TORONTO, Canada – The Toronto Caribbean Carnival launched today at the Ontario Science Centre with costumed Mas’ models, music and food. The Toronto Caribbean Carnival will run from July 5 to August 1, 2016, bringing the culture of Caribbean Canadians to over a million spectators in downtown Toronto. The Festival is predicting record numbers of visitors coming to Toronto and taking part in this year’s Carnival events due to current economic trends.
Today’s launch was for media and community stakeholders. The public kick-off for the 49th annual Carnival will take place on July 5, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square, where dancers, musicians and calypso singers will get everyone into the Carnival spirit.
“The economic trends in Canada – our low dollar and our high standard of living – will bring in an influx of American, Caribbean and South American visitors to Toronto who have shared history of and appreciation for the Carnival. We look forward to sharing our celebration with our new summer guests,” said Denise Herrera-Jackson, CEO, Toronto Caribbean Carnival. “We are expecting large crowds at our King and Queen contest, Pan Alive, Calypso evening, the new two-day Chutney in De Park at Fort York, the Gala and, of course, the Grand Parade.”
“The Ontario Science Centre is delighted to be part of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival by sponsoring the Innovation in Mas’ award. This is the seventh consecutive year that we are excited to celebrate innovation in Mas’ costume engineering and design,” said Catherine Paisley, Vice-President, Science Education and Experience, Ontario Science Centre. “In addition to recognizing innovative approaches, the award showcases the intersection of art and science, demonstrating that science is truly found everywhere.”
The Grand Parade along the Toronto waterfront on July 30 is expected to draw well over a million people down to Toronto’s Exhibition Place and surrounding grounds. The parade will travel the length of the Exhibition Place before entering Lakeshore Boulevard, giving the Festival more space to accommodate paying spectators.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival events include:
City Hall Launch – July 7, 2016
More than 100 masqueraders in costumes, Soca, Pan and Calypso performers will gather outside City Hall on Queen Street, beginning at 12 p.m., to officially launch Carnival in Toronto. Free Event.
Opening Church Service – July 10, 2016
Everyone is welcome to attend the 10 a.m. opening service of the Caribbean Carnival at the Church of the Nativity. The Church of the Nativity celebrates the Toronto Caribbean Carnival with an Anglican Service. The Church is in Malvern at 10 Sewells Road, Scarborough, Ont.
Junior Carnival Parade/ Family Day – July 16, 2016
This will be the biggest children’s parade ever! The free Junior Carnival Parade will take place in and around Neilson Park in the Malvern community. Over 2,500 children will perform for the judges and play Mas. Games, food, Calypso and Pan performances in the Park after the Parade. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Carnival Ball – July 22, 2016
This is a black-tie event to honour the rich history of the Festival and to sample Caribbean cuisine and the arts will take place at the Liberty Grand Ballroom on the Exhibition Place grounds.
KAISO 365 Showcase – July 24, 2016
This ticketed evening event will be held at the Latvian Canadian Culture Centre, 4 Credit Union Drive in East York. Canadian Calypso singers compete for the Monarch title.
King and Queen Competition – July 28, 2016
Lamport Stadium becomes an outdoor theatrical stage, where the Kings, Queens and individuals of the Carnival bands unveil their elaborately-themed costumes. Ticketed event starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m.
Pan Alive – July 29, 2016
Lamport Stadium will be alive with the sound of steelband music as 14 steelbands compete in the Pan Alive Competition for the Ontario Champion Steelband title. Ticketed event begins at 5 p.m.
The Grand Parade – July 30, 2016
After months of preparation, masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place along a Lake Shore Boulevard. This event continues to draw millions from all over the world to see the live performance street art year-after-year. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
NEW! Chutney in De Park – July 31 – August 1, 2016
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is ending the weekend of weekends at Fort York with two days of live performances, food and family fun. Day One offers the flavor of Chutney in De Park, celebrating the music of the Indo-Caribbean performers. Day Two is the Carnival Last Lap with music fusion and more food and family fun.
Closing Church Service – August 7, 2016
Everyone is welcome to attend the 4 p.m. closing service of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2016 Festival at the Anglican St James Cathedral in downtown Toronto at 65 Church Street.