Mas’ lovers brave the wintry weather to celebrate with Carnival Nationz

By Stephen Weir

 Freezing Rain. Stinging ice pellets. Blowing snow and streets filled with slush. Car Crashes. Power Outages…

Despite warnings to stay off the roads, revellers thumbed their noses at the horrible weather on Saturday night to celebrate the coming summer with the Carnival Nationz  Mas’ Camp.

“I was shocked to see the sheer numbers of people that still turned out Saturday night at the Chateau Le Jardin Banquet Hall (Woodbridge),” bandleader Marcus Eustace told the Caribbean Camera. “I guess that it is a testament to the power of Carnival Nationz. Everyone wants to see what we are coming up with.

Carnival Nationz costumes

“Our theme this year is LOVE and when we are on the road this August 4th  at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade, Carnival Nationz will have 14 beautiful sections.”

Social Media is still abuzz with praise for the beautiful costume designs shown on stage.  Although the weather took its toll on the audience size (reports say the room was two-thirds full), it was a party that started late Saturday and ended Sunday morning.

The costume fashion show  was a lengthy presentation because of the  many sections that took their turn on the cat walk -models wearing diaphanous trains, some  in eagle wings and men and women wearing crazy colour mash-ups of canary yellow capes, faux lapis lazuli breast plates and tall purple feathered head gear.

Carnival Nationz has added more sections this year because of demand. They are expecting more people to take part in the grand parade.. “Last year the band had over 3000 masqueraders on the road and there are a lot of talented young people coming up which is good for the culture,” said Eustace.

Carnival Nationz is setting up a new camp. The date of the opening and the address of the camp will soon be announced. When people  check out the costume racks  they should prepare themselves for a bit of sticker shock. Eustace explained that  because of the rise of the minimum wage in Ontario, most of the costumes will cost a little more- by “about $10 to $15.”

While Carnival Nationz decided to go ahead with its costume launch on Saturday night, two others bands which had  also planned launches, cancelled the events when weather reports said

the city would be hit with 18 more  hours of falling ice pellets and snow.

D New Regulars pulled the plug on their advertised Sunday evening Scarborough show.

“Due to the extreme weather our band launch has been rescheduled to May 5th,” D New Regulars announced on its Facebook site. “Tickets will be honoured for that date, or a full refund will be given.”

The Toronto Revellers had also planned to open their Mas’ Camp on Sunday and put on a costume launch for four sections.  That fete was cancelled early in the day.

“Due to the weather and your safety, we are postponing our Grand Opening to next Sunday, April 22,” said  the Mas’ Camp on its Facebook site.” Keep following for costume online purchasing information, photos and amazing early bird registration prize,.” it advised mas’ fans.

Photographs by Don Moreland/Carnival North