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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saldenah's Mas K Club wins band of the year 2010!!!!!!!

I want to wish the whole Saldenah family (Louis calls us all family) congratulations on their 16th Band of the Year win.
Once I saw the sexy costumes at the launch, I knew they were going to have a good year. Then they pulled position 3, & I knew they would have a REALLY GOOD year.
After a few weeks Ronny started talking on his Blog about numbers. He said that the band was at 1700 members and they were aiming for 2000. I thought, that's pretty ambitious. That's 300 new people only a few weeks before Caribana. Many bands struggle to get 300 members at all. The final tally was 2,700 masqueraders. That is unheard of in Canada. (I believe the previous record was set by Nationz at about 1,700.)
The thing that really impresses me is that they accomplished this facing stiff competition from Carnival Nationz, Tribal Knights had JW and Blaze and Toronto Revellers had Machel Montano.
Maybe you all could help me out in understanding how they drew this crowd.

If you aren't a regular Saldenah masquerader and you played with them this year, what made you choose them? Was it :
The costumes?
The reputation or the crowd it attracts?
Your friends were playing with them?
The position in the parade?
You weren't happy with your experience in another band last year?

If I have to answer this question, I was originally drawn to the band years ago when David Rudder used to sing on their music truck. As time went on, I made friends with many section leaders, many of whom have gone on to start their own bands. (Did you know that 7 of the 14 bands in this years parade are led by bandleaders who were former section leaders in Mas K club?) And now, there are all these familiar faces and characters we see every year, its a nice vibe.
Congrats again, and thanks for a great time on the road today. We will post a bunch of pics soon, but we have to run now.

Also, I have to give a big Congratulations to Thea Jackson and her brand new band Tru Dynasty, who tied for 1st position in the B&C category with Mas Players International. This was her very first year. Somebody can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this means that they will be promoted to Category A status and they will be going down the road next year in one of the top 8 positions. Congrats, for your first year, you certainly made a name for yourselves.




A Category Band of the Year:
1. Saldenah Mas K (446 points)
2. Carnival Nationz (426)
3. Toronto Revellers (422)

B&C Category Band of the Year:
1. (tie) Mas Players Int'l (378 points)
1. (tie) Tru Dynasty (378)
3. Fantazia International (371)


Anonymous said...

Congratulation Saldenah for winning best Mas band for 2010.

I didn't play Mas with them this year though they were my second choice if my first choice didn't pan out. This year I played with Tribal Knight and it wasn't a very good experience for me and my friends. The first issue was that they didn't deliver on what was advertised on the costume. Most of my friends played frontline with them. We spend 300 dollars for the frontline costumes. My friend who was playing in the section Indulgence didn't even get a packback (the frontline for this section had a backpack). She got this piece that was strapped to one shoulder with 5 feathers sticking out of it. My other friend playing with the section Glitz didn't even get her frontline costume when schedule. They kept on giving her the run around by saying they lost her costume but they will deliver it and give her a call. They never did. She was so upset the day before the parade that she still haven't received her costume that I finally told her she would need to go down to the Mas Camp and confront them face to face. She took my advice and to her surprise she said a ton of girls were also at the Mas camp in the same situation as her waiting for their "lost costume". My friend stayed at the Mas camp until 11pm before the parade to make sure she got most of her costume. She got most of it but was missing the headdress, but Tribal Knight said they would have it ready at the parade to be picked up, which was a lied because she never got the headdress. I have to say thankfully I didn't have this problem with my frontline costume. I was playing Moulin Rouge. Alot of it probably had to do with the good job and organizational skill of my section leader. Because all of my friends that played in this section didn't have a problem with the quality of the costume and delivering them on time.

Second issue we had with this band was where was the food and water truck. Tribal Knight were suppose to feed us for lunch and in their email they said between 10am to 11am. The lunch never came. Well actually it did around 2pm when most of the masquarader had already crossed the stage and onto the parade line. The food truck was parked at the end of the stage and only a few knew about this food truck. The few that knew had to wait for an extreamly long time because there were only 2 people serving. Water truck? Never saw the water truck. The said water was behind the food truck which it wasn't and it definitely wasn't with us along the parade route. Thank goodness we all brought money with us. But I have to say in all the years I have played Mas I have never seen such disorganization and lack of regard for masquaraders from a band. My friends and I have vowed not to play Mas with Tribal Knights ever again.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that tribal knights stated on their blog earlier this year, "if your costume is not ready on the sections pick up day, the person receives their costume free." Also I did notice Tribal knights costumes looking a little different. Example (head pieces looking smaller in SOME sections)

Anonymous said...

