International Literary Festival, August 6 and 7, 2016

  • “The goodwill, support and generosity that the idea of this event has generated since July 2014 has been phenomenal.”

    Mike Jarrett, Founder/Director, Palaver International Literary Festival
  • “… come and experience the tastes, sights and sounds of Palaver and the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay…”

    Brian Smith, Mayor of Wasaga Beach
  • “The success of any venture must comes with passion, persistence and partnership. We know the future of this festival is secure, for that very reason.”

    Jerrold Johnson, Chief Repr. Officer for JNBS TRO
  • “PALAVER reflects and represents the essential elements of Canada’s social policy of multiculturalism.”

    Ewart Walters, Author
  • “For visitors planning a weekend to Wasaga Beach to enjoy Palaver, please keep in mind that there are a variety of accommodation, dining and shopping opportunities …”

    Brian Smith, Mayor of Wasaga Beach
Designed - Developed by Maria Papaefstathiou


August 6 and 7, 2016

Registration for Palaver 2016 events* is open!

As a registered participant of the Palaver International Literary Festival you have access to all facilities and events at ‘special rates’ and with ‘special consideration’, including:

  • free access to the Palaver Guest Reception facility at the Oak Woods Gazebo
  • payment on­line for purchases when available
  • dinner reservation and payment for the annual Palaver Awards Dinner and Show
  • pre­pay for the Palaver Sunday brunch buffet, catered and presented by Chef Selwyn Richards
  • the Palaver children’s care facility at Beach Area 4 adjoining the event, proposed and operated by the staff of the Wasaga Beach Public Library.

Events for Registration on June 21 are:

  • Registration fee* : $10
  • Palaver Writers Workshops* : $20
  • Palaver Awards Dinner and Show and after dinner party: $70 pp. Party Discount: Table of 8 registered guests: $520
  • ‘Feast on The Beach’ Sunday brunch buffet by Selwyn Richards: $55


Registration is waived for children and adolescents 15 years old and younger.*

The Inaugural, 2015

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    Olive Senior

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    Mike Jarrett

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    Mayor Brian Smith

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    Rachel Manley

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    Presenting Olive Lewin portrait

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    Chocolates and fine gifts from TIFIDIN

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    Jamaica National TRO, main sponsor

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    Jamaica National TRO, main sponsor

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    Ewart Walters

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    Pamela Mordecai presents a copy of her Red Jacket to Jackie Beaudin

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    Dr. Rita Cox

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    Jamaica’s Consul General in Ontario, Lloyd Wilks

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    Gary Cerantola, Chair of the Wasaga Film Festival and Chair of the Wasaga Society for the Arts.

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    Cynthia Lewis

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    Carlos Malcolm

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    Ann and Alrica

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    Pamela Mordecai and Rachel Manley

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    Dr. Rita Cox

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    Palaver 2015

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    Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis at Palaver 2015

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    Dwayne Morgan at Palaver 2015

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    Palaver collaborates with Wasaga Beach Public Library.


The Genesis, 2014

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

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    The Genesis

Wasaga Beach

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    Wasaga Beach

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    Wasaga Beach

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    Wasaga Beach

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    Wasaga Beach



Caribbean culture is unique for its diversity and vibrancy. The perimeter lands of the Caribbean Sea have cradled a diaspora of world cultures and nationalities for more than 500 years. Retentions in art, literature, music and religion have been woven by time into an enchanting tapestry of colour, sound, ethnicity and shared experiences; described eloquently by gifted lyricists and celebrated writers, each a product of this enchanting tropical potpourri that has produced some of the world’s finest artists, athletes, novelists, poets, scientists, and statesmen.

Palaver celebrates this vibrant, complex Caribbean culture and offers, each year, in a morsel, but a taste of its richness and flavour.

Palaver … because everything is important once deemed so to be.
­ M.S.L.Jarrett.



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Palaver News, 2016

Palaver News, 2015

  • born

    Palaver is born

    … new festival celebrates Caribbean literature, music, cuisine The province of Ontario last year saw the birth of a new…

  • Rita M. Cox, D. Litt.C.M.

