The illuminated sign from Record Nook – the iconic Bathurst record shop run by ska legends Jackie Mittoo and Lord Tanamo – now hangs at the Rhythms And Resistance exhibit, which is paying tribute to Toronto’s Caribbean music legacy. The exhibit, presented by the Downtown Yonge BIA and the Friar’s Museum and curated by music historians Klive Walker and Nicholas Jennings, showcases photos, posters, handbills, costumes and records from calypso, reggae, soul and hip-hop musicians in Toronto.
The items on display at the Shoppers Drug Mart just south of Yonge-Dundas Square include the original hand-painted sign advertising the first Caribana, rare records from JoJo & the Fugitives and artefacts from Bob Marley’s time in Toronto. Rhythms And Resistance also features the early Toronto hip-hop artists like Michee Mee, Maestro and Dream Warriors whose sounds held space for their Caribbean influences.
“The artists recording and performing this music are primarily a combination of Caribbean people who became Canadians through immigration,” says Walker in a statement, “and others with Caribbean heritage who either grew up here in Toronto or were born here.”