June 29, 2022

Rob Ford, mayoral rivals draw attention at Caribbean Carnival parade [in Toronto]

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BuDUrrlIQAE8WUbFrom The Globe and Mail

Toronto mayor Rob Ford drew plenty of attention Saturday when he appeared at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival parade. The annual event drew thousands to the Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Boulevard.

For more on this story go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/rob-ford-mayoral-rivals-draw-attention-at-caribbean-carnival-parade/article19899883/

BuDN3NpCcAABtVGRelated story:

Caribbean carnival gets colourful with parade

From CBC

Weeks of Toronto’s Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival’s culminated in the annual parade Saturday, complete with colourful costumes, music and dancing.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.45.53 PMThe event, commonly called Caribana, is in its 47th year. It bills itself an “explosion of Caribbean cuisine, music, revelry as well as visual and performing arts.”

The parade is the marquee event of the three-week festival and winds along a 3.5-kilometre stretch of Toronto’s Lakeshore Boulevard.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.45.42 PMSafety

A spokesman says the festival has improved safety after the death of a Mississauga, Ont., teenager who was run over by a float at last year’s parade.

Stephen Weir says the trucks are now equipped with protective skirts.

He says the parade celebrates the end of slavery in the Caribbean, and the simple joy of freely walking down the street.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.45.24 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.44.26 PM“It’s six to eight hours of people jumping up and waving flags and listening to soca music and steel bands,” he said. “It’s one of those things you can see it as a thing about emancipation or it can be a thing about just having a good time in the summer in Toronto. Both are equally right.”

Parade participants picked up their intricate outfits earlier this week, applying finishing touches and getting in the festival spirit. Nevrene Lindo said he was preparing by dancing in her room to infectious soca beats. Lindo, whose background is Jamaican, said first-time parade attendees should drink lots of water and rest up ahead of time.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.44.59 PM“Everyone’s out there just having fun and letting the music just flow through their veins,” she said. “It may seem overwhelming, but I would say they would enjoy it and they would probably want to come back. It’s a lot of fun. Everyone is so nice. There’s different cultures that will come out and…when you’re going for the first time you’ll learn new dances.”

As many as 1 million people were expected to attend, including nearly 16,000 performers.

People from all over flock to Toronto to see and Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 5.44.45 PMeven take part in the huge event.

Louis Saldenah leads one of the most successful bands at the festival.

BuC6MzGCEAAwg0U“I have a lot of people from the states, people from the Caribbean, people from England, Australia even a girl from Saudi Arabia registered with us,” he said.

Mayoral candidates

Each of the major candidates vying to be mayor took part in the festivities today.

For more on this story go to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/caribbean-carnival-gets-colourful-with-parade-1.2726040

Related stories:

Destra Garcia carries her Caribbean pride with her worldwide

8740From Urban Ology

What’s Carnival time like? “It’s taking a vacation, but you’re doing it home and at a festival rather than taking a plane and going somewhere,” says Destra Garcia, with an air of calm that’s usually hidden underneath her lively reputation. A lot of things seem different about her presence in the absence of a stage. The nondescript Toronto hotel room she sits coolly in lacks a certain flavour that’s often synonymous with her presence. Her standard colourful and racy clothing is replaced with ripped fitted jeans and a yellow overcoat, her explosive personality substituted with an inviting gentleness and touch of Caribbean humour. In her calmed condition, it would be easy to forget the singer’s decade long contributions to the world of soca music, a genre that embodies the essence of the Caribbean, in all its raw and spirited form.

The Laventille, Trinidad native certainly isn’t deaf to the image she’s developed over the years within an industry that in no small way requires a level of liveliness that comes natural to her. “I think I’m generally a crazy person,” says an honest Garcia. “I’m a very emotional person too, so when I’m happy, it’s just like extremely happy, over the top happy. When I’m on stage it’s always one personality because I know that I’m loved on stage, I feel it and I feel the audience.”

8772That same oomph along with her harmonic vocals and fusion of pop and rock rhythms has found itself spanning the globe and reaching audiences that would much sooner associate soca with a drink instead of an actual form of music. It’s taken her from Trinidad to Guyana, New York to London and all the way to Toronto’s own Caribana and through her journey, she’s witnessed firsthand the varying mimicking forms of a celebration that started in her home country. While some of the differences are similar according to Destra, it’s not fair to compare a celebration to one that has had its roots based in Trinidad.

