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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

~* Mas Camp Central~*

You guys might remember one of our Caribana friends Bootsman (Anton Gabriel). Last year we did a post showcasing his custom made mas boots. Anton has acquired a space in Scarborough (the east end of greater Toronto) that he has named Mas Camp Central.
He's turned this space into a museum, the first of it's kind, in tribute to everything Carnival.
Its quite a sight to see all of these creations beautifully displayed on
mannequins. It looks like a labor of love.

After making mas boots for just over a year, Anton realized he needed a showroom to display his designs not just at Caribana time, but all year. In January of this year he found a location in Scarborough that was within a short driving distance to most of the mas camps that was just right for this. Like most dedicated mas players, his wife had accumulated many years of costumes from Trinidad Carnival & Caribana. He utilized the showroom to display all these costumes on mannequins, and was quickly offered other costumes from friends & clients who purchased boots.

He now has eighty costumes on display & his a goal is to have one hundred by the end of August 2008.
People who donate costumes get the opportunity to dress the mannequins themselves, and the emotional response seems to be quite an experience, he says. So for all of you who don't keep your costume, now you know what you can do with it! It can become a part of Caribana history! Anton looks forward to more costume donations. Karabana knows she'll be bringing in some of hers!
There are costumes from over 15 years ago from Trinidad, Toronto & even Grenada. On display are costumes from Tribe, Island People, Trini Revellers, Harts, Poison and many from Saldenah, Carnival Nationz, TCC, and others.
The showroom is much like a museum, Anton says, where visitors can "talk mas" and look at Carnival DVD's on a large TV, and reference the many books & magazines on display. He says on occasions one may even share some pelau & corn soup as there is seating for 20 people.


We played in Cow Mas in 2007
Schools in the GTA will be making field trips with students in Arts & Culture to experience carnival & Mas Camp Central will be the location for "Show & Tell" of everything mas. Anton is in partnership with all mas people who encouraged him & contributed to making the showroom a unique place to visit.
I think it's worth a visit just to check out the costumes, but you can also check out his custom made leather or vinyl boots with matching fanny packs.
Mas Camp Central is located at 130 Dynamic Drive (perfect name for this!!), Unit 13 in Scarborough. One block west of Markham Road & McNichol. Tel: 416-524-1782. www.mascampcentral.com
I'm very excited for Bootsman and Caribana as a whole that this museum is finally here, and I know Anton your goal will be reached - even surpassed!

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