By Len Chan : Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto, North America’s most popular Caribbean Festival, took place July 20-Aug.4 with a number of events at various locations in Toronto including Calypso, Steel Pan, the King & Queen Show at Lamport Stadium and the Grand Carnival Parade from the CNE grounds and along Lakeshore Blvd.
This year there were 12 Mas Bands. The King and Queen of the Bands went to Carnival Nationz, which also captured the Male Individual title with an artistic costume resembling a Lion Fish. On the Parade route Louie Saldenah and his Mas-K-Club won Band Of The Year for the 17th time. On a sad note, an 18 year old was killed after being run over on the parade route. The accident is still under investigation.
Over the years a major problem for the Mas Bands as been the thousands of parade watchers, in street clothes, jumping over the fence and no amount of security can stop them. They mingle in with the Mas Bands Revelers, wrecking havoc and ruining the fun for the revelers who have paid for their costumes. Over the years this situation has discouraged many from playing Mas. Every year the information is communicated – if you want to be in the Parade, buy a costume. But it appears that many of the “street jumpers” are more interested in causing problems. Following the death of the young man it will be interesting to see what preventive measures will be in place for next year.