“It’s smaller, that’s the first thing, but the vibe is more or less the same. We lead up to the Carnival for a couple of months. The actual Carnival takes place two weeks before, which is like a week, going back right around until we get back to Carnival Monday. So I think when people say it’s the mecca, it’s only because we have a lot more of it,” says Destra. “The police even barricade the streets, you have to learn back roads and find out where you’re going because Carnival is first. That’s our culture, that’s what we love and that’s what we push. That’s the main difference.”

Her familiarity with a celebration that has largely become a huge part of her career has given her a level of expertise most couldn’t hope to match regardless of how many times they donned a costume or paraded the local streets. She knows this world intimately, she breathes it, earns a living from it and most importantly understands it and the essentials needed for a Carnival to be a success in any region.

“You need to have a good Carnival committee, everything needs to focus on their part and get things done in an efficient way… You also need to have a good plan. What do you really want out of a Carnival? Do you want to attract foreigners? Do you want to just please the locals? You need to know what your market is and who you’re going after.” A strategy Toronto’s own Caribana has at times confused between its varying audiences.

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m like, ‘Wow, when did I get here and when did this happen? … To be in a place right now where people associate me with Carnival, like when you think of one of the names that come up in terms of a core element that Carnival should have, it’s very flattering to me.”

“You need to find out what’s happening around the world. Do I use local entertainment? And if I’m looking for international entertainment, who are the best people? So I know you’re going to call me,” she quips with a laugh. “Showcase your talents of the island, or the nation, or your foods. Bring something to the table that is identified with where your Carnival is taking place and you should be all right.”

Few can deny Destra’s infectious presence at any Carnival. Since her debut joining the Roy Cape All Stars in 1999 and her subsequent collaboration with a number of Caribbean faces, she’s created a status around her name that has made her a central ingredient for having a successful celebration.

It’s a reverence she has built around the culture that even individuals like Kwesi Thomas, director of logistics for Toronto’s own Caribbean Carnival, can’t ignore it.

“We wanted to make sure we had someone who had the ability to speak to multiple audiences and to be a good voice outside of the carnival for us [last year]. Not just to represent the brand well, but to speak to the Carnival well this,” says Thomas. “She continues to put out great music. She not only helps to keep the culture going, but she also helps us to move forward to another level. She pushes further and further crossing over to the mainstream and I hear her on stations more and more from outside of the Caribbean community. What she’s doing for music and women in Carnival is great.”

Despite all the similar admiration received over the years, Destra has still remained humble.

“I’m not exactly where I know I’m going to be or supposed to be, but I’m having the time of my life. I’m in a place where I’ve never dreamed. I’m touring the world, I’m being called by everybody queen, which makes me feel like the Queen of Sheba,” Destra describes with a smile. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m like, ‘Wow, when did I get here and when did this happen? … To be in a place right now where people associate me with Carnival, like when you think of one of the names that come up in terms of a core element that Carnival should have, it’s very flattering to me.”

Her continued growth has come at the cost of toil and labour, a message she wants the next generation of musical artists to understand.

“They need to work hard, and even harder than I worked, because there’s still a Destra… or my name to be called in the same sentences as Alison Hinds and others who were there way before me, it took a lot of hard work. If you decide to be mediocre and just do a simple song, you’re just going to be mediocre. If you want to be remembered, you need to work hard… Don’t follow the norm, do your own thing and that’s the only way you’re going to be a leader. Be different.”

Words by Noel Ransome Photos by Fitzroy Facey

For more on this story go to: http://urbanologymag.com/?p=4069

 

stabbingYouth charged after stabbing victim found along Caribbean Carnival parade route

From City News

Caribbean Carnival parade route stabbing

IMAGE: One person is in custody after a stabbing along the Caribbean Carnival parade route

A youth has been charged with attempted murder after a stabbing victim was found along the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade route Saturday night.

Police say the victim suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Emergency crews were called to the scene on Lake Shore Boulevard West and Dowling Avenue around 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

The victim suffered two stab wounds in the chest.

The identity of the suspect cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The age of the victim has not been released.

A spokesperson for the Caribbean Carnival said they are currently talking to police about the incident.

For more on this story go to: http://www.citynews.ca/2014/08/03/youth-charged-after-stabbing-victim-found-along-caribbean-carnival-parade-route/?__federated=1

 

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