CARIBANA YOUTUBE: TORONTO CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL
This past year (2016) marked the 49th anniversary of Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival (aka Caribana). Caribana is North America’s largest and most popular Caribbean festival. Each year it attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors! It is a celebration of all Caribbean nations and cultures and showcases Caribbean art, food and of course music (soca anyone? LOL).
I’ve personally have participated in Caribana for several years! Always a lot of fun playing in mas! For those of you who are not familiar with Caribbean culture, “playing in mas” refers to a street parade (… which is main even of Caribana) where participants dress up in pretty costumes and dance to soca music! It is honestly a TON of fun!
I am sharing my experience at last year’s Caribana with you! Watch my Youtube below to have a better feel of the festivities!
CARIBANA YOUTUBE: MY EXPERIENCE PLAYING IN MAS!
AND HERE IS A CLIP FROM 2015…
A LITTLE HISTORY
Caribana has been a Canadian tradition since 1967. It was introduced to Canada by immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago. Much of the music associate and played during the carnival and at the fetes (aka parties) have originated from Trinidad. This music is a fusion of upbeat drums, steel pan, and percussion. Soca, calypso and chutney are all genre of the Caribbean music played during the parade.
The origins of the street parade can also be traced back to Trinidad and to other Caribbean nations (like St. Vincent, Barbados, Jamaica) who also have an annual parade similar to Caribana. The street parade is essentially a “battle of the bands”. Here in Canada, there are 9 bands that participate in Caribana. They are refereed to as “mas bands”. The bands are organized by the number of participants and sections they have. Each mas band can have anywhere from 50 to over 1000 participants, which are referred to as “masqueraders”.
The winning band essentially gets bragging rights and is able to attract more masqueraders for the following year. The parade route has changed several times in the past 49 years. In the past few years, the Caribana has taken place on Exhibition grounds and on the Lakeshore. The entire route is about 3.5 km (… yupp that’s a long walk!)
I sincerely hope you enjoy my caribana youtube video! Please comment to share your experience! And subscribe to my channel for more fun videos!