Last night, the 7th Annual Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture kicked off its much-anticipated weekend at Toronto’s newest venue, Measure. The Common Thread Launch Party, presented by Pirates Blend & Manifesto Festival, encompassed all the great things we love about Toronto; diverse culture, dope music and friendly people. To uphold Manifesto’s community philosophy, all guests were asked to stamp their thumbs on to a square of paper upon their arrival. This initiative garnered a small piece of all the attendee’s to craft a quilt made entirely of our prints. While DJ Nana and DJ L’Oqenz prepared their sets, we were served tasty appetizers – shrimp ceviche on a bed of salad with mango and celery, as well as, chorizo sausage served on bread with sautéed onion and vinaigrette. We danced to the greatness the Djs were spinning, as we ate our fancy appetizers, and sipped on some liquid courage.
Merch junkies like myself were stoked to see the new Manifesto merchandise. For sale there were t-shirts, sweaters and the renowned “MNFSTO” fitted hats. This year I spotted a new addition, the “T.” hat. Dressed in blue fabric, the fitted cap embraced the hue of Toronto’s two major sport teams and was marked with the letter T. I had the opportunity to speak with Taurean Scotland, one of the merchandise designers for Manifesto. Scotland says they had fun with this years design concept by “messing with high fashion.” One of the recent additions has been the “MNFSTO No.7” shirt; a design that was inspired by Chanel’s legendary No.5 perfume. Jokes aside, merch sales are fundamental to the growth and development of the initiative – it contributes to future programming and workshops held by Manifesto. The various items are labeled with messages such as “Knowledge Reigns Supreme” and “Art Is Power” to push Manifesto’s mandate and spread a positive message, says Scotland. Along with his design partner, Christian Bortey, they have advanced merchandise sales by vending more than just hats (Manifesto’s original endeavor).
The launch party also included live acts such as Tanika Charles and Zaki Ibrahim. The two hit the stage to perform Mz.Chawls killer track, Sweet Memories. Charles and Zaki looked and sounded great! Their performance got me hyped for Live at the Square this Sunday! The live performances attest to the diversity of our beautiful city. With acts of all genres, and performers from all walks of life, the attendee’s crowded around stage to absorb that ‘feel good music’ in unity.
S/O to Manifesto for putting together a great party!