who showed interest in November 2011, but by the time I got the support, a lot of the people bowed out because it was too late. In addition, the ticket prices were too high. Yes the event was happening but if people knew me two years earlier, it probably would have been easier. At the end of the day, approximately eight people came to Barbados in June 2012, and we pulled off two events and two of our local artists, Kirk Brown and Statement, participated (sang a few of their songs) in our dance/fitness sessions.

Consequently, 20 people came back in August 2012, to experience Crop Over. Yes, they wanted to come and exercise, but they wanted to also experience the true essence of Barbados. This is how it all started. It was about getting people in and getting them to experience our history, the festivities, our music and food, as well as to explore the island. It’s not just staying at the hotel and seeing other tourists, but also interacting with the other locals via activities. People were so excited that they even became friends on Facebook just from the experience they had with each other.

Do you see a future role for Bajan Fusion to attract tourists to our shores? 

In terms of people coming to Barbados, it is definitely possible to make this happen, but I find with getting these types of projects off the ground, you definitely need initial funding and support. It takes contributors and sponsors being able to see the benefits to/for them.

How much effort is required to pull off an event?

It takes a lot of time, energy and effort, however, planning gets easier once you have built relationships with people. I am still thinking about the type of events to be done, but I want to make it more diverse. It takes a lot of focus. It will take time for some merchants to see the value of what I am trying to do. Once they see the value, both parties come together to package an experience.

You recently introduced the Fittrepreneur project; can you tell us more about this?

This is a spin-off of Bajan Fusion. This is a 360 degree approach designed to help entrepreneurs develop their business and move their brand forward.  Through this movement we are having the conversation with entrepreneurs about the importance of  adopting a positive attitude and balanced livelihood in business. You already know that Bajan Fusion helps with adopting healthy lifestyles, but based on what I have experienced as an entrepreneur, this is not the way it works. So, when you asked me earlier about how much work it takes to put all of this together, it takes a lot more to stay sane and keep smiling, as well as to take care of your health.

Based on other conversations that I have had with other entrepreneurs, it seems like a lot of us are struggling but we are not asking for help, or we are not in a situation to speak the way we need to, in order to prepare ourselves for opportunities. It’s about getting entrepreneurs to really get fit for business in every aspect, and to look at their lives full circle. Yes, it is a fact that we want to make money, but at the end of the day you have to look at every aspect of your life as an entrepreneur, because every aspect can be impacted if you don’t.

Global Entrepreneurship Week happens here in Barbados every November.  Fittrepreneur will be introduced at the event this year as an unleashed idea. This event is not just about something that is already live, but it’s about bringing new ideas and testing them.

How do you differentiate Bajan Fusion from Tough Mudder and CrossFit?

That’s a very good question! Bajan Fusion is about empowering people to see the possibilities and seeing that fitness is not just physical.  It’s mental, and while you are on that journey, you get to connect with people who are on that same journey. It just makes it feel like life is worth living because Bajan Fusion allows you to bring balance into your life. You are leaving the stress of the day and work behind, in favor of entering a space with like-minded people who are into fun, adventure and fitness. As you do this you make a conscious decision about how you feel entering and leaving this space.

Finally, if we were to meet three years from today, what would you have had to accomplish to feel happy about the direction of Bajan Fusion?

I would say to you first, I did it. I did it!!!

Doing it means continuously doing what I am doing, enhancing skills and adding value. Because of the vision, I am propelled. I want to develop a team of responsible people who can help others make their dreams a reality and buy in to the vision, working together for mutual benefits. The long-term plan is to get Barbadians to see why, who and where we are going with Bajan Fusion.

I do recognize that there are other persons in my space as well who are doing similar things, but the most important thing is staying aware; however my aim is not to compete but do the best I can with the Bajan Fusion brand.

 

 


For more information about Bajan Fusion and Celia Collymore, visit the company’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BajanFusion.

 

Kadooment day is here. We jammin all day.

Last set of the day from Spring Garden.

Folks heading to Brandons beach to cool off and purchase crafts.


More from Black Rock

 


3:20 PM

Contact band


2:55 PM

Black Rock area.

 


 

2:45 PM

Enjoy yourself.

