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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Protecting your product

Louis Saldenah has responded to some of the comments and questions raised after the letter to Tribe, and the Toronto Mas Bands Association meeting minutes were published on Trinidad Carnival Diary.


To whom it may concern
I did not want to get involved with all the comments on this blog, but I will try to clarify a few things.
Toronto Mas Bands Association (T.M.B.A) is comprised of all the bandleaders who participate in the annual Caribana parade (16) and associate members. Once the facts were divulged, a vote was taken by the membership and by majority vote, Tribe was denied entry into our parade. Upon the membership instruction, a letter was approved by the executive and forwarded to Tribe Trinidad.

The N.C.C and the N.C.B.A of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival have incorporated rules to protect their product. e.g. If you are not a national of T&T you cannot compete in the national calypso monarch competition, likewise if you are not a national of T&T you cannot participate in the king and queen competition, likewise a non national cannot win road march competition. A steel band from outside T&T cannot participate in the annual panorama competition.

Furthermore the queen of the bands from Toronto Caribana 2007 was entered in the queen of the bands competition in Trinidad 2008 and placed second. Due to protest from bandleaders, a rule was put in place by the N.C.B.A denying any future entry from outside T&T.

Does that mean bandleaders from T&T are afraid of competition or protecting their product?
And why would I be afraid of competition when I grew up in Trinidad when mas was mas alongside one of the greatest bandleaders who introduced sections mas into Trinidad Carnival "Harold Sally Saldenah" (Father)

Since someone with no regards for the association integrity choose to release the letter and partial minutes of T.M.B.A meeting to the public, I suggest everyone re-read the contents very carefully without bias. The majority of the members has spoken.

regards
L.S.
website www.saldenahcarnival.com
regards
Louis.S

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

These DeFreitas folks are not new to caribana.They have been around for many more years than the likes of Carnival nations, Toronto Revellers or Callaloo. In this time, they haven't been able get the customers needed to move out of the class B bands category and into the top 8 bands. The other bands I mentioned started out smaller and grew their ranks over years by providing a good product. Last year Curtis along with his supporters helped All Spice to win class B and finally earned Them a spot with the big boys in Class A. For whatever reason, Curtis has gone back to Saldenah, Leaving the DeFreitas clan looking for a different edge to put them over the top. This new edge is using the name of Tribe to get them masqueraders. Because they Call themselves Tribe, doesn't make them Tribe. If you want to know what you will get, look at their track record.

Jennette said...

Are we not a little late in blogging about this topic. To me this is stale news and I think Torontonians should have been on top of this days ago. I mean people calling our carnival disorganized and we aren't saying anything.

Quite frankly, Andre de Fretais has made a mockery of caribana which is really disapointing.

Anonymous said...

Folks, there have been all kinds of opinions, suggestions, insinuations, accusations and all the other "ONS" relating to the TMBA/Defreitas impasse.
Here are the PLAIN FACTS:
1. Toronto Mas Bands Association -(TMBA) is a properly constituted organization, which governs the business of mas bands associated with Caribana. (16). It is a Non-for Profit Corporation.(Government approved)
2. The DeFreitas family produces a mas band which participates in the above mentioned parade.
3. The Defreitas' band have been previously called- (a) "Ken Defreitas and Associates". (b) "Evolution" (c) " All Spice", the last being the name they chose in 2009 when a popular King of T&T carnival joined their ranks. The band was very successful in placing 1st in the "B" division and as a result got promoted to the "A" division. Since then, the afore mentioned parties separated ways.
(4) Comes 2010, the Defreitas owned band have started to advertise that there is another name change to their organization, namely "Tribe Toronto"
(5) There is a specific procedure whereby a band has to apply to the TMBA if they wish to have their name changed. This was never done prior to advertisements appearing on Facebook, Toronto Lime and in the T&T newspapers.
(6) The Defreitas Organization submitted an application after the fact had become public information.
(7) The TMBA have never, to date, approved such application.
(8) The TMBA and consequently the mas bands are assisted financially by three (3) levels of government. (Federal/Provincial/Municipal) This subvention is provided to assist organizationd with expenditure incurred for the production of their presentation. It was not intended to assist outside of Canada entities.
(9) The Defreitas Organization have been asked if there was any affiliation with Tribe Trinidad. The answer was "NO". They were asked if they will desist from advertising such information. No answer was forthcoming.
(10)The Defreitas Organization continue to seek approval of their 2010 proposed band name.
Readers, the consequence for TMBA and furthermore the bands, is that the funding provided by the three (3) levels of government could be in jeopardy, and bandleaders could be left with shouldering the full expenses incurred with procuring materials for costumes/music/ warehousing/advertising and the many aspects of producing their bands.
Those are the facts. Now without bias you decide.