I played with a smaller band - ate food twice, freezies, samosa, beef patties and all the water and pop. That's what happen to all those that suffer from 'big band syndrome'

TruDYNASTY said...

Hi Kara!

This is Thea Jackson of TruDYNASTY :) You are correct in assuming that we now advance to an A band and we are sooo excited about it. Thanks so much for all of your support through the season.

I will admit that we had costume issues along the way. It was our first time as band leaders and not just section leaders and the responsibility and work load is beyond imaginable. Because of the lack of funding you receive as a C band, most of your expenses are out of pocket. This basically means you can buy supplies as the money comes in. This can lead to items you need selling out and of course production on certain items starting later than planned. Due to the delays and unexpected events a couple pieces were not as elaborate as we had intended and/or there was a minor change. As a band, we did our best to accommodate our masqueraders and still give them an amazing experience on the road. There was no shortage of food or water and we were able to actually feed and quench the thirst of other band masqueraders who had not received the same treatment.
The point of this message is to let all of our masqueraders and those who will consider playing with us next year know...
We have learned a lot from this year and we are actually already designing for next year and have been in contact with new suppliers. Our goal for next year is to ensure that every masquerader is completely satisfied with their costume and has the most memorable experience possible while playing with us.
Out of all of the masqueraders I only heard a few complaints but please know that they did not fall on deaf ears. We hear you and are already putting measures in place to make major improvements.

Join us in 2011 as we present The Roaring 20's. The 20's was a time when flapper girls were popular, cigarette girls were sexy and gangsters ran the streets. TruDYNASTY Carnival will bring you an experience like no other and costumes that are beyond belief!



Anonymous said...

Wow that sucks, I had a similar experience last year and decided not to join the Knights this year. Thought I was making a mistake with all these huge promises they were making and everything. Guess I did the right thing.

JeanneC said...

This was my first year playing mas, and it was with Saldena, as I have a friend who has played with them for many years. It was a GREAT experience for me...a beautiful costume was picked up at least two weeks before the parade, we were fed and had water/pop available to us throughout the parade, with fresh fruit salad near the end. I had a ton of fun, and have nothing but good things to say about the experience.

Anonymous said...

I played with CN for the first and last time this year. Security tried but the amount of non masqueraders on the road (even just at the beginning of Lakeshore) was out of control and a bit scary and even though the DJs made announcements to get out of the band no one took them on. It was just too rough at certain points on the road to enjoy. No behaviour is right yes... I was really disappointed with the experience on the road but had no real problems with my costume or food.

potrait of indonesia said...

i think the reason for why saldenah had a lot of masqueraders was because many people weren't feeling the costumes with bands they played with before. i know coming from me personally and my friends we played with toronto revellers last year and we had a very good experience with them but the costume choices this year weren't really appealing to me so i came to the next best thing i heard which was saldenah. i must say though our section potraits of indonesia and india were NOT very organized at all and there was a lot of confusion and running around to do in order to get your costume done to perfection but in the end im happy i enjoyed playing with them they did provide us with food but i think instead of having only your section food truck feeding the masqueraders they should make it that all masqueraders from the band can eat from any sections truck
see yall again next year

Anonymous said...

I played in Paradise with Sally and had a ball,everything went great.

Trini-in-Toronto said...

Portrait or Indonesia, I hear you on the food distribution thing. Its my main pet peeve with the way things run in Mas K club. As a masquerader I think that I have signed up and paid to play in a band, not a section. So,the amenities should be the same regardless of what section I choose. I think things like lunch and drinks should be centralized and provided to all customers equally. Or if they decide that they don't want to do that, at least there should be a big sign on each of the support vehicles clearly stating what sections they are serving. This would avoid confusion or potential embarrassment to the masquerader.
To the anonymous nationz masquerader, your bands hands were tied. They did the best they could do, they had a fence. Sadly, its the luck of the draw, when you go down the road that late, you have issues with crowd control. Jeanne, glad to hear you had fun, you should comment and big up your section leader for the fruit cocktail and great service(I'm curious what section also).

tara said...

