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Good Things To Know About The Caribana Festival

by Dalvin Rumsey


The city of Toronto in Ontario, Canada is the annual host of a festival dedicated to the Caribbean culture and traditions, called Caribana. Every summer, this Carnival-style event on the lakeshore of Toronto gathers hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. It is quite obvious why it has slowly become North America's largest street festival. It is being held in Toronto from mid-July until the first week of August.

The Caribbean Cultural Committee (CCC) is the nonprofit organization that runs most of the events during the Caribana Festival. The over 1 million people that visit Toronto during the events bring in over $300 million to the Canadian economy.

The main event is a big street parade, that gathers costumed dancers and live Caribbean music.

Let us linger a bit upon these mysterious styles that the Caribbean music charmes us with.

I shall start with Calypso, or Kaiso, a distant relative of Jazz, Blues, Dub and Rap. Calypso is the one to express an opinion about everyday life. Being a combination of Soul and Calypso, Soca is the most familiar Carnival party music, that has a more recent variant: Rapso, made up of Dub, Rap and Calypso.

Born from the celebration of the emancipation by the freed slaves in Trinidad, Canboulay stands for the commemorated times of fire in the canefields.

The Steel Pan style has evolved from the only new acoustic musical
Instrument that Trinidad and Tobago gave the 20th century.

The Caribana has its King and Queen of the Bands Competition, as each theme group in the parade is a "band" that consists of a live
musical group and masqueraders in costumes that play a certain role in the scene. This is what "Mas" player stands for. One of the most interesting things in the carnival is the painted devil costume, called "Jab", from the French diable.

Since Trinidad and Tobago have decided to meet the efforts of Toronto regarding the Caribana Festival, numerous industries and sectors benefit from the collaboration: Toronto's tourism product, the hotels, airlines, transport services and caterers, not to speak about the business community in Toronto.

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