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Azalea Hart – 2016 Face of the Festival
Azalea Hart is honoured to be named the 2016 Face of the Festival. She is a recent graduate of Seneca’s broadcast journalism program. Since graduating, Hart has been working diligently to succeed as a broadcast journalist. But for her, incorporating her culture into her career has been a priority.
Hart is well-known in the West Indian community. She has modeled in and hosted several band launches over the past 10 years. She has a large network of social and professional contacts, and as a result, has acquired a large following on social media. She has more than 3,000 followers on the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, and she has garnered nearly 60,000 views on her YouTube channel.
In 2015, she created and began producing the popular YouTube show “Carnivlog with Azalea Hart” which features documentaries, interviews, band launches and Caribbean event coverage. Each year, she travels to several islands and countries to experience, document and report on each nation’s carnival. So far, she has been to Trinidad, Jamaica, Miami, Cayman Islands, Los Angeles and Barbados to partake in the festivities.
Over the last year, notable celebrities and DJs such as Bunji Garlin, Sean Paul, Angela Hunte, Walshy Fire of Major Lazer, Kes the Band, Dule Hill, Ricardo Drue, Lyrikal, GBM Nutron, Peter Ram, Kardinal Offishall and DJ Private Ryan have made appearances on her vlog.
Being named the 2016 Face of the Festival is so fitting for Azalea because she thrives to educate the masses—both Caribbean and non-Caribbean on the cultural significance and the origin of carnival. The annual event has grown tremendously over the years and people all around the world are taking notice.
Each February, thousands of people descend on Trinidad to enjoy the food, the people, the culture, and most importantly, the music. But Hart hopes that the journey doesn’t end there, she wants them to leave the island with a deep knowledge about the tradition. She wants bystanders and masqueraders alike to learn and understand the rich culture of the Caribbean. She urges people to purchase a costume from one of the 14 bands and come experience what Toronto Carnival has to offer!
Hart values her Christian faith and constant positive outlook on life. She attributes her success in to her faith and optimism. She also believes that with dedication, she can do anything, and this knowledge makes her proud.
Hart has blazed her own trail into the broadcast sphere, particularly within the West Indian community, and she’s nowhere near the end. In the future, she hopes to expand the content and success of her vlog and open herself up to a series of entertainment hosting opportunities that allow her to anchor and be on camera. She is currently co-hosting another YouTube show, FTD News, which is focused on opinion-based, out-of-the-ordinary news. Her passion for traveling, journalism, and Caribbean culture continues to be the focal point and drive behind her hunger for success.
Carnival in the Fort