It was a nice lime at Scarborough Centre mini Caribbean Carnival

By Lincoln DePradine

Eric Delfish

Eric Delfish, a longtime volunteer organizer of carnival celebrations in Toronto, is confident about the future of the masquerade and its return to the streets of the city.

For a second straight year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of major carnival activities, including the popular street parade on Lakeshore Boulevard.

In addition, three top officials of the Festival Management Corporation (FMC), which has been organizing the Toronto Carnival since 2006, have announced they’ll be leaving by year-end. However, none of this worries Delfish, who remains upbeat about carnival in the city.

“Things will continue. We have other competent people in the community who can fill those void,’’ Delfish told The Caribbean Camera in an interview at a carnival event.

For three days – last Friday, Saturday and Sunday – scores of people showed up a Scarborough parking lot to enjoy a variety program of Caribbean entertainment such as masquerade costume modeling, steelpan, calypso, drumming and dancing. They also had access to vendors’ booths, where they purchased food and craft.

The event, organized by FMC in collaboration with the Scarborough Town Centre management group, was a success, Delfish said.

“It met expectations. We wanted to keep the festival alive, given the fact that this is the second year of no carnival,’’ he said. “A lot of people who came, for them it was their first time out to an event since the COVID lockdown. People were glad to see each other and be able to go out and feel a sense of normalcy that has been lacking for almost two years now.’’

From top: Joe Halstead, Eddison Doyle and
Chris Alexander

A few weeks ago, Eddison Doyle, Chris Alexander and Joe Halstead announced that, for personal and business reasons, they planned on resigning from the FMC.

Halstead has been serving as the corporation’s chairman. Alexander is the chief operations officer and Doyle is CFO.

“The festival is going to be 55 years next year. I’m optimistic that next year, once there’s no COVID, we’ll see bigger and better things,’’ Delfish said.

“Life continues,

from my perspective. It’s like politics – governments change, people change; but, the festival is bigger than all of us.’’