Canadian calypsonians ‘going virtual’ for Carnival

Henry (King Cosmos) Gomez, Macomere Fifi and Connector

No fewer than 22 calypsonians will be appearing in this year’s  Calypsoca Cabaret as part of tbe Festival Management Committee’s (FMC’s) virtual Caribbean Carnival 2020.

Pat McNeilly (Panman Pat) chair of the Organization  of Calypso Performing Artistes (OCPA), told The Caribbean Camera that  among the performers who are registered for the Cabaret are some of the founders of  the Organization such as Henry (King Cosmos) Gomez and  himself.

“We also have five juniors from  the “Pass the Torch” group led by Johh (Jason) Perez and many seasoned performers.”

McNeilly explained that for the last two years, OCPA had not held  calypso monarch competitions  ” because of dwindling support from the artistes themselves and the lack of appropriate funding..”

“But  this year we were planning to have both a soca and a calypso competition.Then  came the COVID-19 pandemic and we had to cancel those plans,

“And now we are going virtual.”

“The performers  are meeting at A Different Booklist in Toronto where  photographer Anthony Berot  has set up a  television  studio. Each performer gets half a n hour in front of the cameras and will be using his or her musical tracks.

” We are putting three packages together and the  FMC will decide how to use them.

” It’s  really up to the FMC to do the programming.”

“We  are very happy to be involved with this virtual Carnival with the assistance of  the FMC,” he remarked.

McNeilly noted that next year OCPA will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the Organization has big plans for 2021.

“But more about that later,”  he said.

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