Here come de Carnival

Morning Mist section struts their stuff at Fantazia International band launch. By Gerald V. Paul
Morning Mist section struts their stuff at Fantazia International band launch.
By Gerald V. Paul

Will you be the next face of Carnival?

Toronto Caribbean Carnival – formerly known as Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival – is inviting members of the community to be the face (not mask) of the festival and to win an all-inclusive one-week trip to the Caribbean.

They are looking for one male and female whose images will be placed on all marketing materials.

“In two years … this festival will celebrate 50 years of existence,” noted CEO Denise Herrera-Jackson in her message celebrating the Carnival of the Americas.

“We have the opportunity to begin curating festival memories and stories with the help of the recently inaugurated Myseum of Toronto.”

Meanwhile, a Carnival Redemption spokesman told The Camera, “We will be different: first time band launch in a club, first time two Mas camp as registration opens at band launch with an amazing contest that will be advertised all over the GTA.

“Carnival Redemption is the youngest Mas band in North America in 49 years that represents the youth but also values the older demographics,” said Joanne Webster, part of the branding and marketing team of Nocturnal Events.

Webster said they saw a need to provide a service to all masqueraders while bringing a new essence to the Mas culture, as well as the traditional on-de-road experience.

Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival, said publicist Stephen Weir “is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Join us as we celebrate our 48th anniversary.

“We are bigger and better than ever!”

Weir said the official launch will be on Tuesday, July 5.

He noted Carnival is more than a time to jump and wave yuh flag and rag. “Our social responsibility enables us to help the following charities:

“The Children’s Breakfast Clubs which has collaborated with the festival and supported initiatives across the GTA, including providing scholarships to students attending Seneca College over the past 11 years. Thanks to Rick Gosling and his team.

“The Caribbean Children’s Foundation led by president Jay Brijpaul, assisting their ‘angels’ in getting the necessary surgeries at the Hospital for Sick Kids.

“Prostate Awareness Group of Ontario started in 2005 in memory of a brave young man, Sunday Afolabi. Their slogan is Educating for Life.”

Some $400 million is generated by the event with more than one million people.

As Premier Kathleen Wynne noted last year in a message to Carnival organizers, “Your creative energy and collaborative spirit have helped to make this one of the biggest carnivals in North America and the world.”

Weir said, “As Carnival is an international cultural phenomenon, the great metropolis of Toronto and its environs will come alive as the city explodes with the pulsating rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands.”

Festival Management Committee (FMC) oversees running North America’s largest outdoor festival including these events:

  • Junior Carnival on July 16. The Junior Carnival and Family Day event provides its audience and the surrounding community of Malvern the opportunity to experience the cultural presentation of young performers. “This event engages the three stakeholders groups, Toronto Mas Bands Association, Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, and the Ontario Steelpan Association.Toronto,” Weir said.
  • Carnival Ball, July 22.
  • Calypso Extravaganza Show on July 23 at the Chinese Cultural Centre.
  • King and Queen Competition and Show on July 28.
  • Pan Alive Competition on July 31.
  • Grand Parade Saturday, Aug. 1, at 9:30 a.m. at Exhibition Place and Lakeshore Blvd.

The list of organizations: Durham Mas and Recreational Club; D’ Regulars and Cultural Club; Fantazia International; Connections m Band; Concept Costumes Creators; Tribal Carnival; Carnival Nationz; Toronto Revellers; Louis Saldenah Mas-K- Club; Atlantic Mas; Carnival Redemption; Sublime Canada; Island Vybz and York Region Mas.