Trinidadian Haniffa Ali and a friend lead an African section on stage in the Scotiabank Caribana parade.
“Mas, Toronto gone wild; playing mas Trinidadian style.”
(Mighty Sparrow, 1972)
WITH Notting Hill Carnival already in full swing, folk have scarcely had time to catch their collective breath from a slew of regional carnivals, in places like Antigua, St Vincent, St Lucia and Barbados, and further afield in Canada for Toronto’s Scotiabank Caribana. As usual, more than a million spectators descended on maple leaf country for an explosion of music and mas, all spawned from T&T Carnival.
Producing an African-themed presentation, Jamaal Magloire copped the Band of the Year title for large bands for the second consecutive year. Trinidad-born Magloire is a member of much acclaimed NBA team Dallas Mavericks, but admits that, in spite of his fame and success, mas is too much in his blood not to participate in Caribana.
Also in winners’ row was another Trini, veteran masman Selwyn “Nip” Davis. His presentation—Somewhere in the Orient—won the Band of the Year title in the 500-member category.
Secretary of the Toronto Mas Association, and en amployee with Children’s Aid Society, Davis said he already has ideas in his head for his 2009 presentation.
Stating that mas is a year-round affair, Davis revealed that he does his shopping in his native land when he makes his annual pilgrimage home for Trinidad Carnival.
Caribbean women play themselves at this year’s Scotiabank Caribana in Toronto, Canada. AP Photos