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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Much More than Mas Boots

For custom made leather or vinyl mas boots with matching mas purses and fanny packs, Torontonians know who to go to. Anton Gabriel aka Bootsman, has been designing these quality mas products for many years. However his appreciation for mas has grown with his opening of Mas Camp Central (MCC), a carnival museum; the first of it’s kind in North America.
After a year of designing mas boots, Anton realized he needed a showroom to display his designs, and not just during Caribana season, but year round. He acquired a spot in Scarborough in May of 2008 that is close to many of the mas camps. His wife's many years of playing mas at Trinidad Carnival and Caribana resulted in a huge amount of costumes. So these costumes, along with those of friends and clients who have purchased mas boots, are proudly on display at MCC. Anton is in partnership with all mas people who have encouraged him and contributed to making the showroom such a unique place to visit.

I’ve kept my costumes from the last 9 years, but some have inevitably fallen apart from making their appearance at not only Caribana, but Hamilton Mardi Gras and Barrie’s Caribfest. I display my headpieces in my own colourful Caribana room. So I wondered whether my costumes would be worthy of being put on display. But Anton told me he gladly accepts any and all costumes that he can find, headpiece or not.
Bootsman creations

The over 100 costumes on display date back to 15 years from Trinidad, Toronto & even Grenada. MCC is a registered not for profit organization in Ontario since March 2009.
The museum is a place where visitors can "talk mas," watch Carnival DVD's on a large TV, and look through the many books & magazines on display. Anton says on occasions you can even enjoy some pelau & corn soup as there is seating for 20 people.
Schools in the GTA are invited to make field trips with students in Arts & Culture to experience carnival and MCC will be the location for "show & tell" of everything mas.

Anton at a display at the St. Stephens Secondary School library in Durham during a multicultural celebration in April 2009.

Caribbean Vibrations videotaped two shows at MCC and Callaloo chose MCC as their costumes photo shoot location this year.
To get great taste of carnival before you play mas or watch the Caribana parade, be sure to visit this unique place. There are currently 20 empty mannequins waiting to be adorned with beads, feathers & sequins, so consider making your costume a part of Caribana history by donating it to MCC. I certainly identify with Anton's original aim of starting MCC to get people more involved in Caribana.

Mas Camp Central location is 130 Dynamic Drive, Unit 13, Scarborough. (One block west of Markham Road & McNichol.) Tel: 416-524-1782.http://www.mascampcentral.com/


Anonymous said...

I wonder how much those boots sell for?

Anonymous said...

I would also like a pair to play mas in this year. Where and how can I get a pair? How much are they?

Karabana said...

You can contact Anton about boots at his phone number 416-524-1782.

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