Karabana said...

No, were not a little late in blogging about this topic Jennette, it's ongoing because of the confidential documents that were published. True, the meeting was in January, but the TMBA response to the leaked letter & minutes isn't stale news. (I was away on March break & heard from Louis last night.)

Jennette said...

I am just looking forward to bandlaunch dates, costume pictures, costume reviews,costume prices, band position numbers. It seems that everytime I log on there is something about tribe toronto and their nonsense. I will not be registering with them as I am waiting to see what bands like Nationz, Sally and Tribal Knights have to offer. As I said before Andre and Ken have made a mockery of our festival and potentially put funding in jepordy for all and that is sad. Hope everyones march break was good. Can't wait for different blog topics.

Trini-in-Toronto said...

Its true, we are also anxiously waiting for band launches and what the new costumes gonna look like. Beleive me, if any section leader wants to give us an early look at their section, I would much rather be showcasing that. But until then we talking about whats available.

Anonymous said...

I think this topic is extremely important and needs to be discussed. There's so much he say she say going on that the facts are being buried under the gossip and rumours. What's absolutely horrendous is that someone from the TMBA thought that it would be okay to send confidential documents from meetings to people and allow them to be posted on the internet. If the person(s) is upset with what's going on with Tribe Toronto, then man-up and say something. Don't put the TMBA's funding in jeopardy because you're a coward.
And I'm tired of hearing people say things like "the other band leaders don't want Tribe Toronto on the scene because they're afraid of competition." Give me a break people! From what I've read so far, it's not about competition, it's about following a process and doing things the right way, which Tribe Toronto didn't do before they made their huge announcements.
And yes, All Spice did win in the B category last year. But from the comments I heard from my cousins and other people who played with them, it was a disaster! Masqueraders were left without costumes on Caribana Friday. Some even had to finish making their own costumes at home the night before! The music truck didn't arrive on the CNE grounds until 2pm, and many of the people I know who played with All Spice didn't even jump up with the band because of the disastrous lack of organization. So if people want to hang their hats on Tribe Toronto being such a fantastic addition to Caribana just because it shares a name with a Trinidad mas band, then good luck to you. I'll be jumping up with my usual tried and true band!

HQ said...

Wow...thank you Anon 11:22am...that was a very succinct recitation of the facts, something that I haven't really seen yet in all the discussions I've read on the issue.

Joe_g said...

Same with my friend, Anon 11:03 pm. My friend went to pick up her costume Caribana Friday and it was not finished. So she found a person selling a costume in Nationz and she just played with the rest of my friends and I. How could a band not have their costumes complete by Caribana Friday?

Karabana said...

Since there were many comments from the letter & minutes (but not from logging on here, as I didn't post 'em) yes, ppl want to hear from the TMBA, Andre & Tribe.
The gist of the outrage IMO is Tribe (Trinidad) supporters are appalled that an affiliate can't participate in Caribana. But as we've heard on this post & from comments, (particularly from whom I'm going to call PLAIN FACTS ANON) it's not about Tribe. So many ppl had high expectations, thinking Tribe Toronto would be like playing mas with Tribe (Trinidad). But like it's been said, were Toronto masqueraders really going to get Tribe?

It's still not over. This is definitely a different Caribana season.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that this situation is still not over. There is now a petition created by a "Tribe Supporter" to voice the support of the public for Tribe TO. The description mentions "And if You the public would like healthier competition, better costumes, a Trinidad like experience, a better economy, and TRIBE like concerts/events/ etc. THEN sign my petition and spread the word to the public!"

I think this is frankly a whole pile of BS, especially from scrolling through names which have not been validated. First off, if the person who supposedly wrote this petition is a supporter, how are you making all these predictions as to what TribeTO will be bringing- "Tribe like concerts" How you know this? Where is this coming from? Furthermore, how will it be a "Tribe like experience", when unlimited alcoholic beverages is not permitted in Toronto. What Tribe Like experience are you referring to? Lastly how will it be better costumes, when the people who are heading the bands, had such a hard time providing quality product last year???? What is in a name, when there is not substance to back it up.

I thought the decision was made, why is this still carrying on? Why not just accept the decision and move on...

-Zion-

Anonymous said...