    Rita M. Cox, D. Litt.C.M.

    Story-teller par excellence for inaugural Palaver literary festival Known internationally as a gifted story-teller, Rita Cox is an educator, activist,…

  • BBPA Business Award pic-371-320

    Most gifted chef for Palaver 2015

    Most gifted chef for Palaver 2015 … to present sumptuous theme-brunch Aromas from the Great House Chef Selwyn Richard brings…

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    Ewart Walters

    Ewart Walters confirms participation in the inaugural Palaver International Literary Festival Even before Ewart Walters’ last book came off the…

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    Ernie Smith for Palaver Sing-along

    Ernie Smith has confirmed his participation at the inaugural Palaver International Literary Festival, August 8 and 9, in Wasaga Beach,…

  • Pamela-Mordecai

    Pamela Mordecai

    Pamela Mordecai confirms participation at Palaver 2015 After working on the publication of some twenty textbooks, producing five collections of poetry, five children’s books, an anthology…

  • Owen-Blakka-Ellis-cover

    Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis

    Owen Ellis confirms appearance at Palaver 2015 … to present Riddim & Riddles 2015 April 11: As Jamaica approached that…

  • Senior-02-371

    Olive Senior

    Author of The Pain Tree and Dying to Better Themselves confirms attendance Palaver 2015 2015 April 10: The Pain Tree,…

  • AppeltPam-edited2

    Pamela Appelt, O.D.


    Pamela Appelt, O.D, now retired, served 11 years on the bench as Judge of the Court of Canadian Citizenship and made history as the first African-Canadian woman to hold this position. Born in St. Mary Jamaica, Dr. Appelt studied microbiology and biochemistry in London, England before coming to Canada in 1966 to work as a researcher in medical biochemistry at McGill. Her academic achievements are many including a masters degree in Public Policy.

    She has served on the Board of Directors of corporate and benevolent organizations, including United Way of Greater Toronto and was Co-Chair of Canada’s Jamaica-50 Celebrations. She is Vice president of Toronto’s Harbour Front Centre, the largest contemporary art centre in Canada, catering to 17 million visitors every year; with a 3,000 sq. ft. space dedicated to preserving the work and legacy of Jamaican cultural icon, the late Honourable Louise Bennett, popularly known across the British Caribbean as ‘Miss Lou’.

    A great friend of Miss Lou, who entrusted to her the duties of executor of her estate, Pamela Appelt is an accomplished artist and her paintings have been exhibited in New York, Chicago and in Canada and Jamaica. As a patron of Palaver, Dr. Appelt has helped to guide the process of establishing what is expected to become, over time, Canada’s largest literary festival.

    Copyright © M.S.L. JARRETT 2015-04-18

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    Mike Jarrett

    Founder, ­ Director

    A writer and journalist for more than 40 years, Michael S. L. Jarrett is founder of the Palaver International Literary Festival. The premiere edition of his book, All In The Same Boat was published in November 2014. He is founder and editor of two international business magazines on the maritime industry and has been editor of a number of publications including an in­flight magazine for an international commercial airline. A graduate of the Mico University College in Jamaica, Mike holds a diploma in advanced journalism (print) from the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin, Germany. He holds national awards in public relations and a gold medal for amateur photography.

    A special events planner with a long history of successful international initiatives, Mike was instrumental in developing concepts and a methodology for delivering the “No Fixed Address” public awareness initiative of the Interclinic Public Housing Workgroup (a team of legal clinic workers in Toronto, funded by Legal Aid Ontario) for the improvement of public housing in Toronto.

    Copyright © M.S.L. JARRETT 2015-04-18

  • Maria-Papaefstathiou

    Maria Papaefstathiou

    Graphic Designer

    The many compliments and remarks of admiration about the designs which package the Palaver messages – the logo, this website and the promotional poster for the inaugural festival in 2015, and the posters portrait-awards – all celebrate the work of Maria Papaefstathiou.

