- Soca 2017 -

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

and then there was Barrie...

Barrie's 5th Caribfest was a nice finish to our carnival season. Several bands represented, with Saldenah and Carnival Nationz masqueraders in particular who came out in good numbers to get their las lap. Most bands had very few masqueraders, not sure why (??). Fortunately, since there was no more judging & need for security, we all one, so many felt free to jump from band to band. Another BIG reason I love playing mas at Caribfest so much.

The route changed this year, we weren't parading through the side streets and then downtown, they kept us to the Lakeshore... hmmmm, familiar?!? How did you feel about that? It felt about the same distance, I don't know if that's bc at times there was no movement.

It was also better to get back to not charging admission into the park. The food & shopping vendors were out in full force again, which is fantastic, I love to see that. There were complaints last year of garbage, and I saw organizer Ricardo picking up litter in the park this year, so he really was on it!
So great meeting up with so many familiar faces!

I want to say thank you to all the readers who check out the blog, take the time to comment, and come and say hi at all the events. I've really enjoyed meeting so many of you fabulous carnival divas and divos this season!
It started to drizzle at @2, but the light rain didn't kill the vibe, in fact, because it was our last jump up, it felt like people took that as a cue to get on bad! After some jerk chicken, we took in a bit of the performance in the park. I spotted lightening at 7:00 so we made a run for it, and then the downpour came during the show, which put an end to it for us.I'm putting together a slide show of our 2011 carnival pics to display on the blog (we have soooo many more than what we've posted!) Helps to get through the dull 7 months without Caribana when we're on hiatus.

If you'd like to include your own photos, email them to me at karabana01@yahoo.ca.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Barrie Caribfest


This is an e-mail sent out by Revellers to their masqeraders, and it contains some of the best info I have seen so far. For example, I was wondering why I don't recognize lots of this years performers..... It turns out they are French Creole singers... who knew? So we are in store for a bit of a different flavor.

Barrie CaribfestThe 5th annual Barrie Caribfest will take place this weekend, August 12 - 14, 2011 at Centennial Park in Barrie. The 2011 event will feature the culture of the French/ French-Creole Caribbean. This will include the music, food, dance and crafts of French/French Creole speaking islands. There will also be soca and reggae music from Trinidad and Jamaica.

Toronto Revellers will be there!!

There will be a new parade route that will run beside beautiful Kempenfest Bay, creating a wonderful vantage point for the colourful and elaborately designed costumed to be highlighted as the masqueraders dance and make their way to Centennial Park.

The parade starts at 1:00 pm and ends at 5:00 pm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011 - 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Lakeshore Drive

Costume parade on the NEW parade route

Caribfest 2011 New Parade Route:

Lakeshore Drive (Intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Entry to South Shore Centre)

West on Lakeshore Drive

Pass Intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Tiffin Street

North on Lakeshore Drive

Pass Intersection of Victoria Street and Lakeshore Drive

Parade Ends at Boat Launch Parking Lot Between Toronto Street and Victoria Street

For the Toronto Revellers who are participating in the costume parade, the band will be meeting in the marshalling area for 11:00am (driving directions below)

SEE YOU THERE!

For additional info please visit www.caribfest.ca!


DRIVING DIRECTIONS

To Marshalling Area for Band Leaders and Masqueraders from Toronto

a. North on HWY 400

b. Exit at Essa Rd.

c. Turn Right on Essa Road

d. Turn Right on Burton Avenue (Burton Avenue Turns into Yonge Street)

e. Turn Left on Minets Point Road

f. Turn Left onto Lakeshore Dr.

g. Follow Lakeshore Dr. to Marshaling Area

To Marshalling Area for Band Leaders and Masqueraders from North of Barrie

a. South on HWY 400

b. Exit at Essa Rd.

c. Turn Left on Essa Road

d. Turn Right on Burton Avenue (Burton Avenue Turns into Yonge Street)

e. Turn Left on Minets Point Road

f. Turn Left onto Lakeshore Dr.

g. Follow Lakeshore Dr. to Marshalling Area

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sometimes, you need an outsider to remind you what you have


Hi Folks,


We take Caribana for granted. We get all wrapped up in politics, funding, which band is the best, who have the biggest feathers and most expensive costume. We fight among ourselves and complain about mas not being what it was back in the day, and not being what it's supposed to be now.

We focus on everything that went wrong and fell short.

I have this auditor buddy of mine, he is from Chicago but his job takes him all over North America. He basically spends more than half of his time living out of a suitcase. He is in his mid twenties, he’s not West Indian and him and 3 college buddies (who had never been to Toronto) decided to come for Caribana.

I asked him to throw together a paragraph outlining his experience of the festival as a first timer. I expected them to talk about what parties they went to, maybe mention the food they tried and some comments on the parade.... probably complaining about the barricades (I couldn’t convince them to play mas)

What I got was raw emotion. It reminded me why I love our festival and city. It’s only from the outside looking in, that you can get this kind of perspective.

There are lots of North American Carnivals, and we have been to a few of them, but they don’t have what we have here. We need to cherish, protect and nurture this thing.... it's special.

This is what he wrote:

Below is a quick paragraph about my friend’s first experience in Toronto and Caribana,


“'Best time of my life': probably the most concise way to describe Caribana 2011, without fully diving into the rich detail it deserves. I've never seen so many happy people in one place, it felt like one big family. The weekend was an epic sensory-overload. The experience is also utterly exhausting: I've never danced so much and slept so little in my life. Do not come to Caribana expecting to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful Toronto summer sun. It is an experience you have to create and participate in to gain full benefit from. Caribana is, after all, about people coming together to celebrate culture and party,


An experience as great as Caribana could not be possible in any other North American city than Toronto. No other place has the perfect balance of diversity, openness, acceptance, self-identity, and sheer size needed to pull off such an incredible large-scale cultural celebration. Since its genesis in the late 60s, Caribana has evolved from a small re-creation of Trinidad's Carnival into an epic landmark festival celebrating the music, art, culture, costumes, dance and food from the Caribbean and beyond. Caribana is, after all, about people coming together to celebrate culture, party and have fun.”

What do you think?

Trini-in-Toronto

Monday, August 08, 2011

Hamilton Mardi Gras 2011

Carnival Nationz celebrating their clean sweep.

It may have been smaller this year, with only 5 bands participating, but the fantastic feeling at their 10th parade was still there. There's a lot to be said for being able to properly play your mas with no concerns.



It was fun meeting so many of you!

Tribal Knights was definitely where the party was at!
It was great to see all the usual suspects were there.

Thankfully we weren't rained out during the parade, the downpour came at 5:00, and actually it was refreshing from the humidity to end the day jumping in the rain.

First time Caribana masqueraders, if you didn't go to Hamilton, be sure to get in your las lap at Caribfest in Barrie - more bands are going.

Caribana 2010 slideshow

Mardi Gras, Hamilton

Mardi Gras, Hamilton
2004

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J'ouvert 2008!

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Buublenut, Megan & Karabana at Caribana 2007!

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