Images from yesterday's Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Launch


Successful Media Event: 75 media registered.  35 costumed Mas Dancers.  50 musicians. 15 cameras (TV, film makers and web based broadcasters), 5 radio stations and just one daily newspaper -- the Toronto Star!  Big Events? Mayor Ford danced with Mas Dancer and cut a special cake.  Michael Chan and Chief Bill Blair spoke at the opening.

There was a silent protest by the Caribana Arts Group, owners of the Caribana trade mark.  Their protest signs didn't really explain why they were there (and the typos got a few laughs) giving it a minor role in a big event.

Councillor Michael Thomson, Chris Alexander,
Mayor Ford and Denise Herrera Jackson

Jamaican Sprinter was introduced to auidence
The CEO of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, Denise Herrera-Jackson,
is interviewed by  Nathan Downer (CP-24)  live from Nathan Phillips Square

 This press release was issued at the press conference:

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Keeps On Jumping
Festival officially opens at Nathan Phillips Square July 12 – August1

TORONTO, Tuesday, July 11 – After a three-year absence, Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival returned to Nathan Phillips Square to officially launch the Festival season! Soca artists, pan orchestrators and mas dancers in ‘full’ costume took over the public square today to officially kick-off Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, and to unveil a new route for the mammoth July 30th parade. With new media partners and expanded programmes, this year’s festival is expected to attract more than one million people to downtown Toronto over the next three weeks. 
In 2011, because of a problem with the trademarked name Caribana, the festival is now called Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Today’s launch showed Toronto a new look but with the same spirit that has kept the parade vital for the past 44 years!
“We have changed the name of the festival to Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, and in this spirit of improvement we have also updated and upgraded the parade for the first time in over a decade” said Chris Alexander, the Chief Financial Officer for the festival.  “This year our 17,000 costumed dancers, Calypsonians and pan players will follow a course that will see them heading onto Lakeshore quite a bit east of where we traditionaly hit the street.   This gives us the room to set up seating for 30,000 on Ontario Place property, so that people can enjoy watching the pageantry of playing Mas, from a comfortable seat! “
Michael Chan, Provincial Minister of Tourism and Culture was present at today’s launch and recognized Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival as the key summer cultural event for Toronto.  The Minister noted that Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, now in its 44th year continues to be both an attraction and an economic engine for the city. 
During today’s launch, two new media sponsors were announced.  The FLOW 93.5 is now the official radio station of the Festival and Urbanology is the official urban on-line sponsor of the festival.  They join the Toronto Star, Sway Magazine, CTV and CP24 as the official media partners of the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival!
This year’s Scotiabank Caribana Festival events include:

Junior Carnival, July 16
: Junior Carnival provides festival goers and the surrounding community the opportunity to experience the thrills and joys as young masqueraders participate in their early festival years.  The parade route stretches from Black Creek Pioneer Village to the Yorkgate Mall  (Jane and Finch).  Close to 2,000 children in costumes will take part in the parade.  This year there are more areas along Jane Street for spectators.  It is free!   11am – 4pm.
Nation Cheong Art Exhibition, July 16-August 1: The Royal Ontario Museum and the Gladstone Hotel are hosting a duo-location exhibition by artist Nation Cheong. Cheong’s contemporary work captures the Carnival experience in Toronto from its roots in 1967 to today.
CTV/CP24 BBQ  July 21: The television sponsors of the parade are once again opening their compound to the public.  Live broadcasts, Caribbean food, performers, art and people in full Mas costumes will take over 299 Queen Street.  EVERYONE is welcome to attend this free event.
Scotiabank Caribana Gala, July 22: The fourth annual Scotiabank Caribana Gala is an evening of elegance celebrating Carnival Music and Arts. The Gala runs from 5:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. at the Liberty Grand Ballroom, CNE Grounds. 
The Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch Finals, July 23: The Calypso Monarch will be crowned this year at the best and biggest Canadian Calypsonian battle for the crown.  At the P.C. Ho Theatre, Chinese Cultural Centre, Scarborough, the event will take place from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Toronto Pearson Airport Launch, July 27: the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, in partnership with the Festival Management Committee will be in the airport promoting the festival to incoming tourists with Caribbean entertainment and food tastings.
Calypso Showcase at Harbourfront. July 27. West Jet Stage. Free. The showcase presents top Soca artists, Garth Burgess (steel pannist), and iconic Carnival Arts characters. 7pm
King & Queen Show, July 28: The Thursday before the Scotiabank Caribana Parade, all the Kings & Queens of the Bands meet to do battle. It is an honour for any reveler to be enthroned the King or Queen of a band. The battle runs from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. at Lamport Stadium.
Pan Alive, July 29: A thrilling evening showcasing the musical and tonal qualities of the steelpan.  At Pan Alive, members of the Ontario Steelband Association will compete before a panel of judges at Lamport Stadium from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.  
The Grand Parade, July 30: This showcase event features an incredible display of colours and pageantry.  Toronto will come alive with the sights and sounds of Carnival. This year’s Parade is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the CNE and follows a new route along Lakeshore Blvd.
The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Lime, July 31st & August 1: De Lime highlights the various cultures of all of the Caribbean people.  It’s a celebration of food, song, dance, theatrical drama and story telling at Ontario Place. Grace Tropical Rhymes on Sunday. Free!
Canada Rugby League International Test Match  - Team Canada Wolverines versus Jamaican National Team.  July 31st. 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.  Fletcher’s Field, Markham.


The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Now in its 44th year, it has become a major international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. As Carnival is an international cultural phenomenon, the great metropolis of Toronto and its environs will come alive as the city explodes with the pulsating rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands.
Corporate sponsors of this year's festival include: Scotiabank, The Toronto Star, Sway Magazine, CTV, CP24, The Federal Government of Canada, The Province of Ontario, The City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto, The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Ontario Place, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Public Libraries, Yorkgate Mall, Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex & Liberty Entertainment Group, Urbanology, and GraceKennedy (Ontario) Inc.
For more information about the programmes and events, please visit the festival’s official website at The Festival Office is located at 263 Davenport Avenue, Lower Level; Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5R 1E9. Contact info: Tel: 416-391-5608; Fax: 416-391-5693; Email: info@
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2009 the Bank provided around $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Please visit us at


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