The City of Toronto announced on Friday [May 14] that it is extending the cancellation of “in-person ” major participatory events until September to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Included in its list of cancelled outdoor events are the grand parade of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, the Caribbean Junior Carnival, the King and Queen competition and Pan Alive.
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has also been cancelled.
The decision to cancel these summer events, made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service and the organizers, follows the previous cancellation of all such events up to July 1 and supports the directive that “physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” says a news release from the City.
Commenting on the cancellation, Toronto Mayor John Tory said ” the City and the vast majority of Toronto residents are doing everything we can right now to stop the spread of COVID-19 and get vaccinated.
‘ Following the public health measures and getting vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible will help us bring this pandemic to an end so that we can safely gather together once again.
“We will continue to support the City’s major events through these tough times and will do everything we can to make sure they come back stronger in 2022.”
Meanwhile, the Festival Management Committee (FMC) which puts on the annual carnival is getting ready for a largely “virtual celebration ” this year.
Chris Alexander, the FMC’s Chief Operating Officer, told The Caribbean Camera that despite Friday’s announcement of the cancellation, the carnival is still ” alive and well.
But instead of a major street parade, “we are planning alternative events.”
Details about these events will be announced at a media launch on June 15.
Toronto bandleader Louis Saldenah said the news of the cancellation came as no surprise to him.
“Bandleaders knew several months ago that there would be no carnival on the streets of Toronto in 2021,” he said.