By Stephen Weir
As the school year winds down and the warm weather finally moves in, Last weekend it proved to be a great time to be a kid in Scarborough. There were three, count ‘em three, kiddies costume band launches in the city this past Saturday and Sunday and there are more launches to come.
Carnival is going full bore in Toronto. On Saturday for the children there were costume launches staged by Fantazia and Carnival Nationz mas camps. On Sunday at NBA great Jamaal Magloire’s Toronto Revellers Mas Camp.
First out of the blocks was Fantazia’s Rebirth band Launch at Will and Lisa Morton’s mas camp, located this year in an industrial park on Midland Avenue near the 401 highway. The perfect place for the launch with loads of free parking and the children had plenty of free space to play inside and out!
Fantazia’s Saturday launch was very much a family event. Lisa worked with the parents of the young models to get them ready to appear on stage within their large mas camp.
When the Camera visited the camp, the costume launch was about to begin. There were more than 200 adults and kids at the camp with more pouring in as we left to visit the next launch.
An hour after the Fantazia fete began, the doors to the Lil Nationz Band opened. Dubbed the Savannah Grass Kiddies Launch, the party and show was held at the Military Trail mas camp in Scarborough.
Lil Nationz’ junior models showed modest, comfortable, colourful costumes that children taking part in the 2019 Kiddies Carnival. Which will be held on July 20th in Malvern.
On Sunday, the Raptor Jamaal Magloire and his Toronto Revellers Mas Band might have set the gold standard for Junior launches. The late afternoon family party and costume show attracted hundreds of spectators both young and old.
The Revellers were set up inside two large industrial units on Midwest Road, near Lawrence and Midland Avenue. One unit was used as a dressing room for more than 30 kids. Next door was a stage and a viewing area for what looked like 300 parents and children.
There certainly was an excitement in the room as the models came out wearing costumes inspired by the band’s theme. Treasure Island.
Dancing down the runway were kids in sailor’s outfits – a throwback to the costumes worn in the carnival parades of the 19th century. Then came the pirates with plastic cutlasses, eye patches and stuffed parrots on their shoulders. And so the parade of children continued – It took close to an hour for all the sections to perform their well-rehearsed routines.
For the mas camp the launches were very successful in terms of children signing up for their junior bands. Now comes the heavy lifting – converting their units into a show room and costume building factory for both junior and adult costumes!