Celebrating Caribbean Heritage: Manitoba’s Inaugural Caribbean Heritage Month

A Vibrant Breakfast Ceremony marks the Start of a Proud Tradition


On the beautiful morning of July 1, 2023, the province of Manitoba, Canada, welcomed the inaugural Caribbean Heritage Month with open arms. The Council of Caribbean Organizations of Manitoba (CCOM) hosted a delightful opening ceremony breakfast at the Caribbean Cultural Centre – 1100 Fife Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba. This vibrant celebration brought together community members, local officials, and special guests to commemorate the rich culture of the Caribbean and its significant contributions to the province of Manitoba.

Honoring Caribbean Heritage

The event commenced with an energetic atmosphere as Colleen Haley, the Vice President of CCOM, took the stage as the Master of Ceremonies. Haley’s opening remarks set the tone for the day, expressing the importance of Caribbean heritage and its profound impact on Manitoba’s multicultural landscape.

Notable dignitaries in attendance included Obby Khan, the Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism, and Sports, who graced the occasion with heartfelt greetings. Jamie Moses, the MLA for St. Vital, and Marcus Chambers, A/Deputy Mayor City of Winnipeg Chairperson, Winnipeg Police Board City Councillor, also expressed their appreciation for the Caribbean community’s contributions to Manitoba.

Also present at the heritage month celebration was Dr. Sandra Sukhan, Honorary Consul for Guyana to Manitoba, who also brought greetings.

Unity in Diversity

The Caribbean Heritage Month breakfast exemplified the unity in diversity that Manitoba prides itself on. Representatives from the City of Winnipeg extended warm greetings, reaffirming the importance of celebrating and embracing different cultures within the community.

Lance Brenna, the President of CCOM, delivered a passionate speech, highlighting the organization’s dedication to promoting Caribbean culture and fostering a sense of belonging among Caribbean residents in Manitoba. Brenna’s words resonated with attendees, emphasizing the significance of inclusivity and cultural understanding in building a harmonious society.

Cultural Extravaganza

The event was a feast for the senses, with a captivating drum performance that filled the room with pulsating rhythms. Margaret Lewis-John, a special guest speaker and talented drummer, took the stage, leaving the audience in awe with her extraordinary skills. The room reverberated with the beats of the Caribbean, symbolizing the spirit and resilience of its people.

Dianne Dwarika, another special guest speaker, shared personal stories and anecdotes, highlighting the vibrant cultural traditions of the Caribbean. Through her inspiring words, she emphasized the importance of preserving heritage and passing it on to future generations.

Culinary Delights

No Caribbean celebration is complete without delicious cuisine, and the Caribbean Heritage Month breakfast did not disappoint. Attendees were treated to an array of Caribbean delicacies, including bake, saltfish, fried plantain, fresh fruits, and cornmeal porridge. The aroma of the food and the flavors reminiscent of the Caribbean transported everyone’s taste buds to the tropical paradise.

To complement the meal, a variety of beverages were offered, including tea, coffee, and the traditional Caribbean favorite, Cocoa tea. The food and drinks provided a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of the Caribbean and left attendees fully satisfied.


The inaugural Caribbean Heritage Month Opening Ceremony Breakfast in Manitoba was an exceptional event that united communities and celebrated the Caribbean’s vibrant cultural heritage. Through the unwavering efforts of the Council of Caribbean Organizations of Manitoba, this celebration marked the beginning of an annual tradition that will continue to foster cultural appreciation and understanding among Manitobans.

As the drum beats echoed through the venue and the delightful aroma of Caribbean cuisine filled the air, attendees couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of pride and unity. The event provided an opportunity for Manitoba to acknowledge the significant contributions of the Caribbean community and to embrace the diversity that makes the province so extraordinary.

With this successful launch, the people of Manitoba eagerly anticipate future Caribbean Heritage Month celebrations, which will undoubtedly continue to enrich their cultural tapestry and strengthen their sense of community.

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