A TRIBUTE TO THE THIRD WORLD PLAYERS
November 2, 2020 - December 31, 2020
A TRIBUTE TO THE THIRD WORLD PLAYERS
Each year Flo’s Seniors honours a person or group that has contributed to the community; this year we honour The Third World Players.
IN THE BEGINNING…
The theatre group Third World Players / Le Théâtre du Tiers Monde was founded in November 1978 to stimulate interest in the cultural heritage of immigrants from the Third World. The founders were Lloyd Stanford, Karl Gordon, Jennifer Hosten-Craig, who had ‘floated’ the idea to Lloyd Stanford, Ricardo Smith, and David Craig.
A CELEBRATION OF DIVERSE LITERARY EXPRESSION…
The first production, Slices of Life, mounted with the assistance of the Penguin Theatre, in April 1979, set the tone of the multi-lingual and multicultural repertoire that has been characteristic of the group. The selections made by Karl Gordon included works in French, Haitian creole, standard English, and Jamaican patois. This was followed, that summer, by a one-hour TV special based, in part, on that material, entitled Accents Shakespeare Never Knew. The 1980 Salute to Jamaica, presented in collaboration with the University of Ottawa’s Department of Community Affairs, was also multi-lingual and included a memorable production of Karl Gordon’s one-act play Uncle George.
Other notable productions over the ensuing years included: the world première of Roderick Walcott’s Cul de Sac, directed by the playwright and presented in collaboration with Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts; A Multi-Cultural Theatre Festival, featuring La Repeticion by Anton Arrufat, Red Oleanders by Rabindranath Tagore and L’anglais tel qu’on le parle by Tristan Bernard, staged at Carleton University, in mid-July 1984; another production of “L’anglais tel qu’on le parle” for the Festival of the Arts put on by Celebration Arts Ottawa; a repeat presentation of “Red Oleanders”, in October 1984, this time in collaboration with the university’s Asian Studies Committee; a week-long run in summer 1983 of Karl Gordon’s Old Man of the Village at the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s ‘space’, reprised in September 1987 at the Ottawa Technical High School; the August 1986 production of Gordon’s Sometimes It Does (in which the renowned Canadian actor/playwright and director Andrew Moodie made his stage début); Marcus Garvey: The Power of his Words, staged at the National Library, on February 28, 1995.
ON STAGE AND ON THE AIR, A MULTMEDIA PHENOMENON…
Since November 1980, in addition to its stage work, the group has broadcast, on CKCU-FM, a regular programme called Third World Players Present featuring rehearsed readings from Third World literature as well as interviews with writers and literary critics from the Global South, including those resident in Canada. These broadcasts have included: a series of ‘literary portraits’ of Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Trinidad and Tobago; seasonal themes like summer and autumn; festive or religious occasions like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; special topics like “ stories for the young”, “women in Third World literature”, “female writers of the Third World”, “great Black writers”; important literary events like the presentations of the “Poetry of the Americas” made by the embassies and high commissions of the countries of the Americas, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Library and Archives Canada in 2003 and 2006 to mark international poetry day. The programme has also often served as the radio launch or preview of works by many a writer as well as ground-breaking anthologies like Cyril Dabydeen’s “A Shapely Fire: Changing the Literary Landscape of 1987”, Luciano Diaz’s 1992 intercultural anthology of poetry “Symbiosis”, and Eddy Garnier’s pioneering bilingual (French/Créole) 2006 haiku collection “Gerbe en germes : Pake Grenn”.
SHOWCASING LITERARY EXCELLENCE FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH…
It is significant that through these broadcasts and its stage presentations, Third World Players has introduced the radio audience and the general public to the work of four Nobel Prize winners from the Global South before they became laureates, namely, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Gabriela Marquez, and Derek Walcott, as well as Michael Ondaatje, long before his Booker and the Governor General’s awards. The programming has included some African radio plays, aired with the permission of Germany’s Deutsche Welle, as well as several programmes produced in collaboration with Radio Mona at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. Some of the local writers featured over the years include members of the group of Chilean writers in exile. Third World Players was invited to contribute to the collection that was made of the literary output of those writers in Canada as part of “Projecto Adrienne”, the exchange programme between the National Library of Canada and the National Library instigated by then Governor General Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson. One of the most distinguished of these writers, Jorge Etcheverry, has been a member of Third World Players from the early 1980s.