I played with nationz and enjoyed it as always... no costume issues, no food or drink issues. and yes being band #6 we had to contend not only with non-masqueraders but stragglers from the 5 earlier bands before us that obviously werent ready to go home and wanted to come join in our fun (A lot were from saldenah by the way and tribal knights! LOL).

with close to 2000 players 3 music trucks, drink truck and portapottie trucks on the route there just isnt enough space for outsiders inside the fence - but our DJs, marshalls and even our band members tried to toss out the intruders as best we could.

hoping next year we get an earlier # but it wont deter me from sticking with nationz... i really like the quality i get for my money!

Anonymous said...

I played with nationz this year, this is my 4th year playing with them. Let me just say that, I would DEFINITELY be playing mas with them next year. I have never, ever had a problem with them. My costume has always been what I ordered, I always got food on the road, and I was never treated poorly by the band/section leaders or the other masqueraders. As always I had fun, but I have to say although we did not win band of the year, I had the best experience this year. I LOVED IT!!!! One thing is to get better security, other than that...Nationz 2011

Frontline! said...

I'm a Trini Carnival Diva, first time playin mas & glad I went w/ Nationz! I personally felt we should've won again year, I thought all costumes looked just like the prototypes and were just gorgeous!!! And as I heard someone say, Nationz masqueraders don't just wear costumes, they play mas!

sharon said...

good job saldenah....your costumes were terrific.....in the section I played in I had food and water lots on the road. The section leaders are responsible for buying the food and water for their own sections and I believe they cater for the amount of people they each have. Other sections should put up the money to buy food and water for their own sections....It is very costly for the section leaders to provide food and water...

Unknown said...

Congrats to Saldenah all the way =)

After volunteering with them last year I decided to play mas with them this year because the costumes are amazing!, I felt like I was with family when I was with X-Pats (the 15th section in this year's parade) and we had Dr. Jay in our band... music was crazy! ... I can't ask for anything more really .. and Kees and Nadia represented so woot woot!!!
Even if we had not won this year, me and my girlfriends would have been jumping with X-Pats/ Saldenah again for sure. =)

Reveller said...

TORONTO REVELLERS WHOI!!!!!!!!!!! All yuh really step up yuh game from last year! I have to give credit where credit is due. I had a FABULOUS time on d road this year. It was probably one of my best Caribana's to date!

*My costume was on time, fit beautifully and was exactly the same as the prototype. KUDOS to Jenny & Diane for a job well done! I will gladly jump up in all yuh section next year =)

*SECURITY was on point this year. I know it isn't easy but security really came thru. I saw security ppl chasing stormers back over d fence lol. Well done!

*Food was tasty and drinks were plenty! I was never in want or need for food/drinks

*Marshalls great job! From d woman manning d wee wee truck to d marshalls who handed out food and drinks throughout the route I thank u!

*TTC bus LAWD! How nice it was to have a lil resting bus with AC!

*Music was good...Machel's truck was sweet and when Machel wasn't singing d DJ kept the tunes pumpin. D other DJ truck was alright but played wayyyyyyyyyyy to much chipping music, especially near d end of d route (in my opinion).

All in all I had a great time. Congrats to all d section leaders for a job well done =)

irene said...

I played with Saldenah, and as always had the time of my life.
Nothing runs smoothly you just have to take the little bumps that come along. No problem with my costume,and the people I met they were terrific, very friendly Saldenah all the way.

Anonymous said...

Hello again, Anonymous CN masquerader (12:59) here.... Trini-in-Toronto you are most certainly right - the issues I had on the road were mostly due to being in the 6th position. However, I do think that my personal style of playing mas is probably better suited to another band. I'm not really a bikini and beads type but go along with it because it really is what is on offer these days. I do long for a return to a more artistic approach to mas and respect for mas by the spectators. I know I might be the only under 30 that feels this way... Whatever happened to being happy with jumping behind a band? Sometimes I think that people do not have an appreciation for the work and vision that goes into each year's presentation. I will never change my opinion that if you want to play then pay. I'm all for everyone having a great time - it is the ultimate celebration after all - just not at the expense of the mas.

