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Caribbean Carnival Toronto (formally Carabana) 2012

Carnival 2012


Martin Luther King had a dream!  In 1967, so did the creators of Carnival - to showcase Carribean Canadian culture in Canada! The result was called Caribana which they based on the huge and exciting Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.  The founders of Caribana envisioned it as a gift of culture to Canada.  This Carnival is a cultural explosion of Caribbean music, ( Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Hip Hop, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands ) Caribbean cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. According to the organizers, it is the largest Carnival in North America!  The Carnival is now run by the Festival Management Committee, a group of business people and City of Toronto officials.  It is aimed at not only continuing this gift of culture but also at fiscal stability for all participants in Carnival and for the benefit of the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada and the corporate sponsors.

This Carnival was held in Toronto from July 12 to August 5, 2012.  The main events of the festival were: the Gala, Pan Alive, the King & Queen Xtavaganza and the Parade of Bands.  There are also many feets or parties at night clubs which usually start late around 11:30 and go until sunrise.

The Gala

The Caribana Gala & after party was held on July 27, 2011 at the Liberty Grand on the C.N.E. Grounds in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the funds raised went to support the Caribbean Children Foundation (TCCF) - a registered Canadian charity based in Ontario, Canada whose mandate is “To help poor children from the English-speaking Caribbean, suffering from an ailment or ailments for which no treatment is available in their country of origin, to receive such treatment in Canada”.  The Gala was an evening of elegance celebrating the Culture of Carnival and transformed the Liberty Grand Complex into an island of sensational colour, rhythmic vibrations and exotic extravagance. From the moment you enter the grand ballroom you heard and saw the melodious sounds and culinary splendor of the Carnival through music, costumes, magnificent dinner program, silent and live auctions and even livelier performances. The entertainment included Itah Sadu, Tracey Soman, Roger Gibbs, Connector, Structure, Pan Fantasy Steelband, Calypso Queen - Macomere Fifi, Ossie Gurley and the Truth.  Tributes went to Horace Thorne, Arnold Hughes, Oswald James, Cecil Clarke and Noreen Callender.

Check back next year for this great event!

The Grand Parade

The jewel of the festival is the Caribana parade - imagine pulsating rhythms of Calypso, Soca and Steel Bands dancing along Lakeshore Blvd., with thousands of brilliantly costumed Mas Bands spirited together.  Each year, TorontoArtsandEvents! is amazed by the colours and the artistic genius shown in the parade!  Unfortunately this year the last three bands of the 15 MAS bands were not able to parade because of the 7 p.m. cutoff.  TorontoArtsandEvents! asks if the deadline could be extended and if the parade could be run as a continuous parade.

Carnival 2012 Band of the Year Results:

Band of the Year:  Marcus Eustace - Carnival Nationz - 436 points

2nd Place:  Louis Saldenah - Louis Saldenah - 421 points

3rd Place:  Jamaal Magloire - Toronto Revellers - 419 ponts.

For a comparison, the 2011 Band of the Year Results were:

1. Carnival Nationz
2. Saldenah Mas-K Club
3. Toronto Revellers
4. Tribal Knights


Based upon the success of the Carnival this year, its creators’ dream has come true - this festival puts Canadian Carribean culture in the spotlight!! - check back to Toronto Arts and Events for Next Year’s Carnival!!

© Photographs and Article G.C. Eyre 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Category: Festivals
Start Date: 2012-07-12
End Date: 2012-08-06
Venue: Toronto ON

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When is the next Caribbean festival in Toronto. Ive always wanted to go downtown to see it.
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