A night of pure Pan Fantasy

Pan Fantasy Steelband will mark 30 years of music and fun on June 11 with a special show.
Pan Fantasy Steelband will mark 30 years of music and fun on June 11 with a special show.

June 11 will be a night of sheer Pan Fantasy.

The steelband will celebrate 30 glorious years at Tropicana Community Banquet Hall that night with spectacular music and good times.

Wendy Jones, leader of Pan Fantasy, the reigning Pan Alive Steel pan Champions, told The Camera yesterday, “We are grateful for the ability and opportunities to continue to increase the awareness of this instrument as we continue to perform and put pan on the world stage.”

She said that as a community based non-profit organization, they strive to create awareness of “our cultural programming of this steel pan instrument within our Canadian context.”

Jones, an educator, stressed they believe it is their responsibility to engage youth and help form relationships to help them become strong leaders among their peers and assist in building a better community so they can contribute in a positive way to society.

Jones noted the vision and mission of the North York Inter Community Youth Group, a dedicated organization that has been providing on-going activities within the steel pan community over the past 28 years.

The group was formed in North York-Jane and Finch by a collective of young people who saw a need within the community to make a positive change in the lives of youths. “Through the development of programming around the instruments, they have been able to enroll to date 1,000 youths over the past 30 years,” Jones said.

“Pan Fantasy, the steelband carries out all its major fundraising activities through the core group of the North York group organization, with a membership of 70 to 100 musicians, 35 core group planning playing members, 10 key community planning parents, and a youth planning advisory group.”

Looking back over the years, Jones said, “Two of the major success we are  truly proud of is Pan Fantasy Steelband was invited on Aug. 1, 2010, to participate in the 50th Annual Cultural Festival on Wikwemikong Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

“We were one of the first steelbands to ever play at the Festival Pow Wow there.”

The band was also invited to represent Canada in the PanTrinbago International Panorama 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago. “This was a great and rewarding experience as 60 members of Pan Fantasy were able to compete among several large steelbands,” Jones said.

Among the band’s numerous awards and highlights are: People’s First Choice Award-Winning Band in New York Panorame, 2013; Official Opening, Pan Am Games, 2012 and Caribbean Steelband Music Award Winners, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

For more information, call Jones at 416-525-2391.