Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Kicks Off at City Hall

Three-week long festival celebrates 45 years of heating up Toronto all summer long

TORONTO, July 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Get ready to jump up all summer long, the 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is officially underway. The three-week long festival kicked off today as soca artists, pan orchestrators and mas dancers filled Nathan Phillips Square to mark the beginning of the festival that starts today and runs through to August 12, 2012.

"I can't believe it's Carnival time again in Toronto," said Denise Herrera-Jackson, CEO of the Festival Management Committee. "We've added new events to this year's festival line-up with non-stop activities and entertainment. On Friday, August 3, Exhibition Place comes alive with a late night Fish Fry, which transitions into early morning breakfast, followed by a J'Ouvert extravaganza with 'Ole mas' revellers, steelpans and drums all night long. We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this year's exciting line up of events."

Sport stars, politicians, business leaders, dozens and dozens of dancers in colourful mas costumes and steel pan players all came out to celebrate the festival's official launch today to kick of the festivities for 2012.

"Scotiabank is delighted to be back as title sponsor the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, an event that is not only one of Toronto's greatest summer traditions, but also a vital expression of this city's multicultural landscape," said Jacqueline Ryan, Scotiabank Vice-President of Sponsorships and Partnership Programs. "Coming together to mark celebrations like this is what makes our country unique and we're excited to help bring the sites, sounds and flavours of the Caribbean to Toronto through our sponsorship of the festival."

There's new and improved festival programming this year, with new sponsors, including General Motors, that has come on board to help with the Junior Carnival Parade and King and Queen Competition and El Dorado Rum is sponsoring a July 27, 2012 Gala at the Liberty Grand Ballroom on the CNE grounds.

The festival is expected to attract thousands of people over the course of the three-week period, as more people from across North America migrate toward the city during the summer. Long-time festival fans are expected to return in large numbers, as the festival is an affordable vacation destination in the middle of the summer heat.  The Festival Management Committee is also bringing in new green initiatives, aimed at reducing the Festival's carbon footprint to meet the growing interests and needs of the festival attendees.

All summer long the festival will present close to a dozen events in Toronto that will be of interest to everyone who likes to jump up and celebrate, or simply to watch.  Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival events include:

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2012 Line Up:

  • Official Launch and Tent Village - July 17, 2012: The official launch presents the activities for the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival. It is a snapshot of the festivities. Here you can experience the rhythms and vibes of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival and join in the celebration of the creative spirit of Caribbean carnivals and other events happening in and around Toronto.
  • Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day - July 21, 2012: The first big event, the Junior Carnival Parade, will take place at Downsview Park. Think of it as a junior's version of the big parade.  In 2011, over 2,000 children performed for the judges and played Mas along the streets of the Jane Finch corridor. Downsview Park, better suited to handle the growing number of children taking part, is the new location of the parade.
  • Canada versus Jamaica Rugby League - July 21, 2012:  Sport fans will want to watch the Canadian Rugby League take on the Jamaica Rugby League at Lamport Stadium. The Canadian team is the defending champion from the 2011 matchup. Game starts at 7:00 p.m.
  • FMC BBQ - July 25, 2012: BBQ being held at FMC Headquarters. Admission is FREE
  • Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Gala - July 27, 2012: The Annual Gala, a dress up affair to honour the rich history of the festival and to sample the Caribbean arts, will take place at the Liberty Grand Ballroom on the CNE grounds.
  • Carnival: Emancipation to Celebration - July 28, 2012: A unique display of the history and cultural significance of the Carnival in the City of Toronto capturing the festival around the city and featuring the pioneers of the festival with their recollection over the years. Takes place at the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Calypso Monarch Finals- July 28, 2012 and All-Star Showcase - July 31, 2012: Many of the world's best Calypso performers will show their stuff at the contest and the showcase taking place at Harbourfront.
  • Toronto Pearson Official Launch - July 31, 2012: Once again, Toronto Pearson collaborates with the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival to promote the festival at the gateway to the City of Toronto with Caribbean entertainment and tastings.
  • King and Queen Competition and Show - August 2, 2012: Each year this popular contest proves to be a sold-out event. Lamport Stadium has been reconfigured to allow for an expected 20,000 spectators - up from 11,000 last year.
  • Pan Alive - August 3, 2012: This is a thrilling evening displaying the musical and tonal qualities of the steel pan as members of the Ontario Steelpan Association compete before a panel of judges. This show is the best opportunity to hear this wonderful instrument in all its glory. This event highlights the talent of pannists ranging in age from early teens to adults as they perform their original renditions.
  • Beyond de lime - Fish Friday and J'ouvert - August 3 & 4, 2012: Fish Fry from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 am. Reminiscent of so many island beach get-togethers, when seafood such as snapper, lobster, shrimp, conch, is cooked fresh and the conversation of the night's events continues through to the early morning hours.
  • Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade - August 4, 2012: After months of preparation, masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes and steel pan bands whine their way from Exhibition Place along a 3.5 kilometre stretch on Lakeshore Boulevard. 
  • Beyond De Lime - Food Festival & Concert - August 5, 2012: Lime and Breakfast on South beach: Starting at 8:00 a.m., greet the morning with a Caribbean beach breakfast - fresh juices, coconut breads, fish and condiments that enhance the taste buds.
  • Closing Festival Church Service - August 12, 2012: We give thanks for all the festival sponsors, donors, partners, participants and audiences for their support. This service takes place at St. James Cathedral.

This is indeed the year for all things Caribbean in Toronto this summer. The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is marking its 45th anniversary. Jamaican Canadians are marking the 50th anniversary of independence for Jamaica and Trinidadian Canadians are marking the 50th anniversary of independence for Trinidad and Tobago.

About Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival

The Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine and revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Now in its 45th 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. The Festival Management Committee oversees the running of North America's largest outdoor festival.   Corporate sponsors of this year's festival include: Scotiabank, The Toronto Star, Sway Magazine, CTV, CP24, FLOW fm, WinTV, WinRadio, General Motors, El Dorado Rum, The Canadian Federal Government, The Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto, The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Ontario Place, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Public Library, Yorkgate Mall, Liberty Grand, and Grace Kennedy Foods.   For more information about the programmes and events, please visit the festival's official website at The Festival Office is NOW located at 19 Waterman Avenue. Contact info: Tel: 416-391-5608; Fax: 416-391-5693; Email:

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

Stephen Weir
416.489.5868, 416.488.6518 fax
416.801.3101 cell,

Sheena Findlay


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