Not your mom’s Caribana

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CaribanaScotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto

It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like Caribana.

It all seems very corporate, so sanitized. Let’s be frank, getting sponsorship from a huge corporate entity is by definition a selling out. I have heard a lot of negative things about how things have changed, the following quote kind of sums up this point of view

“I have been attending Caribana every year ever since I was in diapers, and I am now 30years old. Coming from a Trinidadian background, we my siblings and I have never had the opportunity to attend Trinidad carnival. So CARIBANA was and still is the closest thing to what we would experience in T&T and I think it’s disgusting how this festival has been raped ( yes I said it RAPED) if its cultural heritage and turned into a money making marionette for the government.”

Wow I guess they really did sell out, hopefully they got their 40 acres and a mule.
(Was that the promise? It’s been a long day)

Caribana oops I mean Carnival has been going on since 1967 so it’s easy t see why some groups feel a certain ownership to the festival. Let’s not kid ourselves the festival is a “black thing” and many people I know flee the city during the weekend that it is on. That being said, it has been embraced by the city and Torontonians of all ethnicities flock to the parade and the surrounding events.

What I we at (whatever the fuck we’re called) find striking is the drastic increase in the quality of the event. Bands are bigger costumes are more elaborate and the parade leaves on time, something unheard of in the “good old days”. The infusion of corporate sponsorship has enabled the show to rival those put on by the organizers in Brazil and Trinidad. The new entity is first class all the way. Even the people who profess to dislike the way things have gone, still show up and enjoy themselves.

Caribbean Carnival Toronto is definitely different, time changes all things.

Fortunately for all of us this change has been for the better.

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