‘Sally’ wins 21st ‘band of the year’ title

Louis Saldenah

Louis Saldenah’s spectacular “Streets on fire” won “band of the year” at the Toronto Caribbean carnival which hit the road on July 30 last after a two-year hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saldenah, popularly known as Sally in mas’ playing circles, has now won the “band of the year” title 21 times. He first won it in 1977.

“We won again this year because we have a good team working with us,” he told The Caribbean Camera.

His “Streets on fire” was among twelve competing bands in this year’s grand parade on Lakeshore Boulevard.

Placing second in the big band competition was Jamaal Magloire’s Toronto Revellers with “Bon Voyage” and in third place was Celena Seusahai’s Tribal Carnival with “Kingdoms”.

Fourth place winners were Bryce Aguiton and Marcus Eustace of Carnival Nationz with “Queens & Goddesses.”

Winners in the medium band competition were Dwayne Gunness and Ashlyn Dawson of Sunlime Canada with “Unleashed.”

Placing second was Jerrol Augustine of E.P.I.C. Canada with “Energy.”

Mas’ aficionados who witnessed the massive ‘jump up” on Lakeshore Boulevard said that while there was a large turnout for Saturday’s event, the crowds were not as large as in recent years.

An estimated 10,000 costumed revellers took part in the event.

At the recent King and Queen Showcase at Lamport Stadium, Shane Reid Mungal from Carnival Nationz was adjudged “King of the Bands” and Celana Seusahai from Tribal Nations, “Queen of the Bands.”

Mas’ players from Carnival Nationz were adjudged winners of both the “Female Individual” and “Male Individual.”

Tamara Alleyne-Gittens as “Goddess of The Rainbow” was “ Female Individual” and Ronnie Des Vignes, as “ Protector of the Underworld Gods,” was “Male Individual.”

Laverne Garcia, Chair of the Festival Management Committee, organizer of the Toronto Caribbean carnival, told The Caribbean Camera that “as with any Festival of this magnitude, there were significant challenges in coming back after a global pandemic, which included supply chain issues and logistical hurdles.

“I’m grateful to our dedicated team who worked around the clock to meet these challenges to ensure the festival took place.”

“We take pride in the beautiful spectacle that encompassed the road and was an amazing display of the creativity, tenacity and exuberance of the Caribbean people and culture,” said Garcia. 

“ We want to thank all the creative artists, staff, volunteers and funders that brought the Festival to life.  We also want to thank the people of Toronto and the tourists from all over the world for embracing the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.  We look forward to an even bigger and better Festival in 2023,” she added.