‘Celebration Time’ 2017

By Murissa Barrington

It’s “Celebration Time” for Band leader Louis Saldenah as he launches his Carnival presentation of the same name for 2017.

Hundreds packed into the Chandi Grand banquet hall in Toronto Saturday night for the band launch. This year Saldenah’s  band will be celebrating  both Toronto Carnival’s 50th anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday.

 “We’ve been involved in the parade for the past 35 years,” Saldenah   told the Caribbean Camera. “So, we figured we had to do something special on parade day.”

“Celebration Time” consists of 15 different sections. Eight of them represent “different aspects of the Caribbean” and the remainder, ” different aspects of Canada.”

A diverse array of models dazzled the audience with colourful costumes and elaborate wings and capes on front line ensembles. “Soca on De Beach” wowed spectators with a skirt that could be transformed into a large circular fan with just a flick of the wrist.

“Royal Caribbean” and “Spice Mas” were also some of the costumes presented as part of the Caribbean design section.

“Light of the Valkyries,” portrayed the Northern Lights  (Aurora Borealis) with teal, purple and pink feathers and “light up” wings. Other Canadian costumes included “Maple-licious” and “Fashion on Queen,” a pastel pink crowd-pleaser that featured a floor length feathered skirt and a large laced-detailed headpiece.

For the past decade, Saldenah’s band has been largest at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Last year he had  more than 4,200 masqueraders on the road .He  says this year he expects to attract around the same number of mas’ players as he did last year..

After  winning the “band of the year”  title 17 times, Saldenah says his participation in the carnival  ” is no longer about the competition but rather the people.”

“We just want to please the customers now,” he says.  “It’s not important for me to win again because we have proven ourselves. You can see by the big turnout we had.”

Costume prices will begin at $250 for backline. The mas’ camp location will be confirmed later this week. Once confirmed, Saldenah says all the relevant information will be available at www.saldenahcarnival.com