Saturday, September 21, 2013

Carnival Tabanca, Toronto Masqueraders Association, and the Use of Social Media for Good

Hi readers,

As this last day of summer winds down, you may find yourself reflecting on all the fun that was summer 2013 in Toronto. Like me if you played mas for Toronto Carnival you may be experiencing a bit of Carnival Tabanca as you realize you have to wait until next year to start the the Carnival madness all over again. However, my Carnival Tabanca seems a bit more intense this year.  This year's road experience on the Lakeshore was far from ideal and left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.  Don't get me wrong I still managed to have fun but after about ten minutes on the Lakeshore my band was swarmed and then stalled as non-masqueraders invaded the parade route. The picture below is the point at which my group of friends gave up and decided to leave the parade route.  The masquerader to non-masquerader ratio speaks for itself.  If you look really closely you can even see the break in the fence.

Unfortunately my experience was shared by many masqueraders.  And as a result, like many things these days, a discussion developed online on Facebook.  A page was created called Time for Change Toronto Carnival and masqueraders shared their disappointing road experiences as well as expressed the need for changes to the parade in order to ensure its survival.

That Facebook page created by Ms. Janelle Hills has birthed the formation of the Toronto Masqueraders Association (TMA) and I was pleased to attend their very first Town Hall Meeting this past Thursday.  At the meeting, attendees were introduced to the board members behind this initiative:

  • Ms. Janelle Hills - Chair
  • Ms. Tara Bragg - Co-Chair
  • Ms. Michelle Gonsalves - Media and Public Relations Director
  • Ms. Candace Joseph - Secretary
  • Mr. Jason Blackman - Logistics Director

The association also introduced their mandate to attendees: 

  1. Foster incremental year-over-year improvements – small wins focused on participant experience and safety
  2. Work collaboratively with the various organizing bodies and official sponsors to foster transparency and accountability
  3. To create a public awareness educational campaign using social media and other forums
  4. To shift the cultural mindset associated with the parade–remove stigma attached to the history of events associated with the parade 
  5. Create an exceptional Caribbean Carnival Parade on the world stage. 

Attendees were also invited to help with the creation of a vision statement for the TMA by indicating what Toronto Carnival means to them and what changes they would like to see implemented for improvement.

As a participant in Toronto Carnival as either a masquerader or pan player for the last the last 13 years, I am delighted by the formation of this association. I give kudos to the board members who are volunteering their personal time and energy to give a voice to masqueraders.  I was also encouraged by the attendance of the all major stakeholders in Toronto Carnival....the Festival Management Committe, The Toronto Mas Bands Association, The Ontario Steelpan Association, The Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes.....even the Caribana Arts Group was in attendance. 

Readers, if you are a Toronto Carnival masquerader please check out the TMA.  Give them your support, share you ideas, get involved.  The TMA has many more positions to fill.  

Here's their contact info:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Unofficial 2013 Toronto Carnival Parade Band of the Year Results


  1. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - Theme: "HEAVEN AND EARTH" - Band Leader: Louis Saldenah - 452 points
  2. Carnival Nationz - Theme: "THE REEF" - Band Leaders: Marcus Eustace and Bryce Aguiton - 447 points
  3. Toronto Revellers - Theme: "007, MAS NEVER DIES" - Band Leader: Jamaal Magloire - 429 points
Congratulations to the Saldenah crew on winning your 17th amazing accomplishment!!!


  1. Carnival Revolution - Theme: "HOME FOR CARNIVAL" - Band Leader: Osei Brand - 378 points
  2. Concept Costume Creators - Theme "CELEBRATING OUR HERITAGE" - Band Leader: Whitfield Belasco - 353 points
  3. D'Regulars - Theme: "MAMA THIS IS MAS" - Band Leader: Michael Williams - 351 points
A special congratulations to the Carnival Revolution posse.  I believe this is only their second year in competition and this win now moves them up to the "A" category next year!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Unofficial 2013 PanAlive Results

2013 Pan Alive Results

  1. Pan Fantasy (477)
  2. Afropan (474)
  3. Pan Masters (462)
  4. Golden Harps [BCASPC] (462)
  5. Panatics (441)
  6. Salah Steelpan Academy (439)
  7. Silhouettes (438)
  8. HYSO (437)
  9. New Dimension (435)
  10. CCAH (391)
  11. SJYC (376)
  12. JK Vibrations (367)
  13. Metrotones (354)
Congratulations Pan Fantasy!!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Unofficial 2013 King and Queen Results

Hi readers,

What a great King and Queen show!!!  

