The first Positive Vibes Festival, an all-day celebration of arts and positivity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, took place on Saturday at Bequia Plantation Hotel.
The all-day event, a first of its kind on Bequia, gave persons on the northern Grenadine island the opportunity to showcase and appreciate creativity.
The daytime activities saw mostly visual arts, sports and fashion and at night, talented performers entertained the crowd.
The event was organised by The Hub Collective, a new art group on Bequia.
“The Hub Collective [is] a group that is about the development of our own people through the use of creative mediums,” said Colin Minkah Peters, one of the founders of the group.
“We just pulled off a major, major achievement, which was the first annual Positive Vibes festival, showcasing a mixture of different talents from all over Bequia and SVG,” he said.
In preparations for the performances, the group worked with several young people from Bequia, who improved significantly during the weeks leading up to the event and delivered superb performances.
“For me this is the real success story of the festival. It’s always a great joy to see young people build confidence, and develop themselves in this way, these are the things that a solid and prospering community is made of,” Peters said.
Starting mid-morning, the beautiful grounds of Bequia Plantation Hotel came alive with artists showing and selling their creations, including fine art, clothing, coconut products, natural jewellery, miniature cardboard models and locally-made wines.
Rhonelle Simmons, a multi-talented artist participating in the event, said:
“I must say thanks for giving us all the opportunity to showcase our talent … it is a great idea and I must commend all the members of The Hub Collective who worked hard on that day. A well done job … and I look forward to the next Positive Vibes!”
Strong, beautiful, aspiring models, trained by former model and Hub member Danielle Collinson, all strutted down the runway showing off some of the best island swimwear SVG has to offer with creations by KBK Bareskin Collection and Chameleon Café and Clothing.
Children printed their own t-shirts, made origami butterflies and decorated paper plates at the popular arts workshops and then got the inspiring opportunity to hang their just-completed works for friends, family and patrons to see.
As day turned to night, it was time for a screening of the award-winning participatory film initiative, “Reclaiming Paget Farm”. Fifteen film students were awarded certificates for their participation in a 12-week film programme produced by Skylarc Pictures in association with the Northern Grenadines Community Development Inc.
“Reclaiming Paget Farm” was one of the catalysts for the Hub Collective to get together. Filmmakers Jessica Jaja and *LARC arrived on Bequia three years ago as activists and environmentalists wanting to give their time and find grants to share their skills and enhance the lives of others through social and environmental change.
Guest facilitators such as commercial and documentary filmmakers, Jerry Simpson and Lynn Rabren passed on their skills to the young islanders. The programme developed confidence, fostered teamwork and dedication, and enhanced inter-personal skills.
Honouring members of the Bequia community was a poignant reminder of what The Hub Collective is about. Showing their appreciation for people that have selflessly served, taught and inspired with dedication and pride was a focal point for the whole event.
Ralph Stowe was recognised for his commitment to sports and youth development, and Hesron Leach for his outstanding contributions to artistic and community development.
Leach said: “My one desire is to see young people move forward in arts and culture. Please engage yourselves, somehow, in some form of arts or cultural activity. The Hub Collective, thank you so much.”
The group honoured the late Theresa Bennett for her lifetime dedication to social and environmental sustainability.
The concert that followed was dedicated to her memory.
Eugena Simmons, Sadé Daniels and Shaki, some of the best emerging singers out of Bequia, opened the evening concert. This was followed by powerful performances from the Bequia Kiai Karate School, making their first on-stage appearance and leaving everyone in awe of their skills.
For the final part of the concert, some of SVG’s best kept secrets hit the stage, including reggae artistes Elvis Roots Gordon and Cloud Gooding, who let the fire blaze with her new revolutionary track “System Buster”.
Record charting, Vincentian songstress, Judy Boucher, delivered a clean, powerfully captivating performance.
The Hub Collective’s vision is summed up by their slogan: Unite. Create. Inspire. One of their main goals is the establishment of a creative space, a “hub” where many art forms converge.
Fashion Designer and Hub member, Shari Osborne, said:
“As I age, I think about the ways I can give back to my community and help my little island.
“The Hub Collective has provided me with that avenue to leave an impression in the hearts and souls of my people, by giving back with my gift and my own talent.
“The Positive Vibes festival was just the first stepping-stone to feature what our group believes in. My team members are all so passionate about this festival we did our very best.”
Peters added: “The more the community develops, the greater the ability of its people to sustain itself and become more and more independent. We will continue to work toward the development of our people, and in particular help young people to fulfil their potential as humans trying to make something of their lives, in these extremely trying times.”