Photos & Story By: Kieron Yates
As the annual Carifiesta ìJump Upî parade approaches, a new Carnival Queen must be crowned. On June 4th, the six finalists gathered to compete for the crown. Bianca Ruest-Callam (Grenada), Candy Bajoon (Trinidad & Tobago), Karine Antoine (Haiti), Antonia Wynne (Saint Vincent & Grenada) Lettia McNickle (Jamaica) and Vanessa Smith (Canada) each represented their country of origin or birth in a bid to win over judges in several categories. Each of the six lovely young ladies flaunted their abilities in a talent show, paraded the catwalk in costume, elegant gowns and a crowd favorite swimwear exhibit. There was a talent show where the ladies took turns either singing, dancing or reciting spoken word and poetry. Following a shorter than advertised intermission, where those in attendance had the chance to grab a drink and some Jerk chicken or curry goat, came a question period with the six contestants fielding queries from the judges.
All night, the MC was on fire, slyly poking fun at the lack of music and the woes of technology versus the ways of old, like the rotary phone and parlaphone. Peering over her glasses to gauge the reaction of the crowd. Then came the awards portion of the night. Trophy’s were handed out for participation, People’s Choice, Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality, Best Talent, Best Swimwear and Best Evening Walk. Two contestants stood above the rest in terms of trophy wins, with Miss Jamaica and Miss Trinidad & Tobago collecting the majority of the awards. One remained, the one they all sought after most. The outgoing Queen was called to the stage to say a few words before the crowning of the new Queen was made, and once it had been announced, the cheers and flag waiving of the Jamaican community couldn’t be contained. Lettia McNickle had crowned the 2016 Miss Montreal Carnival Queen!
Be sure to come and celebrate Caribbean culture on July 2nd, as the Carifiesta Jump Up parades its way along Ste.Catherine street.