By Staff Writer
Well, another Carnival has come and gone; but the heated exchanges over the festival continue. And 2019 is as heated as it gets where the parade, the highlight of the festival, is concerned.
Although opinions vary depending on the interest of the observer/participant, the prevailing view among spectators, especially those who sat in VIP viewing enclosure, is that this year was “the worst ever.” And the nagging question is, “After paying $115.00 for VIP tickets, why did we have to wait three hours after the last guest band, before we could see a competing band cross the stage?” They were also questioning the hospitality, the lack of breakfast and the quantity of food that was spoiled and wasted. Again!
It was no different for those who paid an entrance fee to the CNE to sit in the bleachers and wait. And when the bands did arrive to cross the stage – yes, there was an excellently-built stage this year – there were so many masqueraders with no costumes (stormers) that one wonders about how effective the miles and miles of eight-foot high fence was.
We also wondered about the effectiveness of the wristbands, many of which were not even scanned. Remember that no one was supposed to be in the parade, on the parade route or in a band without that hard-to-remove piece of material that said you were legit! So, what happened?
Another nagging question, especially among people in the mas community is, “Whose bright idea was it to loop the parade route and have bands judged at the end?” From the git go many said that it was not going to work; and they were proven correct! We now await a explanation from the organisers.
It is common knowledge that many masqueraders don’t give a damn about competition or staying in sections and going down the route in an orderly manner. They, especially the females, look for the first opportunity to get rid of as much clothing as possible to play themselves. They want to wine and get on bad; no wonder by the time bands got to the stage for judging, masqueraders were drunk, some had left the bands; and many had pieces of their costumes missing. And the stormers had infiltrated the bands too!
As far as judging goes, how could judges do a fair/honest job when there were so many non-costumed masqueraders who refused to leave the bands when they entered the CNE to cross the stage?
To be fair, stormers have been a problem for over 25 years. But one of the reasons the City gave for taking over the festival was that under different management things would be better. From this vantage point, the jury is still out.
Some of this year’s VIPs, spectators in the bleachers, masqueraders and people in the mas community say that after all these years we seem to moving backwards.
Stormers may be among the few who are happy with the 2019 Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade.
More pictures coming soon.
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is pleased to announce this year’s winners of the Grand Parade for Band of the Year.
GRAND PARADE – BAND OF THE YEAR
|1ST||LOUIS SALDENAH||LOUIS SALDENAH MAS-K CLUB||HEARTBEAT-THE THRILL OF LIFE||LOUIS SALDENAH MAS-K CLUB|
|2ND||JAMAAL MAGLOIRE||TORONTO REVELLERS||TREASURE ISLAND||TORONTO REVELLERS|
|3RD||DEXTER SEUSAHAI||TRIBAL CARNIVAL||MAGIC||TRIBAL CARNIVAL|