"Last year Curtis along with his supporters helped All Spice to win class B and finally earned Them a spot with the big boys in Class A. For whatever reason, Curtis has gone back to Saldenah, Leaving the DeFreitas clan looking for a different edge to put them over the top. "

"I think this is frankly a whole pile of BS, especially from scrolling through names which have not been validated. First off, if the person who supposedly wrote this petition is a supporter, how are you making all these predictions as to what TribeTO will be bringing- "Tribe like concerts" How you know this? Where is this coming from? Furthermore, how will it be a "Tribe like experience", when unlimited alcoholic beverages is not permitted in Toronto. What Tribe Like experience are you referring to? Lastly how will it be better costumes, when the people who are heading the bands, had such a hard time providing quality product last year???? What is in a name, when there is not substance to back it up. "

And who are you to say that it was Curtis who "helped" Andre? Were you there, at the mas camp every day seeing how things were run? Just a question. I find it interesting that people fail to remember there were TWO band leaders of All Spice, and yet there is no question about what the product quality of a couple Saldenah sections will be like.

I understand if people want to go on and on about government funding etc etc, whatever. But from the beginning of this blog I was under the impression that this was a place for POSITIVE, constructive Caribana talk. It seems to me that that is not the case anymore; why don't you leave the Tribe Toronto (if they will be in this year's Caribana) mas camp to their job, and let the customers speak for themselves....instead of trying to hide your obvious biased bashing behind an "ethical" argument.

Karabana said...

Long before the 2010 Caribana season, the Tribe Toronto issue came up (in January), & everything that has happened since then have been firsts for Caribana. Many readers have opinions about it, & they have made constructive comments. If you Anon 10:21 aren't impartial & therefore don't like reading certain comments, so you conclude this blog isn't positive, well, that's your opinion, & you're certainly free to have it.

I don't see what "instead of you trying to hide your obvious biased bashing behind an "ethical" argument." means at all. If you're referring to me, point out where I've said anything biased, bashed anyone/anything, or where the ethical argument is.

Seriously.

But talk about hiding, nothing like hiding behind an anonymous comment.

Anonymous said...

My comment about the "bashing" was not referring to you. It was more so referring to the second paragraph quoted...talking about how Tribe Toronto cannot bring the same kind of Mas to Toronto as that in Trinidad. I've seen many other comments like that in different places and blogs, and I wouldn't call it MY opinion that that kind of talk (which has nothing to do with the actual issue at hand and is constantly brought up in a negative manner), is NOT positive. It's fact. The issue is about whether Tribe TO should participate according to TMBA rules and regulations, considering government fundings etc....NOT whether or not they should participate because of what the product quality will potentially be like.

Karabana, I'm not sure what upsets you about my comment so much that you'd go out of your way to try and call me out for being "anonymous," when many other people have commented under anon as well. Either way, I was making a general comment about this blog being a place where there's supposed to be constructive talk and opinions. In some of the comments, the issue at hand is circumvented, and I don't really see the point of what's being said other than to make a certain individual or individuals look bad. And that's what I meant about hiding their bashing behind an argument of ethics (that being whether ADF went about bringing TRIBE TO to Caribana the right way etc).

But, you're right. In the end that's all just my opinion like anyone else's. At least mine didn't aim to bring down anyone's reputation or business (and no, that is not a direct comment to you, Karabana, but for some other commentors on this blog).

Karabana said...

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Yes, there are (unfortunately) a lot of anonymous comments, I just found it rather ironic you brought up hiding, & you post anonymously.
Zion commented on what the petition in support of Tribe does state, & people will certainly have something to say about that.
There are many aspects to this issue that are up for discussion, it's not limited to funding. When something is said publicly, there will be reactions. People are raising valid concerns. I would think band leaders want to know what the public is thinking - some do care - & that ultimately, they would respond.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Anon 12:26 comments...

The main point I was trying to make is how can one vouch for something which they would have limited information on? As a supporter, how could the individual state all those things as to what the band would be bringing, and what it would be like when they would not know for certain??? I was commenting on what the petition states. Perhaps the choice of language was too strong, and I apologize if it disrespected anyone.

BUT I do not see how questioning/commenting on where people got their information from, or what exactly do they mean is negative. To clarify how do you know it's going to be better costumes or have Tribe like concert/events? Or for people who are not familiar with the Tribe like Experience, what exactly does that mean as it pertains to Canada? I will gladly let the people of Tribe Toronto do their job, but I would prefer to hear the details of what Tribe Toronto will be bringing from the actual source or from someone who is familiar with the inner working of the band. (Ex. the information stated on the TribeToronto website)

-Zion-

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