    Maria, graphic designer and illustrator, lives and works in Athens, Greece. A book designer at publishing house, Stamoulis Publications S.A. (, Maria has an impressive portfolio of exquisite artistic statements. She is from Greece but her artistic perspectives prove her to be a citizen of the world. Co-founder of the increasingly popular global event, the International Reggae Poster Contest, partnering with the great Jamaican artist and creative activist Michael Thompson, a.k.a. Freestylee, Maria has herself created some stunning poster designs. Her posters of notable Jamaican jazz pianist, Monty Alexander and, more recently, of Jamaican musician and legendary orchestra leader Carlos Malcolm set her apart.

    She has participated and won awards in a number of international competitions. Her designs have been mounted in group exhibitions in South Korea, Jamaica, Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece, Mexico, Washington D.C., Spain, Turkey, Poland; and, her poster of Nelson Mandela was exhibited in South Africa in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Her 2014 poster for the Jamaican Fencing Federation, to assist the fund-raising efforts of that organization, is also special. As Mike Jarrett described it then: “Dramatic yet subtle, action-filled yet uncluttered.”

    Maria’s special talent and her understanding of Caribbean cultural expression make her a valued member of the team of the Palaver International Literary Festival.
    Poster Shop:

    Copyright © M.S.L. JARRETT 2015-04-18

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    Michael Patrick Jarrett

    Audio Engineer

    With more than 15 years professional experience in audio recording and a Recording Arts degree from Full Sail University in Orlando Florida, Michael Patrick Jarrett brings solid real world experience to Palaver. Prior to pursuing the Associate of Science Degree programme at Full Sail, Factor (as he is popularly known) worked at the famous Tuff Gong studios in Kingston, Jamaica. For more than a decade, Michael’s recording sessions at the famous Renaissance Recording Studio in Kingston, with some of the leading artistes in popular music, have produced several local and international hit singles and albums for chart toppers including Sean Paul. His work has been recognized by the Jamaican and international music community including ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). ASCAP .recognized one of his recordings “We Be Burnin” by Sean Paul at its 32nd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
    Michael brings the highest level of audio recording professionalism to the Palaver International Literary Festival.

    Copyright © M.S.L. JARRETT 2015-04-18

  • Jason-2

    Jason Jarrett

    Director of Photography

    Jason Jarrett is Director of Photography for the Palaver International Literary Festival. A graduate in Broadcasting and Film (Centennial College) he has broad experience in both still and moving images and in live television broadcasting (CTV). Jason leads the team of photographers and videographers capturing images at Palaver.

    Copyright © M.S.L. JARRETT 2015-04-18

    Jason Jarrett

    Jason Jarrett

    Jason Jarrett


Sunday August 7

… this feast and bounty have only served to stoke the appetite

The titles that have appeared on the shelves over recent years have collectively deepened and expanded the range of Caribbean literature, bringing new meaning, enlightenment and a plethora of stories and anecdotes that capture and encapsulate for posterity all that we are.

Talented writers, essayists and lyricists have given us much for which to be thankful. But this feast and bounty have only served to stoke the appetite, nurturing and enriching soul and spirit. For such are the nature of literature and the mission of writers.

Books by Caribbean writers that have been nominated for the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature, include ‘Sounding Ground’ by Vladimir Lucien; ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ a novel by Marlon James and ‘Dying To Better Themselves’ by Olive Senior. This latter work, the definitive account of the role of the Caribbean people in the building of the Panama Canal, is special to Palaver. Olive Senior, a guest at the genesis event in July 2014, was kind enough to read passages from what was still then an unpublished work.


Writers such as Pamela Mordecai (‘Red Jacket’), Monique Roffey (‘House of Ashes’), Owen Ellis (‘Riddim & Riddles’), have been among those placing fresh material on the shelves in the past year. These new works, alongside volumes and compilations that continue through the years to entertain and enlighten are collectively more important and valuable than the time, effort and sacrifice it took to research, compile, write and publish. Their value lies not in the accolades and awards but because together they define and describe our world and time; our humanity and our aspirations; our failures and accomplishments.

By these books and their patient, long-suffering authors, to whom is owed an unqualified gratitude, we are made immortal.


