FMC who Run the CCT now have the CCAN!

By Stephen Weir

Minister Chu and Carnival Kids

Late last week Jennifer Michelle Hirlehey, the board chair of the Festival Management Committee (FMC), which oversees the annual Caribbean Carnival in Toronto, issued a statement announcing the formation of the Caribbean Community Advocacy Network (CCAN).
Writing in the latest edition of the social media-based Toronto Carnival Insider, Hirlehey commented on the success of last week’s Carnival Launch at the Scarborough Town Centre. All levels of government were present at the launch, and the Board Chair said she is “deeply encouraged by the expressions of support from representatives of the Government at the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels,” so much so that the FMC is moving ahead with the creation of this new advocacy arm.
What exactly is the new CCAN? Hirlehey explains, “While the FMC and the carnival remain non-political, we are dedicated to promoting socio-political, cultural, and economic advocacy for the Caribbean community at all levels of Government.”
“We aim to foster a deeper connection between our community and our political leaders, ensuring our interests are effectively represented at all levels of government,” she continued.

The FMC is now encouraging the Caribbean community in the GTA to take a “more active role in determining representatives at all levels of government.” Apparently, the FMC will be asking the carnival community to volunteer their time, share their thoughts, and get involved with nominated and elected politicians.
“Our current community outreach includes the following programs,” she continued:
1. Diversity and Equity Training Programmes
2. Building Black Entrepreneurs Program (BBEP)
3. Carnival Arts Initiative with the TDSB
4. Schulich Business Excellence Academy at York University Partnership
5. Young Learners Program with Toronto Football Club
6. Young Leaders Program


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