BTW, I have been visiting this blog for a few years now and want to thank you and Karabana for all of your hard work, dedication and impartial info! Keep it up.

Alisha said...

This was my first year with Saldenah, last year I was with Nationz. I had a great time last year with Nationz but i just didn't see a costume that caught my eye this year. However, when i reviewed Saldenah's sections, I fell in love with Portrait of Fantasy. We had an issue with the pickup but our section leader went out of his way to make sure that we got our costumes and they were complete. I was happy with my road experience and I had so much fun! Personally, i dont feel tied to a specific band, but if Saldenah brings the fire next year like they did this year, you'll definitely see me on the road with them again! Congratulations to ALL mas bands and see you on d road again next year, cyah hol we back!!

mass#1fan said...

@Frontline! I agree with you Nationz masqueraders is what really makes the band... we really play mass and not just wear a costume that is the more perfec description. I have played with them since they came out.
Costumes are exactly what I expect I still have mine all together not even a bead missing since 2005 and some of them even went to barrie and hamilton so you know that is quality.
I had a blast i htought we should have won too but cant win them all. Congrats to Sally his costumes were beautiful as well. CNZ will be seeing be again next year. Hope the theme is good :)
*Anyone even wonder what happen to all those pics that people take of you at the parade. :)* I swear pople took 100's of pics of me espeically because of my make-up. Ah well guess i will never know.

See you all in Hamilton & Barrie

Partyanimal said...

I had the best time ever with Nationz this year. I love my costume, the food, and the treatment. I do agree that we don't just wear the costumes, "we play mas".I cannot wait for their 2011 theme and to see the costumes.

Tara said...

@massfan yes i cant agree more... CNz costumes are well constructed you get what you pay for!!! Last year i wore my costume 4 times... caribana, ontario place lime (a mini costume display on monday as the winning band), barrie and miami... and its still in tact (except i lost my headpiece). And the same as the past 4 years costumes too! Even my 2008 Caw Caw costume survived the torrential downpour of rain and hail in hamilton.

I <3 CNz for life!!!

TriniRose said...

@mass#1fan, I wonder the same things about the pictures too, I had a wonderful frontline costume from CNz, And the media took alot of my pictures but it really sux to not know where the pictures is going to post. I remember when I went Miami last year, any photographer would take a picture of you and give you his card to let you know the website it going to be on, that was so easy for me. Toronto photographers should do that, and never know you could make extra money, if we want a copy of the pictures. I know I would.

Karabana, if you could try to find the websites that took pics from Caribana. Everyone know Torontolime.com and there is Trinijunglejuice.com. And I think there is Socadread.com too. Just a few to check.

Karabana, I saw you on di road too. I will also be attending the Hamilton and Barrie Carnival too, when I paid a hefty fee for my costume. Cant wait, I'm supposed to work too this Saturday but "I doh wanna go to work, I wanna jump up and break away, I doh wanna hear about work" LOL

Ronny Saldenah said...

I am so glad you had a blast this year.See you in hamilton,barrie and the victory party.

Karabana said...

Just from doing a search, you'll find pics on carib101, caribanafestival, caribanatoronto, torontoist, blogto, TGAW, oyetimes, eyeweekly, flickr, citytv, ctv, the sun, the star, CP24, Caribbean Camera, Indo Caribbean World, Share, & of course facebook.
Most professional photogs don't give out cards, they wouldn't be able to, they're snapping away too quickly. But they all wear media ID which you should be able to read to see where they're from.

See ya Saturday everyone! :-)

ShayLew said...

This was my first time playing mas with a band other than a t-shirt band. Originally we were going to play with Callaloo, then my friend changed his mind at the last minute. He chose Saldenah because of their past victories and because of the costumes. We had a lot of fun and my friend was thrilled that Saldenah won band of the year and we're both amazed that there were 2700 band members.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm curious to know where my pics went to lol.

I played with CN, and my experience was a big step up from last year. I got exactly what I paid for, no fuss, no run arounds, no sob stories, and it was better than expected. It was way bigger in real life than in the pictures and on display. I was impressed. I might stick with them for next year if I find something I like again.

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