Books and Authors 2016

Books and Authors, the first event of the Palaver 2016 festival will present a number of talented and celebrated authors who will personally share their work and experiences. They will be signing copies of their books and will engage with readers personally throughout the event.
The final list of participating writers will be posted on this page.

Authors 2016

Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis
Dwayne Morgan
Horane Smith
Owen Everard James
Cynthia Reyes
Lorna Goodison


Authors 2015

Dwayne Morgan
Ewart Walters
Olive Senior
Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis
Pamela Mordecai
Rachel Manley

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Palaver International Literary Festival celebrates excellence and sustained contribution by acknowledging those whose high standards and dedication have inspired and empowered succeeding generations.
Each year the Palaver team will receive nominations and select an individual or individuals whose work and/or accomplishments have inspired or empowered for the Palaver Award.
In its inaugural year 2015, Palaver acknowledged and applauded the pioneering work of the late Dr. the Honourable Olive Lewin, musicologist, social anthropologist, author and teacher; and, in particular her monumental research and documentation of Jamaican Folk Music and the establishment of the Jamaican memory bank.


Palaver International Literary Festival

at its inauguration on
August 8, 2015,
acknowledges and salutes the work and accomplishments of

Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin,

musicologist, social anthropologist, teacher and author
1927 – 2013
Born in Jamaica
* for her research and rescue of Jamaican folk music;
* for defending the integrity of a rich musical tradition;
* for her pioneering role in establishing the Jamaica Memory Bank1.

1.The Jamaica Memory Bank programme documents Jamaica’s social history using audio-visual recordings of the recollections of citizens throughout the country. The interviews are catalogued and transcribed, creating an archive of oral history on aspects of Jamaica’s culture.


The Palaver 2016 Awards will be presented at the Palaver Awards Dinner on Saturday August 6, 2016 at the Wasaga Beach RecPlex Auditorium, 1724 Mosley St, Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada.


The Palaver Awards Dinner and Show in 2016 falls on August 6. This is the 54th anniversary of Jamaica’s sovereignty and the birth of the Jamaican nation. As such, the theme of the event this year is ‘A Birthday Toast To Jamaica’. The theme this will be reflected in the menu, decor and after-dinner entertainment.

Dinner is by reservation.


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The ancient art of story telling is alive and well in the 21st century.

Traditions of storytelling date back thousands of years. It is as old as language itself. By this medium, traditions and history have been preserved, handed down from generation to generation across centuries, long before Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press radically changed the volume and flow of information.

The storyteller kept history alive. And, whether the tales were spun in jest by thespians, to amuse the royal court or, otherwise, presented as lyrics by traveling troubadours, they held audiences engaged and entertained.

Stories, fact, fiction or myth, define a people. Submerged in their humour or sadness are the hopes and fears; the standards and mores that describe us. Each story, like a beam of light, illuminates and reveals that which a thousand words cannot portray: our humanity.

Palaver acknowledges the important historical role of storytelling and each year gathers storytellers and presents stories of all sorts.


Storytelling is an experience. The stories take the audience to a different place, to live the moment and the sense the emotions of characters, real or fiction – a place of empathy.

As an experience, storytelling is a process of sharing. The storyteller, in the moment, shares recollections and emotions with the group. The group shares a common experience of empathy with characters. They laugh at the trickery of Bre’r Anancy and anger over that which forced lovers to dash themselves to suicide over the Jamaican cliffs of Lovers’ Leap.

Palaver accepts that storytelling is an experience where that which is invaluable is carefully passed from generation to generation. It is an experience to be shared, even in reverence. If the objective is to share then every storyteller is a good storyteller. A contest between them (such as was previously proposed) creates a distraction and spoils the atmosphere for sharing great stories.

Palaver 2016 presents some great stories on Saturday August 6, – 5.00 pm, at ‘Ol’ Time Stories’ and ‘Poems and Poets’ at Wasaga Beach Area 4.



