Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 Junior Carnival Info

The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival

2011 Junior Carnival Parade

Set to roll down Jane St. Saturday, July 16th

Toronto, ON: 12.07.2011:

The volunteer organizers of the2011Scotiabank TorontoCaribbean Carnival/Yorkgate Mall Junior Carnival Parade are expecting a large auidence atthis year’s parade, so much so that a major change has been made in the set-up of theannual event. This year, the judges’ review stand will be midpoint in the route, along JaneStreet, allowing more spectators and parents to see the children perform before the judges.

For the past 10-years the bands have been judged at the start of the parade along ShorehamDrive (Black Creek Pioneer Village). The parade will still start on Shoreham Drive but thereview stand will be about half way along the route which travels from Shoreham to Jane,ending in the parking lot of the Yorkgate Mall (Jane & Finch).

”We are expecting close to 2,000 children this year, explained organizer Greta Best. OnShoreham Road there isnt the room to accommodate all the spectators. By moving thereviewing stand to Jane Street literally thousands and thousand of people can see thekiddies performing their routines in front of the judges.”

The TTC will be operating a special bus service during the Saturday Parade which will dropspassengers off on Jane St. within site of the review stand. The 108 Downsview Bus will beshort-turning at Jane throughout the parade.

Traditionally held two Saturdays before the main Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade, the Junior Carnival Parade sponsored by Yorkgate Mall is highly anticipated by young Carnival masqueraders.

Also referred to as Kiddies Carnival, it comprises masqueraders (or mas) players/dancers who range in age from toddlers to teens; many of whom go on to play in the main Caribana parade when they become adults. And just with adult bands, each junior band must portray a theme suitable of the Carnival masquerade tradition. Competition titles up for grabs include: Junior Band of the Year; Jr. King of the Bands; Jr. Queen of the Bands; Jr. Male Individual of the Year; and Jr. Female Individual of the Year. The afore-mentioned costumes are more elaborate than those of the average band members, and most often, are built through volunteer efforts with the involvement of its actual young portrayer.

“The TTC will be once again offering bus service up to the middle of the parade route on Jane St. ,” says Greta Best, Event Manager of the Junior Carnival Committee, “to help spectators get up to see the parade and cheer the children on. But other than that, it will be the same wonderful parade it is every year. It really is a great opportunity for the younger set to enjoy their Carnival. The opening ceremony is at 10.45am, with the parade starting at 11am sharp. So we encourage everyone to come early so as to get a good spot along Jane Street see the mas.”

Children are asked to join their respective band at 9am in the assembly area located on Shoreham Drive off Jane, just south of Black Creek Pioneer Village. The parade will travel west on Shoreham Drive, past the judging point at 31 Shoreham Drive (in front of Shoreham Public School). The parade then turns south onto Jane Street where it will travel until Yorkgate Blvd. It will turn west on Yorkgate Blvd and travel south ending at Hullmar Drive. Once the parade is over, there will be entertainment, DJ music, food vendors, steelpan music and a market place in Yorkgate Mall’s car park.

Each band has three (3) marshals per twenty (20) masqueraders to ensure an orderly progress and good conduct along the parade route. A panel of five volunteer judges will adjudicate all bands using the following criteria: Visual impact (max. 20 marks); Authenticity (10); Creativity (20); Mas on the Move (10); Clarity of Theme (10); Presentation (20); and Craftsmanship (10) for a total of 100 marks. The order of merit is determined by discarding the highest and lowest score per participant. The judges’ decision is final, and is announced at the end of the parade.

Organizers of the event predict that there will be close to 2,000 children on the parade route. Parents wanting to get their children involved in the party should visit the festival website to find the address and phone number of a mas camp. Children register with the band and purchase a costume for the parade. Children don’t have to belong to any special club or culture to join in the fun. All are welcome.

The parade ends at the Yorkgate Mall (at the intersection of Jane St and Finch Avenue). Here the children will enjoy lunch, take in live entertainment and await the results from the parade. As well, the finalists of the Yorkgate Idol contest will be performing and the winner will be announced at the Junior Carnival post parade party.

The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Now in its 44th 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 the outdoor festival.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s festival include: Scotiabank, The Toronto Star, Sway Magazine, CTV, CP-24, The Canadian Federal Government, The Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto,, The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Ontario Place, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, The Toronto Libraries, Yorkgate Mall, Liberty Grand, FLOW fm, Urbanology Magazine, The Caribbean Camera Newspaper, Toronto-Lime.Com, and Grace Kennedy Foods.

For complete listing information, visit, the only official website for the Festival. Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival Office is located at 263 Davenport Avenue. Lower Level, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Tel., 416-391-5608; Fax, 416-391-5693; Email:

For further information, contact: Stephen Weir, Stephen Weir & Associates stephen@stephenweir.com416-489-5868; 416-801-3101

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