Caribana on Ice at City Hall

Calypso music, Caribbean dance and snow do not usually go hand-in-hand.

But the Caribana Arts Group, founders of the 1967 Caribbean festival, Caribana, is combining them in a unique event at City Hall in Toronto.

Breaking down barriers and amalgamating cultures are things that have become synonymous with Caribana, and the group aims at dispelling the misconception that the warm and tantalizing rhythms of Calypso music could only be enjoyed during the summer months. On February 23, 2013 it will present Caribana on Ice to celebrate Black History Month by frolicking Caribbean rhythms during one of the coldest months of the year.

This event is a skating event filled with Calypso music and dance. According to the organizers, they hope to make this into an annual event.

Although skating has traditionally been a sport that does not attract a lot of people from the Caribbean, the organizers are hoping they can break that culture with music. “Possibly, this disposition can be changed when our music start reverberating on that ice,” said one of the organizers. This could be true, as more people from various communities are now playing ice hockey and entering skating competitions through early exposure to these sports.

While this event is dubbed a family event, an emphasis will be placed on getting the youth out to participate, especially on the ice rink. The young people’s participation is vital, as the success of the event may hinge on them.

Supporters are already asking if there will be revellers during Caribana on Ice, and Board Director, Kathleen Daniel, has given the reassurance that the public can expect to see some revellers there. She wants patrons to come out and support the event and dress in bright colours. Ms. Daniel has emphasized that there is no dress code, however, she explained bright colours would symbolize a Caribbean theme, hence her request.

The event runs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb 23 at Nathan Philip Square. Admission is free. For more information regarding the festival, please visit the organizers website at