By Gerald V. Paul
“We need 200 kids to register by next Saturday in order for us to hold the CARIBANA Flags and Colours at Yorkgate Mall this year. If we do not reach our goal, we will have to unfortunately cancel the event,” a concerned Knia Singh, president of CARIBANA, told The Camera.
Singh issued an urgent appeal to members of the community – especially in the Jane and Finch area – who love CARIBANA and remember the good times: “We need your assistance with kiddies CARIBANA this year.”
He said that because the city did not approve their grant request for this year’s Pan Am celebration and due to their regular team not being able to contribute this year, they are left with few resources.
CARIBANA is the real Carnival to some in the Caribbean community.
CARIBANA Flags and Colours, slated for July 4, is an educational and cultural event in Jane and Finch where the police continue to do bridge building with young people in area. Singh, a law student, said he has had run-ins with the police with carding but he sees this event as a time of working together and having fun.
Singh said they also need volunteers including high school students who can use this opportunity to earn community hours towards their graduation.
“It is important that the community participate and keep our culture alive no matter what the other corporate entities do. They have stripped us of our resources but they can’t take away our community spirit,” Singh said.
“This year we are doing special T-shirt bands and welcoming the Pan Am Games,” Singh added.
Singh said each single child who registers for the event makes a difference.