Toronto masqueraders have already begun to oil up their rusty waistlines  


Sunlime Mas

By Stephen Weir

On Sunday evening, Sunlime Mas unleashed their plans to win big in this summer’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival by staging a private multi-purpose fete. It was part costume launch, part photo shoot and a big thank-you to their volunteers and models who have helped out during the two-year long pandemic hibernation.

“I think that we are feeling it,” said Band Leader Ashlyn Dawson. “The anticipation for Sunlime Mas to get back on the road, has been building up since November! We have been getting calls and emails from the US and across the Caribbean asking if Carnival is back this year.”

Yes, of course is the answer. The callers are urged to order their costumes now and avoid sell-outs.  And would be revelers are also being told to “oil up their rusty waistlines” so they can fit into this mas band’s super sexy costumes.

Sunlime is one of the newer bands preparing to play Mas in the festival in 2022. Their first launch was back in April 2016. Right from the start the band has put together a loyal following winning awards in the King and Queen competition and on the road in the Small Band category.

“We are not going to have a formal costume launch, we just don’t need to,” explained Ms. Dawson. “Most of the people who go down the road with us are not from Toronto, they are from out of town (and from outside Canada) and might only be in the city once.”

To date the callers don’t seem to be concerned about Covid. In fact, Ashley Dawson thinks that Toronto will be overwhelmed by the size of the parade in 2022. “People really really want “(to go down the road after two years of nothing).

In 2020 Sunlime designed and sewed and glued a storage room full of beautiful costumers for paraders of all shapes and sizes. No sooner had they finished then the government shut down all major festivals in the province. Rather than get rid of the costumes they kept them in storage. The next year the costumes stayed in storage as the shutdowns continued. Finally, this past Sunday they came out for the first time ever.  As photographer Anthony Berot’s pictures show, with age comes beauty.

Photographs of the costumes are now posted on the Sunline website and available for purchase online. There are nine sections selling outfits, more sections may be added if the demand continues, and the orders keep coming in.

As Sunday’s Scarborough private screening began it was a steady parade of feathers, paste jewelry, plunging bras and tight tights. The section names range from Woman’s Fury to Fiery Passion, Pandora’s Box and Bacchanalia, screaming out why the 2022 theme is tagged Unleashed.

The pictures and videos on their website and Instagram are slick multimedia explanations of the Unleashing. It will be a little while before their Mas Camp is open and people can visit and try on a costume. That is because they haven’t confirmed yet where their Mas Camp is physically going to be.

“We know it will be in Scarborough and we know it will be soon. Once we are fully open, we can think about Blockos, cruises and all things Carnival.”

Photographs by Anthony Berot