The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Celebrates its Trinidad and Tobago Roots on its 55th Anniversary

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The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, celebrated its 55th anniversary over the period July 28 to 30, 2022 in jubilant fashion after two years of pandemic restrictions.

Toronto’s first Carnival was the Caribbean community’s offering for the celebration of Canada’s centennial year in 1967. It was modelled after and inspired by Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival and that very first edition was buoyed by the donation of Trinidad and Tobago’s winning King and Queen costume that year: The Jewelled Peacock and The Jewel of the Lotus. Today, Toronto’s Carnival is the largest festival of Caribbean culture in North America and the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora in Canada continues to be the engine room behind the Carnival’s success.

As 2022 marks the dual milestones of Trinidad and Tobago’s 60th anniversary of Independence and the Carnival’s 55th year, special nods to the Carnival’s Trinbago roots were incorporated at its signature events. Trinidad and Tobago’s youngest Soca Monarch in history, Aaron St. Louis, better known as Voice, put on a high-energy, surprise performance to close off the King and Queen show on behalf of the Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago in Toronto on July 28th, 2022. Trinbagonian Soca legend, Iwer George (to the left), also put on a scintillating show for an appreciative crowd.

The “Pan Alive” showcase on July 29th, 2022 also paid tribute to Trinidad and Tobago’s 60th anniversary of Independence, as well as to Tobago-born Michael Phillips, a tireless volunteer and contributor to the Ontario Steelpan Association (OSA). Addressing spectators, Acting Consul General Tracey Ramsubagh-Mannette said, “As we stand on the cusp of sixty years of Independence, steelpan is a powerful reminder of who we are as a people and is a symbol of our creativity, ingenuity, our ability to make something out of nothing and to find beauty and potential where others might have just seen a rusty oil drum.”

Prepping for Pan Alive

On July 30th, 2022, thousands of masqueraders and spectators flooded Lakeshore Boulevard to booming Soca music. The Grand Parade was a natural showcase of Trinidad and Tobago’s mas tradition, cuisine and music, just as it was 55 years ago and still is today on even more impressive scale.

A blast into the past

For further information, please contact Ms. Petronilla Marchan at palsosecoevents@gmail.com or +1-416-797-8200 or +1-437-331-6192 (Whatsapp or phone).

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