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AUGUST 6, 2016
10.00 am – 5.00 pm


  • OPEN MIC: Poetry/Music
  • Ceremonial Opening
  • Poems and Poets – Main stage
  • Ol’ Time Stories – story-telling


7.00 pm

  • PALAVER AWARDS DINNER – ‘A Birthday Toast To Jamaica’.
    featuring The Heritage Singers, folk music ensemble
    and Orville Hammond, Jamaican jazz pianist
    in a special musical tribute to Jamaica.


AUGUST 7, 2016
9.30 am ­ 3.00 pm


  • OPEN MIC: Poetry/Music
  • Feast on the Beach … a Caribbean delight ­ – brunch buffet with master chef, Selwyn Richards
  • Palaver Writers Workshop with Horane Smith – ‘First steps to Becoming a Writer’
  • OPEN MIC: Poetry/Music
  • Books and Authors’ – poets and novelists share their work; dialogue; book signings.


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The words of the poet, over centuries untold, preserve for posterity moods, emotion, colours, commotion, indeed all that have come to define our world.
Palaver looks to the poets their biting satire and crispness of language; their burning desire to document and present truths and subtleties, inconsistencies and paradoxes, artistes daring to bare their souls just to awaken our consciousness; to have us see a reality other than our own; to have us think.
Palaver International Literary Festival presents each year a slate of contemporary poets and spoken word artists. Wasaga Beach, with its gorgeous natural backdrop presents the ideal setting and perfect ambiance to enjoy poets read and share their thoughts and feelings.

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Palaver’s aromas

“When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean in late 15th century, they found some of the larger Caribbean islands inhabited by an agrarian people. Those people were not allowed to last long enough for the survival of their culture. However the Europeans did record that they farmed cassava and made a flat cassava bread. Jamaicans still make and consume a flat cassava bread. Known for centuries as ‘bammy’, it’s a natural partner with fish, steamed or fried, to be consumed in bliss under the shade of a spreading seagrape, on an idyllic Caribbean beach somewhere. Cassava is one of the few food crops to have survived 5 centuries of European occupation.
“European presence in the Caribbean was largely about the plantation. The national economies were sustained by large plantations worked by forced labour. The slaves brought to the fireside sub-Saharan methods and the organic root crops they managed to cultivate on their tiny plots to make a delight of the protein stock – salted cod, pickled mackerel, red herring and pigtail – imported from Europe and Canada. Subsequently, Indian and Chinese immigrants enriched the mix with their own ancient culinary traditions and spices. The aromas of the Caribbean are unique for this rich mix of cultures over centuries.” [Mike Jarrett]


Caribbean style

The maroons, roaming free in the mountains of Jamaica since the mid-17th century hunted wild boar and roasted the succulent, lean carcass on smouldering wood from the aromatic pimento, creating a style and flavour that was later to become known globally as ‘jerk’, Jamaica’s 20th century gift to the culinary world.
Meanwhile, in the western and southern Caribbean, preparations like pelau (an iconic Trinidadian one-pot meal), mouth-watering rotis and scores of delightful recipes for preparing different species of fish emerged and, refined, remained .
The spicy flavours and aromatic concoctions which today characterise Caribbean fare evolved over 500 years and have come to define the tropical Americas as a gastronomic paradise.

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Authentic Caribbean cuisine

Often imitated authentic Caribbean flavours are difficult to duplicate. Some say the secret is in the ingredients. Others say the secret is in the method of the cook. The secrets are many, some passed down within families for generations. Authentic Caribbean cuisine with all its delicate nuances, spicy succulence and fresh tropical juices, prepared and presented by leading chefs at the highest culinary standards, are collectively an annual feature of Palaver.



Sunday August 7, 2016, 10.00 am to 2.00 pm
To Register for Sunday Brunch, please click here

The second day of the Festival features culinary delights of the Caribbean. It will be presented by a leading Chef as a special culinary event and as a prelude to Ol’ Time Story, featuring Caribbean stories presented by featured story-tellers.

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Most gifted chef for Palaver 2015.
Read about here


bammy and jerk

achee and smoked salmon

Toronto Star

pork roast

veg dislay

roast beef

breakfast egg bene

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