Doubles? No Troubles. At least not last Saturday night.

Creators Cultural Arts and De New Regulars and 
Foreva Carnival 2018 hold their launches in Toronto

By Stephen Weir for the Caribbean Camera
Photographs by Don Moreland (Belasco at lunch) and Anthony Berot (model in blue)
photo by Anthony Berot
Toronto Doubles.  Two Mas Camps hold costume launches on the same Saturday night the second weekend in a row!  This past weekend it was a pair of long established Mas Camps - the Costume Creators Cultural Arts and De New Regulars and Foreva Carnival 2018 holding their launches on the same night. Both events were successful, probably because each launch appealed to different sections of the city.
Costume Creators Cultural Arts with Freedom Carnival is the oldest mas band in the festival and the only that can lay claim to being part of the first parade in 1967. 
Founders Wilfred and Calvin Belasco have turned over the camp (formerly known asCostume Concept) to Melissa Ramlochan, a model and cutting edge costume designer. Ms. Ramlochan is known as Freedom Carnival – the second part of the Mas Band’s new name.

Inline image Belasco waves - photo by Don Moreland

The frontline costumes shown were elaborately designed – many used fibreglass to allow motion to the costume wings.  The models came out on a small stage and then took a few steps down with the costumes vibrating,  onto a dance floor surrounded bythe revellers.
“I think what makes us standout is that we are the only Mas Band that is located in the city’s west-end” Ms. Ramlochan told the Caribbean Camera.  “We held the launch at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall in North Etobicoke and we will be opening our camp and showroom in the west end as well.”
Befitting the theme of the launch – the Bird of Paradisede Dancin’ Wings – many of the costumes modelled by the 8-sections involved wings and colourful feathers.
“We flew in M.C Rose from Bacchanal Radio in New York City to host our launch.  It was broadcast live, and we plan to act on the positive exposure she won us in NewYork,” continued Ms. Ramlochan.  “We had about 200 come out to see the show and Bacchanal Rose had them super involved!”
Costume Creators is now in the process of locating a suitable space for the camp. Once it is open they plan to have two events a month for members until the parade and work with local businesses to showcase their models and costumes.
Across town another long-time Mas band, De New Regulars and Foreva Carnival band held their launch in Northeast Scarborough at the Nugget Lounge.  While the band has been taking part in the parade for many years under the leadership of Michael Williams, the big difference is the role that two 20 something women are taking this year.

Inline image Foreva Carnival photo by Anthony Berot 

23-year old Christel Griffith and 25-year old Shantel Webster are the Foreva Carnival in the Mas Band’s name. “We are the new upcoming generation in the Carnival” Shantel Webster told the Camera. “Michael (Williams) has turned over the costume designs, the sections and management of the camp.  On Saturday we had 40 models in 8 sections up on the stage.” In addition to the debut of the costumes, the night featured the Silhouette pan orchestra, a dance troupe and food!”
The theme for the evening was “Straight Out of John John”. John John referring to a housing district

in Trinidad,” said Christel Griffith. “ It is also about Janet Lewis aka the “flag woman” who is a true Caribbean icon and we are celebrating Janet’s contributions to Carnival in Toronto and the world.”


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