Mum’s the word from the FMC

Decision Carnival 2020

By; Stephen Weir

Mum’s the word from the FMC

Will Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2020 be held in July and early August. as in former years ? Will it be moved to another date? Will it be “modified”?  Or will  the fete be cancelled, as many are now predicting?

Well, mum’s the word from Festival Management Committee (FMC), organizer of the carnival.

However, mas’ makers are already issuing cancellation notices.Two were sent out this week -one from the Ol’ Time Carnival and the other from the Epic Carnival Mas’ camp. More are expected.

Ol’ Time Carnival is an outdoor carnival arts show supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the City’s Art in the Park. Staged by the Cajuca Mas Arts Producers, their show uses costumed performers, live narration, drumming and calypso to tell the story of carnival, with traditional characters  such as Soucyant, Jab Molassies, Moko Jumbies, and of course, the Dame Lorraine.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Jackie Forde, the organizer said that their show planned for this summer will be presented instead next July in Toronto’s public parks.

“We respect the need to give our communities time to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and to be able to commune and celebrate when it is safe to do so,” Forde said. “Stay safe. Stay healthy and look after one another.”

The EPIC Carnival mas’ band had  planned to hold its 2020 costume launch on April 18.  But that popular event has been cancelled and it appears the band is throwing in the towel, this year.

“For many weeks now we have been tempted to believe the circumstances would change in our favour, but as reality hits, we are ready to officially say that EPIC Carnival Band Launch 2020 is cancelled,”  says  a message from EPIC.

 “The decision comes as no surprise as the event exceeds government public event limits. We intend to respect the advice from experts, and work with our public health officials to flatten the curve.”

“We will have more official news available about the EPIC Carnival Experience at Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2020 as decisions are made by the Festival Management Committee, City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, and the Canadian Government.”

Toronto award winning costume designer Osie Brand went to Facebook to vent about the virus and its impact on Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival 2020.  Always short and to the point ,he said earlier this week, “No building mas’ in the living room this year boy!! 2020, you suck.”

Brand, like hundreds of other Torontonians involved in the carnival industry, is not blaming anyone for the massive cancellation of events in the city but, is anxious to hear if the carnival is a ” go ” this year.

“You guys sure know how to crush a Mas’ Mans spirit! LOL”, wrote Brand. “ Now gambling $2500.00 (to build a competitive costume) and not placing is one thing, but gambling it on an event that won’t take place is another, uh uh!”