Here are the unofficial results from tonight's King and Queen competition:

Female Individual
  1. TO Revellers
  2. Carnival Nationz
  3. D'Regulars 
  4. Tribal Carnival 

Male Individual
  1. Carnival Nationz
  2. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club
  3. Tribal Carnival 
  4. Mas Toronto

Queen of the Band
  1. Carnival Nationz
  2. Blues Carnival Fusion
  3. Carnival Revolution
  4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club

King of the Band
  1. Carnival Nationz
  2. Tribal Carnival
  3. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club
  4. Concept Costume Creators

Ontario Science Centre's Innovation in Mas Award - "The Hyper-Physical Being" designed by Danzo Balroop from the band Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Get On Board The Freedom Train!

Hi Readers,

I just stumbled across this very cool event hosted by Ms. Itah Sadu of A Different Booklist.  August 1st marks the anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery by the British Empire and I think this is an excellent way to celebrate.

For more info check out the event page on Facebook:

Join A Different Booklist, Councillor Josh Colle and our community partners on...


Journey with us on the underground from Union Station to Downsview Station as we usher in Emancipation Day! Get on board the FREEDOM TRAIN for a train ride with special performances, special guests and YOU!

Assemble at the TICKET BOOTH @ UNION STATION for 11:15pm SHARP!
Meet you on the UNDERGROUND!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Carnival Nationz 2013 Costume Pick-up Schedule

Hi CNz Masqueraders,

Here is the Carnival Nationz Costume Pick-up schedule as released yesterday:

Tuesday 30th July:
  1. PEARLS - from 1pm-10pm
  2. FLASHER WRASSE - 6pm-10pm
  3. SEAHORSE - 6pm-10pm
Wednesday 31st July:
  1. YELLOW NUDIBRANCH - from 1pm-10pm
  2. SCORPAENIDEA - 6pm-10pm
  3. HAWKFISH - 6pm-10pm
  4. EMPEROR ANGELFISH - 6pm-10pm
  5. TEMMINCKII FISH - 6pm-10pm
  6. FAN CORAL - 6pm-10pm
Thursday 1st August:
FrIday 2nd August:
  1. All visitors from abroad (Welcome!!) and masqueraders unable to pick up on their original pick-up date from 12pm-9pm
  2. Any costumes not picked-up by 9pm will be SOLD to our long waiting list of people looking to play mas with CNz

So note the date and times your section will be distributed and ensure that you DO NOT show up BEFORE your pickup date.

********IMPORTANT PICKUP INFO**********
  • please ensure you have the original registration receipt with you, if not
  • please walk with ID so we can release the costumes to the right person(s)
  • if you are picking up costumes for other people please have either the original registration form or a written note with a copy of the person(s) ID stating that you have been given permission to pick up their costume.
  • PARKING - please avoid parking on the road (Howden) as you may be ticketed (CNz will not be accountable), there are multiple parking lots around the camp and in surrounding buildings that you would be well advised to utilize - please be considerate of the businesses in the area and do not block their driveways, lots, etc...
  • Absolutely NO trying on of costumes is allowed during pickup at the mas camp

Fantazia International Costume Pickup Information

Hi FANTAZIA Masqueraders,

Here is your costume pick up information as per Fantazia International's Facebook page(

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - Phoenix, Aphrodite 6pm – 11pm 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - Athena & Spartacus 6pm – 11pm 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - Zenobia Warrior, Tanzanite 6pm – 11pm 
Thursday, August 1, 2013 - Mas Camp Closed(King & Queen Show) CLOSED 
Friday, August 2, 2013 - IBIS, All Section Leads, All Sections 6pm – 10pm

You must have your receipt available to ensure final payment is made (Cash Only) and costume pickup is complete.

Unofficial 2013 Calypso Monarch Results

Congratulations to MACOMERE FIFI....the 2013 CALYPSO MONARCH!

