Caribana, more than just a jump up!
By Gerald V. Paul
Scholarships were awarded to students selected from Toronto’s Jane and Finch Wards 7, 8 and 9 to pursue their post-secondary education at Seneca College. A formal presentation will occur at the Caribana Flags and Colours event on July 12. Scholarships are up to $1,000 per person to offset tuition fees at Seneca College.
“I am happy to receive the scholarship and would like to thank all those responsible for making this possible,” said an excited Kevin Jagrup, Canadian born and of Guyanese heritage.
Jagrup, one of three scholarship recipients, said he will fly the Canadian and Guyanese flags as he sees himself as “half and half, ” while reflecting on the failure by some of his teachers and students to accept his born-in-Canada identity. His interest is in the area of immigration and refugees.
Yorkgate Mall Scholarship (11 years and counting) “is fully funded by Yorkgate Mall adminstration, co-ordinated by Caribana Arts Group, with production assistance provided by Metro Toronto Police Services 31 Division, and Seneca College,” scholarship chair Alicia Sealey told The Camera.
Henry Gomez, general manager and artistic director of Caribana Flags and Colours, a respected educator and leader in the community, said: “Great things come from Jane and Finch.”
Gomez said the carnival allows children and youth of the community to be the “stars” and the “princes and princesses” in their own Caribbean carnival and puts a positive focus on the community. ”
The event will be highlighted by a parade of children and youth in spectacular costumes. One of the goals this year is to have 500 costumed children in the parade. To achieve this, Caribana began a new initiative with the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Police Services, making presentations to elementary schools in the community and establishing better relations with teachers, students and parents.
Caribana Flags and Colours is intended to celebrate everything positive about the community, to focus on children and youth and to bring people together through the use of Caribbean carnival arts.
“Through that, we can bring the community together in a positive space to celebrate all that is good about Jane and Finch,” said Gomez. For more information, visit www.flagsandcolours.org.