BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
No matter where you are from in the world, Caribbean Carnival is something many say is a must have experience. With its deep-rooted traditions, elaborate costumes, and rhythmic music, Caribbean Carnival is hard to resist as it always guarantees a phenomenal time.
Caribbean Carnivals usually follow several common themes, many originating from Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, based on folklore, culture, religion, and tradition. Carnival traditions are based on a number of disciplines including playing mas, where patrons masquerade wearing vibrant and elaborately designed feathered costumes, Calypso and Soca music with the crowning of a Calypso King and Queen, steel band orchestras, J’ouvert morning and a number of other traditions that have been amassed over the years.
The festival was introduced to Canada by immigrants from the Caribbean Islands as well as much of the music associated with the event, such as steel pan, Soca and Calypso. Toronto Carnival reflects the Carnival events that take place in several Caribbean Islands and the entire event, which is one of the first Caribbean Carnivals along with those in New York City, Notting Hill and Boston to be held outside of the Caribbean region, brings in over one million people to Toronto and over $400 million into Ontario’s economy, annually.
Every summer in the 6ix, the Lakeshore becomes home to the annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade, formerly and still commonly referred to as Caribana. It is a lively example of the diversity that represents the city, and a display of the culture and traditions held every summer in Toronto. This event has been recognized as North America’s largest street festival attended by over 1.3 million visitors from near and far with an overall attendance of 2 million people by the end of the weekend.
This year’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival had a new title sponsor: Peeks Social Ltd., a live-streaming app founded by Torontonian Mark Itwaru an entrepreneur who has successfully built several technology companies and has very close ties with the popular Toronto event celebrating its 50th anniversary in conjunction with Canada’s 150th year.
In addition to Peeks, other Caribbean related affiliates have the Toronto Caribbean Carnival on their radar including One Caribbean Television a 24/7 news, weather, sports, and entertainment television network.
Making television since 1984 Lilly Broadcasting owns television stations in the United States and has been proudly serving the Caribbean with the best weather, news, and entertainment since 2008. They have provided coverage of many Caribbean Carnivals down in the islands including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, St Vincent and Antigua.
On Wednesday, August 2nd at The Harlem Underground in Toronto One Caribbean Kicked of Carnival Week 2017 with a launch party to celebrate their 5th year at Toronto Carnival and discussed potential plans to have their own space in regularly scheduled Canadian programming. One Caribbean Television has been visiting the Caribbean from as long as they can remember and they are committed to bringing you live, up to date coverage right from the road especially during carnival season in the islands.
Throughout Carnival Week, One Caribbean Television will offer live coverage of events, interviews and feature stories to highlight the people and pageantry that make Carnival one of the world’s most popular celebrations.
They invited their room of VIP’s including businesses and government officials representing the Caribbean Diaspora to mix and mingle, strengthen relations with one another and also provide a bit more insight into their brand.
“Through our channel, we are allowing people the opportunity to experience Carnival from all over the world,” shared Mark Walton President, Sales & Marketing at One Caribbean Television.
One Caribbean Television is a U.S.-based, 24/7 television network, most known for its extensive weather coverage, and also carries news, sports, travel, lifestyle, and entertainment programming along with the most Caribbean Carnival coverage anywhere. The channel is currently seen on cable systems throughout the Caribbean and in a number of major cities in the United States.
“People enjoy being able to be a part of the Carnival fun even though they might not be able to attend, and we frequently hear how thankful they are to experience it through our coverage and programming,” Walton said.
One Caribbean Television is very excited to partner with the newly rebranded Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival and can’t wait to share the exciting Carnival festivities with their viewers.