Second place: Structure
Third place: King Cosmos
Fourth place: Pan Man Pat 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tribal Carnival Hand Out Dates

Hi Tribal Carnival Masqueraders,

Here is your pick-up schedule as per the Tribal Carnival website:

Poison Ivy and Butterfly - Saturday, July 27th, 3-8 p.m.

Amethyst Starling - Saturday July 27th, 4-9 p.m.

Pele & Tribal - Monday July 29th, 4-9 p.m.

Waterfall & Oceania - Tuesday July 30th,  4-9 p.m.

The Wild, Autumn, Oasis - Wednesday, July 31st, 4-9 p.m.

The Storm - Friday, August 2nd, 4-8 p.m.

American and out of town pick up date: Friday, August 2nd from 11-8 p.m.


Saturday, July 20, 2013 - Thousands take part in Toronto's Junior Carnival

Unofficial 2013 Junior Carnival Results

Hi Readers,

Here are the unofficial results for Junior Carnival.  Once the official results are announced I will update this post.

  1. Tribal Carnival - Caeisha Edwards portraying "THE BUTTERFLY MENAGERIE"
  2. Carnival Nationz - Kai Castle portraying "D'ZEBRA FISH"
  3. Carnival Nationz - Reeyana Singh portraying "D'CORAL REEF"
  4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - Emma Lemieux portraying "MOTHER EARTH"

  1. Toronto Revellers - Jalen Magloire portraying "JACK AND HIS BEANSTALK"
  2. Tribal Carnival - Courtney St. Louis portraying "MANTIS, THE PREDATOR"
  3. Fantazia International - Joshua Martinez portraying "ZIPA"
  4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - Amari Lee portraying "THE BIG BANG"

  1. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - Faith Hermelijn portraying "HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT"
  2. Tribal Carnival - Celena Seusahai portraying "THE LOTUS QUEEN"
  3. Fantazia International - Rebecca Martinez portraying "CITLALI"
  4. Toronto Revellers - Chania Cunnigham portraying "THE SNOW QUEEN"

  1. Tribal Carnival - Malik Adams portraying "MARAHOOTAH, THE GUARDIAN"
  2. Toronto Revellers - Ty Williamson portraying "ANANSI WEAVES A TALE"
  3. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - Fabian Lee portraying "AUTUMN BLISS"
  4. Fantazia International - Aaron Degraff portraying "Son of Zeus"

  1. Toronto Revellers - "ONCE UPON A TIME"
  2. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club - "HEAVEN AND EARTH"
  3. Carnival Nationz - "THE REEF"
  4. Tribal Carnival - "THE BEAUTY OF NATURE"

Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 Toronto Junior Carnival

Hi Readers,

All you mums, dads, grannies, grandads, aunties, uncles, godparents.....have you registered your kiddies for Junior Carnival yet?

Parade day is this coming Saturday, July 20, 2013!!!!

Costumes are still available at some mas camps including Toronto Revellers which is located at 1001 Ellesmere Road at Kennedy Road (Phone number: 416-752-8349).

Please consult this handy dandy Band Directory for a list of all participating mas bands as well as their contact info:

Please also note the location for the Junior Carnival parade remains the same but the route has been changed and shortened!

Check the Toronto Carnival website for more info:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 Toronto Carnival Parade Positions

1. Connections

2. Blues Carnival Fusion

3. Fantazia International 

4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club 

5. Carnival Nationz 

6. Toronto Revellers 
Theme: 007, MAS NEVER DIES

7. Tribal Carnival 

8. Concept Costume Creators 

9. Black Sage Carnival 

10. Mas Toronto 

11. Carnival Revolution 

12. D'Regulars Arts and Cultural Club 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Its not just a launch, its a LIME!!!! Toronto Carnival Official Launch is tomorrow!

Hi Readers,

Its time to get ready!!!

The 2013 Toronto Carnival Official Launch takes place tomorrow....Tuesday, July 9, 2013. This year's kick-off promises to be more than just a lunch time event.  After the official launch from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. the festivities will continue into the evening with a performance from Ravi B among others.  Check out the Press Release below......

