Suzette Vidale

Suzette at Toronto City Hall celebrating Trinidad & Tobago's 50th year of Independence.

Suzette at Toronto City Hall celebrating Trinidad & Tobago's 50th year of Independence.

With roots from the Caribbean islands, Suzette has embraced a major similarity with her native Toronto –the rich, vibrant and diverse cultures.  This love of culture has allowed her to connect with various groups and participate in countless events.

For over 15 years, she has played with Toronto’s oldest steelband, Afropan and has also played with Melange Musical Steel.

In 2000, with the encouragement of Jamea Zuberi (Steelpannist & Associate Principal of Linden School for Girls at the time) Suzette taught steelpan for 4 years at the Linden School for Girls and eventually implemented a  steelpan program for children with the Afropan Community Campus Group (Afropan Steelband).  She has also instructed students at Pape Avenue and Ryerson Elementary  School and held workshops for children, focusing on cooperation and team building through the use of the steelpan. Topics taught include history, culture, international exposure, and current innovations. (continued below)

Special thanks go to Earl La Pierre jr, who mentored her upon taking her first steps towards being a soloist. Additionally, Suzette recognizes those who had an impact on her whilst on the journey of discovering the joy of the steelpan. These include: Earl La Pierre Sr, Ian Jones, Andre Rouse, Jamea Zuberi, Wayne Donawa, Tom Sosa, Gary Pena, Leona Lake, Mike Rosteing, Jerry Jerome, Duvone Stewart, Pat McNeilly & James Gregoire. Most honourable mention goes to her father Frank Forde, a classical guitarist who's motto for attaining goals were to always "GO FOR IT!"

Her  pride in the steelpan is whole heartedly passionate, as decades earlier the instrument was stigmatized. The association with the instrument or  anyone “man” who played it was looked down upon. Women were absolutely forbidden.

International  exposure eventually allowed for social barriers to be broken and the steelpan to become  acceptable for all to participate and enjoy.

Suzette welcomes musicians of all backgrounds and genres to join her on the journey of educating, enlightening and inspiring

 

Memorable Performances

YWCA Week Without Violence 2002
 Jessie's Centre for Teenagers
  Using the Art of Performance to Discuss Violence for Young Women

YWCA Girl Jam 2003
Revival
Talented and dynamic group of young women from all across Toronto
performing in support of a community without violence.

YWCA Women's Play Day 2004 
Introductory Steelpan Workshop
A charitable event in support of the women's Breakthrough Program

Community Support Program Holiday Event 2005 
Nellie's
Support for Women and Children

Autumn Leaves on Steel 2005
Bathurst Street Theatre

Steelpan Soloist Showcase

 Pedagogies of Crossing - Book Launch 2006
 Jacqui Alexander 2006            
 Ryerson University           

Heart to Heart  Fundraiser 2007
Our Lady of Good Counsel Caribbean Catholic Church & Centre

Thanksgiving Service 2007
 Honouring the late St. Lucian Prime Minister
 Rt. Hon. Sir John George Melvin Compton

Network for Learning Fundraiser 2007
Visions of Science
Factory Theatre           

Black History Month launch 2008/2009/2010
 Ministry of the Attorney General

Winter Caribbean Fest 2009
 Introductory Steelpan Workshop
 A charitable event in support of Alexandra Park Community Centre

L.C.B.O. Diversity Day  2008/2009/2010/2012/2013/2014

M.A.C.A. Scholarship Ball 2009
Event recognizing and awarding promising students pursuing post secondary education

Journey of Discovery Conference 2010/2011/2012/2013
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
 Workshop teaching children about the history and culture of the steelpan

Sickle Cell Red Carpet Awareness and Awards Gala 2010/2014
Event promoting programs benefiting persons with sickle cell disease: Tutoring, Counseling, Education Programs, Social Support, Outreach Services, Medical Services Support , Scholarship and Awareness

International Women's Day Centary Breakfast/Luncheon 2011/2012/2013
Event recognizing and reflecting on the accomplishments of women over the past century

Ministry of Diversity and Economic Trade 2011
Diversity Launch

Dufferin-Peel (In)Equity Conference 2011
Introductory Steelpan Workshop to teachers within the Dufferin-Peel School Board

More listings to come... CLICK to check out past events and photos in the BLOG section