Veteran calypsonian Baron (Timothy Watkins),the “sweet soca man” hailing from Trinidad, who was billed as one of the headliners at a Canada Day concert in the Greater Toronto Area did not show up for the event on Saturday – to the great disappointment of his fans.
Baron and Jamaican artiste Sanchez, a popular singer whose repertoire includes hardcore dancehall and reggae, were originally scheduled to appear at the concert at the Universal Event Space in Vaughan but the venue was later shifted to the Queen Elizabeth theatre on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto.
Then when it was discovered that Baron would not be present, Ajax-based calypsonian David Rudder was brought in “to fill the breach.”
Contacted by telephone in Trinidad, Sherma Orr, Baron’s wife and manager, told the Caribbean Camera that Baron could not travel to Canada for the concert because of the ” extremely long wait” to obtain a visa.
Orr said that recently there were long lines of visa applicants outside the Canadian government office in Port of Spain.
“Some people had been waiting in the line outside the office since before four o’clock one morning,” she said.
” We could not wait for so many hours to get a visa,” said Orr who pointed out that she and Baron lived ” a long distance away from Port of Spain” in the north eastern district of Toco.
Attempts to reach Christopher Campbell, the concert promoter, were unsuccessful.
Several callers were told that his voice box was full.