Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Party goes on as courts asked to decide Caribana control dispute

TheStar Party goes on as courts asked to decide Caribana control dispute

Staff Reporter

The Caribana Arts Group says it’s putting the community first and won’t be going to court in an attempt to block this summer’s street festival.

However, the embattled Caribana group filed papers in court on Tuesday in an attempt to reach a licensing deal over the wildly popular celebration, which attracts more than a million people each summer.

The Caribana group had the power to file for an injunction to block the festival, but decided otherwise, Caribana Arts Group secretary/assistant treasurer Knia George Singh said Tuesday.

“An injunction would also leave the community with a sense of something missing, a sense of a great atrocity that has taken place,” Singh said. “It would leave the airlines, hotels, restaurants and retail outlets missing on that great weekend where downtown Toronto is a buzz with economic excitement, flavour and festivities.”

Amid allegations of financial mismanagement, the city appointed the Festival Management Committee to manage to festival in 2006.

Singh said the Caribana group retained intellectual property rights as the owners and creator of the festival.

A court ruled last month that the new directors of the summer party can’t use the Caribana name. It’s now known as the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto.

Singh said his group has met with three city councillors between January and March of this year in an attempt to end the dispute.

Celebrations began back in 1967 as part of Canada's centennial celebrations.

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