Guyana Resource Center
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of it's name "The Land of Many Waters"
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May. 23, 2006

When Guyanese-Canadian Danny Doobay first arrived here in 1978, there was no place in Scarborough where he could expect to meet other Guyanese.

That's all changed, said Doobay, an entrepreneur who's been Guyana's honourary consul general in Toronto for eight years.

The Guyanese community, which celebrated the Caribbean nation's 40th anniversary of independence this weekend at Scarborough's Guyana Festival, now has its share of local restaurants, clubs, stores and other meeting places, though Doobay said it still lacks a community centre that can serve as a central point.

Often arriving here with a university education, Guyanese in Canada have become business leaders, politicians, civil servants, professors and judges - "people who have elevated themselves and are contributing to this community," Doobay said last week.

Run with volunteers from 44 different groups, the festival at L'Amoureaux Community Centre is now the "largest annual gathering of Guyanese outside of Guyana," according to its organizers, who hope to introduce the event to a wider audience with features such as the Taste of Guyana, which gives festival-goers chances to sample duck curry and other delicacies.

Other events at the festival encouraged tourism and trade in Guyana, important because Guyanese-Canadians are one of Guyana's largest sources of foreign investment. Doobay said such investment is a two-way street, since Guyanese companies often invest in Canada as a way of ensuring a market for their products.

Also at the three-day festival were a cultural showcase, an interfaith service and a flag-raising for which thousands of Guyanese flags were provided for free.