A MULTICULTURAL GROUP OF THE COMMUNITY, IN THE COMMUNITY
Third World Players have also participated in cultural evenings and other special presentations by several organizations including the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Jamaica (Ottawa) Community Association Inc., CUSO, Focus on Black Women, NCARR, as well as groups or government departments observing special occasions like Martin Luther King Jr Day or Black History Month in the National Capital Region. The troupe has also been guest readers of the writers’ groups Sasquatch and El Dorado, and has appeared on a community Christmas TV special.
Given the aim fixed at the group’s founding, Third World Players have been particularly pleased to help introduce outstanding writers to schools and to the public. These initiatives include: the invitation, extended jointly with the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society, The National Library and the Commonwealth Society, , in 1989, to Derek Walcott to conduct workshops for the Ottawa School Board and to read at the National Library and the Commonwealth Club; an invitation to Jamaica’s Mervyn Morris, in 1991, to conduct workshops for the Carleton Board and to read at the Ottawa Library; and collaborating with publishers to present an Ottawa stage launch of Olive Senior’s “Discerner of Hearts”, at the National Library, in 1995. The latter two endeavours resulted in memorable broadcasts as well. The impact of the appearances on the students—manifesting evident pride in cultural heritage – and members of the public of Third World origins in these instances was visible.
The theatre group has also staged solo or collaborated in significant book launches at Library and Archives Canada, notably Jennifer Hosten’s “Beyond Miss World”, in October 2008, and Rachel Manley’s memoir of her grandmother Edna Manley entitled “Horses in Her Hair”, in November 2008, in collaboration with the Jamaica High Commission. Moreover, in September 2012, TWP took part in the Canadian celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence with the presentation “Celebrating Jamaican Literary Excellence”, which featured readings by prize-winning authors Olive Senior (winner of the 1987 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize), and Rachel Manley (winner of the 1997 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction).
Three other ‘catalytic’ effects of TWP’s stage and broadcasting efforts are worth mentioning: very early, the troupe encouraged Caribbean Voices through joint presentations, supported the ‘inter-cultural’ drive of groups like El Dorado, and also provided opportunities for several talented actors, directors and producers to ‘showcase’ their skills on stage, radio and, in some cases, on film.
Some broadcasts are available as ‘podcasts’ on the CKCU-FM Web site at www.ckcufm.com
A special thank you to Mr. Lloyd Stanford (President), for this overview.
Various members of the community participated in performances by the TWP. Some of these members are: (This list is alphabetical not by dates of performance)
Mr. Badoo-Singh Horace Beaufort Herbert Chambers Keith Charles
Lydia Charles Andrew Clarke Pearl Downie Gabriela Etcheverry
Jorge Etcheverry Orson Forbes Eddy Garnier Adeline Hardie
John Harewood John Hayward Emma Hill Norman Hill
Andrew Moodie Fauyzia Moore Nirmala Singh
Zandra Taylor [Director of our first production] Anthony Theobalds
Margaret Tucker Ewart Walters Jasmine Williams
We now present to you the bios of the Founding Members:
A former senior public servant, Lloyd Stanford is president of Le Groupe Stanford Inc., a consulting firm specialising in matters related to multiculturalism, employment equity, bilingualism and biculturalism, responsibility and accountability, human resource development in general, Canadian social and cultural policy, and international development issues. He was a partner in the consortium Pan-Continental Business and Development Consultants Inc. Trained in the humanities (Honours French [London – UCWI]) and the social sciences (MA at Carleton in Public Administration, doctoral studies in Political Science at Queen’s), his working experience spans all the areas above. Lloyd Stanford has also been a university teacher and researcher. He was a visiting professor in the School of Public Administration at Carleton University (1984-85) where he has given graduate seminars on “public sector management and the Canadian political system”, and responsibility and accountability. His publications include the volume Canada 2000: Race Relations and Public Policy which he edited along with O.P. Dwivedi, Ronald D’Costa and Elliot Tepper. He is the co-founder and president of the theatre group Third World Players (1978-present) and past president and honorary life member of the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He is the recipient of several awards including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2003), the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Jamaica , the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal , the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by Carleton University in 2017 and the University of the West Indies Alumni Association Pelican Award “for excellence in public service & the promotion of multiculturalism and equality, representing the 1948-1958 decade with distinction” 
Here’s some interesting info: The First Armon Florizel Stanford Bursary Awarded to Open Campus Youth Development Student.
