So we registered for our costumes on the long weekend! Very excited, and yes, I said we. Trini-in-Toronto is back to play ah mas!
We spoke with Kimberly DeFreitas and Kris Robinson, section leader & designer of The Serengeti, who had someone model the wire thong for Trini-in-Toronto to get pictures of.
And our section, Jackals! Saldenah designs were strong yet again this year, it was easy to have my eye on a few. But when I saw what Ronnie & Samantha designed back stage at the launch, I said something like "Are you kidding me??" Wonderfully wowed and thrilled about the possibility of playing in mauve! I like all the costume versions in African Golden Jackal, and spent a lot of time deciding which one I'd choose. Besides the crucial fact that Saldenah is going down #2, Trini-in-Toronto also said that is the costume that will get him back playing mas. No wonder it's sold out (the male mid-line option). Deciding on this section was a no brainer really since the vibes were sweet on the road with Fever Mas last year. Trini-in-Toronto's all time best costume was with Ronnie & Samantha in 2010. My favourite colours together, Trini-in-Toronto gets to be a jackal = Carnival anticipation once again!
New band Atlantic Mas Toronto held their presentation A Tribute to Africa last night at Twilight. They started promptly at midnight, and they continued the trend of new bands coming out with beautiful costumes. Hosted by the talented Azalea Hart (Carnivlog), the evening began with an impressive, charismatic drumming
performance by FND, a dance presentation and the beats of De Farmers
I really like this eye catching beautifully made monokini, worn very well by Raesha.
This section really stood out to me from when the first model came on stage. The layered beading on the bra, waistband and arm pieces & leg pieces isn't something I've seen before. While most costumes had decorated low rise boy shorts, designers also created this wide waistband. Something for everyone. White done right. 👏
Egyptian Rulers of The Night
South African Dynasty
Very fringy, good stuff.
Trini-in-Toronto says going
into the launch, we didn't know anything about Atlantic Mas. Luckily, we bumped into one of the Toronto
Carnival media staff who sent us a press release (see below).
have a lot of respect, admiration, bordering on awe, for all of the
young people who have decided to take up the challenge as new band
leaders this year.
obstacles facing new bands are almost insurmountable. They have to get
their name out there, acquire sponsorship, find suppliers and get
experienced people to volunteer their time. They have to attract and
retain a fickle mas playing public. I mean, we have 10 year old bands that still struggle to meet their minimum masquerader quota. On
top of all of this, the new bands must start at the back of the parade.
Some believe this is unfair, and that established bands should be
giving the newcomers a bligh and let them go first. I don't know, the
big bands would argue that nobody gave them a leg up when they started,
and they had to claw their way to the top. Nationz for example, wasn't a
member of the "Original 6". They started in the back, found their
niche, and assumed their position among the leaders. Insert Drakes
"Started from the Bottom now we here..."
Akil Heywood addressed these challenges head on. He said many people
have been writing off the new bands because of their starting position.
He promised to take care of his masqueraders, providing a NO STORMER experience with security.
Karabana and I wish them all the best.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atlantic Mas: The Newest Addition to Toronto’s Caribbean
Carnival Empowers the Next Generation to Embrace
Entrepreneurship and Promote Healthy Living.
TORONTO --(BUSINESS WIRE)— The ranks of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s staple Masquerade Bands, each of whom design, manufacture, advertise, and sell the powerfully beautiful Mas costumes at the heart of the parade; have always been tightly closed. The obstacles facing the newest addition to the ranks, Atlantic Mas Toronto, are many. To include media scrutiny regarding the civil unrest that has plagued the parade route in the past. As a younger, newer band they among others have been placed at a disadvantage. Combating unsubstantiated commentary on safety from larger, established bands in an attempt to knock the next generation off the parade route. In building an all inclusive experience alongside added security measures for masqueraders, Atlantic Mas will be meticulously involved in operations to ensure a safe and memorable experience for their sections. Atlantic Mas Toronto will encourage the new generation of dynamic young people to become actively hands on within the Caribbean Carnival, fostering pathways to positive growth.
Bandleader Akil Heywood, assembled a powerhouse support team of young professionals including
management consultants, fashion designers, travel agents, HR specialists, entertainers, construction
workers, visual artists, event promoters and city youth outreach workers. In bringing diverse skill sets
together, Mr. Heywood seeks to engage youth leadership. In doing so, we ensure continued celebration of Caribbean culture and beauty absent of stigmatization. Not only is Atlantic Mas a collaborative of role models, at their core they are committed to showing Toronto what diverse young people are capable of when they mobilize toward positive goals. Teaching that even in the workforce, when they embrace what they love, opportunity is created.
Their freshman theme is a tribute to cultural origins, aptly named “A Tribute to Africa”. With dazzling costumes and a talented creative team, Atlantic Mas will come to life with stunning visuals but what is important is what we ﬁnd at the heart of the Band. The Mas Camp itself is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn through employment in the execution of production, marketing, and sales of costumes. The incorporation of regular “Socacize” classes on site, conveys core values of healthy living while inspiring young women to love the body they live in. On site workshops and positive youth engagement will give an entire new generation of young people an appreciation not only for the cultural beauty of the Caribbean Carnival, but the relationship to commerce.
Atlantic Mas is committed to showing the creativity and positive impact we can have as urban
professionals within our community by engaging the next generation and creating an inclusive experience for people from all over the world in our great city of Toronto. Director
of Operations,Atlantic Mas Toronto Eva