Caribbean taste missing from the Carnival


By Sonia Courtney

After attending all of the major events at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2022 as a media representative, I would like to point out to the organizers of the festival some areas which require their urgent attention.

First of all, the King and Queen show at Lamport Stadium. The stage appeared to be too small for the large costumes and one masquerade actually toppled over on the stage. He did not seem to have enough room to maneuver the large costume.  Had the stage been bigger, this problem could have been avoided. There was so much room given to the VIP and the VVIP areas that it appears that the contestants’ areas were not a priority. (The priority seems to be getting more VIP$. The other problem is that the mas’ is further from the general audience in the stands). I also noticed that many spectators did not want to pay the “hefty” cost of entering the Stadium. This was unfortunate. This is one of the reasons for poor attendance.

The Pan competition was not as well attended as in previous years. I think this also was because of the cost of entry as there were many people outside the hall enjoying the sound of the event. It is unfortunate that this festival appears to be priced out of the range of the people who enjoy it but have to sit outside to listen. Apart from that, I saw just one small ad in The Caribbean Camera about the event. Surely it could have been better advertised.

The Parade of the bands was also a disappointment. Representatives of the media had to sit or kneel on the ground next to the stage for the entire event and there was no refreshment or food provided for those covering the event on such a hot day – and no Caribbean vendors in sight. Let’s face it, the FMC has never made proper accommodation for the Black media

The stage that was set up for the masqueraders also needed some attention. Someone should quickly sweep the debris off the stage between bands and have better-organized security around the stage to control the large crowd of people who come rushing into the area.

Clearly, there is room for improvement at the carnival and I am writing this in hopes that next year’s event will be better organized.

Let us also not forget that this is a Caribbean cultural event and should have more of the Caribbean than just the masqueraders. The taste of the Caribbean would make the event complete.