2013 Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival gears up for summer celebration


Promotion for the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival launched Tuesday as organizers announced some changes to the annual three-week celebration of Caribbean culture to be held July 9 to Aug. 4.

Fans of the masquerader’s elaborate outfits won’t be able to get quite as up-close and personal this year as they have earlier in the carnival’s 46-year history.

Only media, security, masqueraders and other select groups will be given free wristbands allowing direct access to the parade route. Spectators will have to stay behind fences and view the show from there.

Christopher Alexander, the carnival’s chief administrative officer, explained that people simply coming to see the parade couldn’t do so easily because there were too many people in the line of sight.

“This year we’re trying to keep the route free of spectators,” Alexander said, noting the change will allow people to get a clearer look at the action.

Mannequins wearing bright, feathered costumes were set up near the stage at the Ontario Science Centre, where sponsors and supporters spoke and the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra performed.

Christine Williams, Scotiabank’s vice president for Toronto East, announced that that bank is renewing its sponsorship of the festival formerly known as Caribana.

“In 2008, we became title sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival — the largest North American Caribbean festival of its kind. I’m proud to say that once again, Scotiabank has extended our partnership for another three years,” Williams said.

Alexander also announced several tweaks to the festival. There won’t be a stage in Exhibition Place, as there was last year, and the route of the Aug. 3 Grand Parade will start closer to the Queen Elizabeth building because of construction on the grounds.

From there, the route will continue along Princes’ Blvd., Newfoundland Dr. and Lake Shore Blvd.

And added attraction this year is a children’s play area and amusement rides for kids.

“It’s nicer this year,” Alexander said of the changes. “We’ve expanded the gated area of Exhibition Place, so we’ll be using the entire grounds. That’s a big change and I think people will be able to see more of what’s going on,” he said.

Alexander said he doesn’t have figures for 2012 but said the festival has been estimated in past years to have an economic impact on the city of about $400 million.

For the original report go to http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/679573/2013-scotiabank-toronto-caribbean-carnival-gears-up-for-summer-celebration/

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