A small ceremony was held at The UWI Museum on Monday, March 27, 2017 to celebrate the presentation of a bursary in the amount of US$2,000 to the Open Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) awarded by UWI alumnus, Mr. Lloyd C. Stanford and family. Mr. Lloyd Stanford is, among other things, a former Canadian Federal Civil Servant who worked on multiculturalism as a central feature of Canada’s federalism. He is an executive of The UWI Alumni Association. The Armon Florizel Stanford Bursary, named in memory of Mr. Stanford’s father, supported the cost of tuition for full time study of an undergraduate degree at The UWI of Ms. Deborah Wilson, who is a registered student at the UWI Open Campus Site at Camp Road in Jamaica.
Also, among his remarkable accolades: Canute Lloyd Stanford awarded degree Doctor of Laws (Carleton University), 150th Convocation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvKwBUB9oZM
From growing up on the island nation of Grenada to making her home in Canada, Jennifer Hosten has had a full and varied life.
Winning the 1970 Miss World competition was a significant turning point, and saw her embarking on tours to a diverse array of countries with other personalities and celebrities, including visiting US troops during the Vietnam war.
From here Jennifer took her love of exploring different cultures and people into work in broadcasting, diplomacy, trade negotiation, international development, business ownership, hospitality and academia. She is a proud mother to Sophia and Beau, and grandmother to her five grandchildren.
Jennifer’s life is defined by her desire to continue to learn, to rise to the challenges that come our way and give back to those around her.Jennifer recently concluded her memoir titled “Miss World 1970: How I Entered a Pageant and Wound Up Making History”, which was launched in the UK on March 10, 2020 and is available on Amazon.
More information about Jennifer can be found on: www.jenniferhosten.com
An alumnus of UWI—BA, Dip Ed, [London-UCWI] Higher Dip Ed [UWI]; MA (Linguistics and Education) from the University of Alberta, Karl Gordon was a revered retired teacher of modern languages in the Ottawa-Carleton School Board in Canada. He also taught a wide range of subjects at Stratford High School, Durham College and Gaynstead High School between 1954 and 1956, and at Jamaica College from 1961 to 1968. Twice finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in Jamaica, he won a Commonwealth scholarship to study in Canada in 1966 and took the master’s degree in linguistics and education noted above to resume teaching at Jamaica College. Known for his combination of meticulous scholarship, outstanding pedagogy and sensitivity to the psychological needs of students as well as their creativity while adhering to discipline, it is noteworthy that several members of the Jamaican Cabinet and diplomatic corps over time were students of his, as was one of the Canadian astronauts who sent him a message from space. Linguist, poet, playwright, commentator, actor, director, and translator he is ‘ready’ in some four languages. In addition, he has pursued courses in law and has served as advocate in some cases. A co-founder of Third World Players, an Ottawa-based theatre group founded in 1978 to foster awareness of the cultural heritage of Canadians with origins in the Third World, he has been the main director of its major stage productions, including those of his memorable plays Uncle George, The Old Man of the Village and Sometimes It Does and the outstanding production “Marcus Garvey: The Power of His Words”, staged in 1995 in collaboration with the Jamaica (Ottawa) Community Association. This latter event is symbolic of the type of voluntary community work in which Karl Gordon, who is shy of publicity, has been quietly engaged. He has been approached over the years to provide scripts, sometimes at very short notice, to mark special Jamaican, Caribbean or other momentous occasions. Readers of his acrostic and other poems to eulogise persons ranging from Nelson Mandela on the morning of his release from prison to Melaine Walker, the gold medalist for the 400 metres in the Beijing Olympics, to the one dedicated to the late Professor Nettleford will see why one could consider him a sort of “poet laureate of the Diaspora” in Canada. The “Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.” seen on stage and aired on radio and the radio production “The Maroon Story” are prose complements of the poetry. As well, he has been a very active member and/or supporter of literary groups, notably “Sasquatch’ and “El Dorado”, the group formed by Chilean writers in exile in Ottawa. While some of his work has been published, for example in A Shapely Fire: Changing the Literary Landscape, edited by Cyril Dabydeen , and more recently in the 2011 landmark anthology Beyond Sangre Grande: Caribbean Writing Today, also edited by Cyril Dabyeen, Karl Gordon, this very prolific author, who reveals in his work the attributes of a historian, philosopher and political economist, remains largely unpublished, and therefore has not been given the recognition which he richly deserves.
Ricardo Smith: Unfortunately at this time, we do not have a bio for Mr. Smith.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for their assistance in this tribute to the Third World Players
Heru Cha L. Jordan CB, Nonprofit Accountant
CEO/Director of Operations
Amexem Roots Rock Reggae Cultural Society