Press Releases

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Heats Up the City

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Heats Up the City
Performers will kick-off the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival at Nathan Phillips Square
JULY 8, 2013  (Toronto) The media are invited to join MPP, Minister Michael Coteau, Christine Williams, Scotiabank Vice-President Toronto East District, members of the Canadian Caribbean community and Trinidad recording star Ravi B to kick off the 46th annual Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9 at Nathan Phillips Square.
The launch ceremony, hosted by CTV Toronto’s Andria Case and CP24’s Gurdeep Ahluwalia will be followed by a colourful parade of Mas players, Bahamian Junkanoo performers, steel pan performers, calypso singers and local and international Soca performers. Caribbean food vendors and a beer tent will be available on the Square throughout the day and evening.
The Vibe Party, will take place later that day at Nathan Phillips Square, from 2:00-8:00 p.m. as part of a free outdoor show and will again feature Ravi B, the steel pan orchestra Salmon Cupid and Company, Calypso singers Macomere Fifi, Susan G, and Connector along with Canadian recording artist Mon-t-hama.
Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival events this summer include:
  • Opening Church Service. July 14, 11 a.m. Revival Time Tabernacle Church. Free
  • Junior Carnival Parade, Soca & Calypso Showcase - July 20, 2013: 11am – 6pm The first big event, the Junior Carnival Parade will take place at Downsview Park. In 2012, over 2,500 children performed for the judges and played Mas along the streets of the Downsview Park. Chevrolet supports the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Junior Carnival Parade.
  • Festival Cup Match - July 20, 2013:  Sport fans will want to watch the Canadian Rugby League take on the Jamaica Rugby League at Lamport Stadium. This is the third year for the Festival match - the Canadian team remains undefeated. Game starts at 7:00 p.m.
  • NEW FREE EVENT: The Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Summertime BBQ JULY 25, 2013: Food, Soca music, costumes, and Moko Jumbies at the Eglinton Square Shopping Centre (Eglinton East / Victoria Park). 12 – 2 p.m. free.
  • The Annual Gala - July 26, 2013: The Annual Galaa formal wear party to honour the rich history of the festival and to sample the Caribbean arts, will take place at the Liberty Grand Ballroom on the CNE grounds. 5.30 p.m. – 2.00 a.m.
  • Monarch Contest - July 28, 2013 Ontario's best Calypso performers compete to see who will wear the crown as this country's top Calypso singer. Evening competition to be held at the Chinese Cultural Centre's P C Ho Theatre in Scarborough. 6 p.m. - midnight
  • The King and Queen Contest - August 1, 2013: This nighttime event showcases the elaborate costumes, which will be worn by the Kings and Queens in the Grand Parade. Due to overwhelming demand, the seating for Lamport Stadium is being increased to accommodate spectators at this year's King And Queen competition. 7 p.m. – midnight.
  • Pan Alive - August 2, 2013: Pan Alive is the largest outdoor steel pan orchestra competition in North America.  Over a dozen orchestras from Ontario and Quebec will compete in an evening battle of the bands at Lamport Stadium. 7 p.m. – midnight.
  • THE GRAND PARADE - August 3, 2013: Exhibition Place & Lakeshore Blvd. 9am - 6pm. Rain or Shine!
  • Chutney Music Festival (Hotta Than Ah Chulla). August 4, 2013: Music. Food. Performances. The Italian Gardens. 12245 Derry Road East. 4 p.m. – midnight. NEW EVENT
About Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival
The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Now in its 46th year, it has become a major international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. As Carnival is an international cultural phenomenon, the great metropolis of Toronto and its environs will come alive as the city explodes with the pulsating rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands. The Festival Management Committee oversees the running of North America's largest outdoor festival.
Corporate sponsors of this year's festival include: Scotiabank, Chevrolet, The Toronto Star, CTV, CP-24, FLOW fm, The Canadian Federal Government, The Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto, The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, The Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Public Library, Eglinton Square Mall, and the Liberty Grand.
About Scotiabank 
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years.
Visit us at
For more information about the programmes and events, please visit the festival's official website at The Festival Office is located at 19 Waterman Avenue. Contact info: Tel: 416-391-5608; Email:
For media inquires:
Stephen Weir
Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Publicist
Phone 416-489-5868
Cell: 416-801-3101

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