 


 

2:30 PM

Paint it on.


 

2:17 PM

Here is a quick frame of reference for those unfamiliar with Barbados. You can enlarge the map to see the Bank Hall area at the bottom right.

The route starts at the National Stadium and progresses down Bank Hall and into Black Rock, before ending along Spring Garden Highway. The total distance is about 5.6 miles (or 9 km).

 


2:00 PM

Music blasting. Can almost hear it!


 1:35 PM

Check your line formation. Who behind me? Things heating up for sure.

 


1:19 PM

Middle of Bank Hall. If you look carefully the sign to left says “King Edward Road”. Yep, my street back in the day. Name appropriately wouldn’t you say?

Now this is a makeup job. Sweet!!

 


11:00 AM

Bands on the move.

 


 

10:58 AM

More activity surrounding the stadium.

 

 


10:50 AM

Outside the National Stadium.

 


9:20 AM

Sno-cone anyone? Cool down with some shaved ice and syrup.

 


8:40 AM

Where is everyone you say? Well, this is Spring Garden Highway – the point at which the parade will terminate this evening. In a few hours, this calm scene will be transformed into a hive of activity. But, before we jump ahead, let’s go over to the National Stadium where it all starts.

 


7:45 AM 

Good morning everyone. Today is an exciting day for Bimoo as we live blog the biggest day of celebration in Barbados. Kadooment is a cultural event not to be missed. Our goal today is simple. To bring you the sights of this festive day and to inspire you to take a trip to the island and experience the culture first hand.

We want to hear from you, so please post your questions and comments all day.

People You Will Meet in Barbados

For those of you of a certain age, these lyrics should ring a bell…

“Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neigh–bor–hood?
Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day.”

The neighborhood we will examine today is not Sesame Street but the lovely streets of the paradise island Barbados.

Who visits Barbados?

No matter where in the world you hail, you will find someone from your country in Barbados. And chances are, you will find someone in your exact age group. The majority of visitors to the island hail from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, other countries in Europe and the Caricom, which includes Trinidad & Tobago. Barbados is a popular destination because it is easily accessible by air. There are regular flights from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and the Caribbean.

(Image reproduced with permission from the Barbados Statistical Service) http://www.barstats.gov.bb/files/documents/April_2013_and_2014_compared.pdf

Why do people visit Barbados?

People visit Barbados for many reasons. Some of the more popular reasons are for a relaxing vacation and special events. Some of the special events are celebratory events such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries; festivals including Crop Over, the Reggae Festival and the Food, Wine & Rum Festival; and sporting events like the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, SOL Barbados Rally and Run Barbados. Others visit for business events which include conferences and meetings.

In recent years, there has been a growth in the number of visitors who come to the island for alternative reasons. People have visited Barbados for medical treatment at the Queen Elizabeth and Bayview hospitals and to recuperate from illness. An early example of this form of tourism was George Washington’s visit as a young man prior to becoming the first president of the United States. Mr. Washington’s ailing brother was prescribed a trip to the island to recuperate. Eco-tourists are known to visit the island to explore natural attractions like Harrison’s Cave and engage in activities like hiking through gullies, rural parishes, deep-sea fishing and bird watching at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

When do people visit Barbados?

Barbados records a high number of visitors during the tourist season which runs from mid-December to mid-April. The rationale behind this is that the timing coincides with winter in the traditional markets (United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, USA) and people travel to Barbados to bask in the sunshine. There are some events that fall outside of this period which attract a fair share of attention.

The Barbados Reggae Festival is held at the end of April and features the best reggae artists in the Caribbean. The Barbados Sol Rally has grown to be an international event held in May or June and attracts entrants from the Caribbean and Europe. Finally, the crème de la crème of festivals in Barbados is the Crop Over Festival which runs from June to August each year and culminates on Kadooment Day, the first Monday in August of each year. The Barbados Food, Wine & Rum Festival is held in November and features the very best offerings in each category. It also attracts popular chefs from Barbados, the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

When can we expect you?

Now it is your turn. Pick a time of the year and stroll the streets of paradise. Along the way have a rum punch with a fellow dreamer and share a story or two.

 


Dannielle is a freelance writer from Barbados. You can view her profile for more information.