The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts.
The festival takes place at various locations in Toronto engaging many sectors of our city and citizens. Pre-festival activities include the Calypso Tents Music Series featuring The Professionals, Kaiso Forum, De Masters Cove from June 10 to July 10, at various venues across the GTA. This year`s festival features a NEW event – a sporting event in partnership with the Canada Rugby League.
Carnival Art – July 14 to July 31 – A unique display of Carnival costumes and photography capturing Carnival around the city.
Locations: Royal Ontario Museum and the Gladstone Hotel
GTAA Launch – July 15. It’s another year for the Greater Toronto Airport Authority partnership with the Festival Management Committee to promote the festival at the gateway to the City of Toronto with Caribbean entertainment and tastings.
Junior Carnival – July 16. The kid’s version of the Marquee parade attracting over 30,000 spectator visitors comprising families and featuring 2,000 mini masqueraders, some as young as two years taking place in one the city’s priority neighbourhood with partners such as 31 Division of the Metropolitan Police and Yorkgate Plaza. The three kilometre parade ends at the Yorkgate Plaza - Jane Finch.
CTV/CP24 BBQ – July 21 – It was so successful last year that they’re decided to do it again – an outdoor BBQ from Queen Street to Richmond Street that celebrates the festival with costumes, music, and of course, delicious food.
Annual Gala– July 22. An elegant evening at the Liberty Grand that showcases masquerade models, music, dancing, exotic food, signature drinks – sensational sights, sounds, and tastes. Attended by sponsors, donors, and partners, this event attracts the well-heeled clientele who bid on exciting prizes to support an identified cause.
Location: Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex located on the waterfront - the epitome of luxury and elegance.
Kaiso 365 - Calypso Monarch Finals – July 23. The storytelling tradition gets the red carpet treatment when nine finalists compete for Canada's top Calypso prize. Music lovers experience a unique expression that is delivered with humour, double entendre and wit. Song topics range from personal to political, social commentary to celebration - a reminder that Calypso heritage is a vital link between us and the African griot, the keeper of our history. This year's show also features special guest Alex D Great - the reigning Calypso monarch of England.
Location: P.C. Ho Theatre, Chinese Cultural Centre, Scarborough
Mixology – July 27: Expert bartenders show their skills with Appleton Rums.
Calypso STARS Showcase – July 27. The showcase presents top Soca artists, Garth Burgess (steel pannist), and iconic Carnival Arts characters – Moko Jumbies (Swizzlestick Theatre), interactive Sailor Dancers (Hummingbird Dance Co.), and the Midnight Robber (Afro-Caribbean Dance Co.). House band for the evening is award-winning arranger/producer Ossie Gurley & Calypso All STARS.
Location: Harbourfront Centre, WestJet Stage
Citizenship Ceremony – July 28 Witness new Canadians being sworn in as citizens of Canada within a welcoming lavour of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and Festival.
Location: North York Civic Centre
King and Queen Competition and Show – July 28. A spectacular display of the talent and artistic skill of the designers and costume builders of the King, Queen, male and female individual costumes paraded in front of a captivated audience. These masqueraders compete in costumes that weigh two to three times their body weight.
Location: Allan Lamport Stadium – capacity 5000 spectators.
Pan Alive – July 29. This event showcases the talent of steel pan performers ranging in age from early teens to adults as they perform their original renditions to the aficionados and judges at the Allan Lamport Stadium. Hopefully this year’s winner will be a band from Ontario instead of the triple winning threat of Montreal’s Salah Steelpan Academy which walked away with the prize for three consecutive years.
Location: Allan Lamport Stadium
Grand Parade – July 30. This is the marquee parade that is the showcase of the Festival. After months of preparation, masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes and steelpan bands wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place along a 3.5 kilometre stretch on Lakeshore Boulevard. This performance of bejewelled masqueraders continues to draw millions from all over the world to see the live performing street art year after year. With opportunities for VIP seating in designated, controlled areas which will include upgraded seating, tents, and marketplace.
Location: Exhibition Place, Ontario Place, Lakeshore Boulevard. .
Grace Tropical Rhythm Food Festival – Islands Come to the Islands at Ontario Place – July 31. Continuing the tropical Caribbean ambience of the festival, cool down on the south beach at Ontario Place or have fun in the park while enjoying ‘de lime’ with food, music, dance, and an array of fun activities. Be up close and personal with the Bahamian Jankanoo band, ShortKnee performers from Grenada and the Rhyming chef who combines his unique talent of cooking and rhyming – the best way to end the long weekend. Enjoy the Tropical food festival and island hop to tasty, spicy morsels of Caribbean islands.
Location – Ontario Place.
Canada Rugby League International Test Match - Team Canada Wolverines versus Jamaican National Team – July 31. This new event adds the sporting dimension to the festival. Growing in popularity in Canada, it is the most high speed, high impact field sport in the world. Most popular in England, Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific, the largest professional associations are the National Rugby League and the European Super League, with a combined fan base of over 100 million”. Canada Rugby League will be developing the sport in the Caribbean and will expand the tournament to more islands each year.
Location: Fletcher’s Field, 2743 19th Ave, Markham
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