New Name, Expanded Programming for this the Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival's 50th year

TORONTO, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ - The newly rebranded Toronto Caribbean Carnival launched today at the Ontario Science Centre with costumed Mas' models, music and food. The Toronto Caribbean Carnival will run from July 7 to August 6, 2017, bringing the culture of Caribbean Canadians to over a million spectators in downtown Toronto.

Today's launch was for media and community stakeholders. At the noon-hour event it was announced that the Festival has a new title sponsor – Peeks (a Canadian cell phone app) and that the festival is now called Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

The public kick-off for the 50th annual Carnival will take place on July 11, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at Toronto's Nathan Philips Square, where stilt walkers, dancers, musicians and calypso singers will get everyone into the Carnival spirit.

"The economic trends in Canada – our low dollar and our high standard of living – will bring in an influx of American, Caribbean and South American visitors to Toronto who have shared history of and appreciation for the Carnival. We look forward to sharing our expanded and enhanced celebration with the world," said Denise Herrera-Jackson, CEO, Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival. "We are expecting large crowds at our King and Queen contest, Pan Alive, Calypso evening, the new Toronto island fete, the 50th anniversary Gala and, of course, the Grand Parade."

"The Ontario Science Centre is delighted to be part of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival by sponsoring the Innovation in Mas' award. This is the seventh consecutive year that we are excited to celebrate innovation in Mas' costume engineering and design," said Catherine Paisley, Vice-President, Science Education and Experience, Ontario Science Centre. "In addition to recognizing innovative approaches, the award showcases the intersection of art and science, demonstrating that science is truly found everywhere."

"Science is everywhere. The innovation and engineering that goes into the Caribbean Carnival costumes is astounding. It is a true intersection of art and science," said Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO and Chief Science Officer of the Ontario Science Centre. "The Ontario Science Centre is thrilled to participate in the fiftieth anniversary of Caribbean Carnival by hosting today's media launch and sponsoring the Innovation in Mas' Award."

The Grand Parade along the Toronto waterfront on August 5 is expected to draw well over a million people down to Toronto's Exhibition Place and surrounding grounds. The parade will travel the length of the Exhibition Place before entering Lakeshore Boulevard, giving the Festival more space to accommodate paying spectators.

Toronto Caribbean Carnival events include:

Carnival Night Market | July 7 & 8, 2017
Location: David Pecaut Square
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Two days of a fresh-new look at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival that engages the diverse communities that make up the Caribbean communities and paying tribute to the festival founders with Music; Food, and Dance performances. The event will also include a three-day exhibition of Carnival and historical artifacts at Metro Hall.

Opening Church Service | July 9, 2017
Church of the Nativity, Scarborough
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Official Launch | July 11, 2017
Location: Nathan Phillips Square
Time: 11:00 a.m.
The official launch of the annual festival is a cultural showcase and celebration of the creative spirit of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival events and other events happening in and around the City of Toronto – including components of Canada 150 / Caribana 50. This event engages the three stakeholder groups: Toronto Mas Bands Association, Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, and the Ontario Steelpan Association.

Carnival Village | July 15, 2017
Location: Regent Park Community (Daniels Spectrum)
Time: 10:00 a.m.6:00 p.m.
The history of Carnival is presented to the Regent Parks community with interactive participation in the Carnival Arts.

Junior Carnival King and Queen Showcase | July 16, 2017
Location: Woodbine Centre
Time: 2:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.
This new event gives the junior Kings and Queens the opportunity to display their elaborately designed Masquerade costumes. At this event, audiences will get the opportunity to see the children participate in their show and enjoy the other amenities for families.

Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day | July 22, 2017
Location: Malvern and Neilson Parks, Scarborough
Time: 11:00 a.m.8:00 p.m.
The Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day event provides its audience and the surrounding community of Malvern the opportunity to experience the cultural presentation of young people who participate as producers, performers, and presenters of the Carnival Arts. This event engages the Toronto Mas Bands Association, Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, and the Ontario Steelpan Association.  The Junior Carnival Showcase, which starts after the parade, presents the young performers of steelpan, calypso, and dance on stage at Neilson Park.  The event also includes the Junior Chef competition.

Toronto Carnival Run | July 22, 2017
Location: Toronto Inukshuk Park, 789 Lakeshore Blvd West, Toronto
Time: 8:00AM 10K Race; 8:15AM 5K Race; 8:25AM 1K Kids Race
The second Annual Toronto Carnival Run, a partner event, encourages "wellness and community involvement with a Caribbean Carnival theme. This race offers a 1K Kids run, 5K run/walk and 10K run/walk option."

Calypso Show - July 23, 2017
Location: Latvian Canadian Culture Center
This event marks the successful end to the Calypso Music Tent series with the crowning of the Calypso Monarch.  Calypsonians who composed their unique songs for the Carnival season have the opportunity to be judged for their talent and creativity. This event is organized by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes

Carnival Ball | July 28, 2017
Location: Liberty Grand
Time: 5:30 p.m.
An elegant evening at the Liberty Grand presents the cultural outputs of the Toronto Mas Bands Association, Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, and the Ontario Steelpan Association to this unique audience of donors, sponsors, and partners. The Festival Management Committee gets the opportunity to recognize the historical impact of visionaries and community participants.

Lighting of the CN Tower: August 1, 2017
Location: Roundhouse Park
Time: Ceremony 7:00 p.m. – 9:00pm
This event commemorates the emancipation of the enslavement of Africans in North America and the Caribbean islands and pays homage to the historical fight for freedom.  Carnival has become the symbolic representation of freedom.

King & Queen Showcase | August 3, 2017
Location: Allan Lamport Stadium
Time 7:00 p.m.
The Toronto Mas Bands Association provides the main cultural entertainment for this event, with male and female performers presenting the creative work of the talented artists, designers, and costume builders.  At this event, the Kings, Queens, and individuals of the Carnival bands unveil their elaborately themed costumes showing the creative minds and imagination of designers. The Ontario Science Center continues to present the Innovation in Mas award for the engineering, construction, design, and best environmental use of material in a costume.

Pan Alive | August 4, 2017
Location: Allan Lamport Stadium
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Presented by the Ontario Steelpan Association, this event showcases the musical and tonal qualities of the steelpan.  This Panorama of the North is the best opportunity to hear this wonderful instrument in all its glory. This event showcases the talent of steel pan performers ranging in age from early teens to adults as they perform their original renditions to the aficionados.

Grand Parade | August 5, 2017
Location: Exhibition Place, Ontario Place & Lakeshore Blvd
Time: 8:00 a.m.
The Grand Parade is the largest event and highlight of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. This event continues to attract local, regional, national, and international attention by visitors and media.  After months of design and construction, bandleaders present masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes and steel pan bands wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place east along a 3.5-kilometer stretch on Lakeshore Boulevard back into Exhibition Place.  Guest bands will lead the parade, followed by Mas' costumed bands and Steelpan bands.

We Jammin Still | August 6, 2017
Location: Centre Island
Time: 2:00 p.m.
It was done in 1967 so why not in 2017. Music and performances from the Carnival stars wrap up the Carnival weekend.

About Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine and revelry as well as visual and performing arts. It is a major international event and the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. As Carnival is an international cultural phenomenon, the city of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Region will come alive with the pulsating rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Soca, Salsa, Zouk, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands to celebrate the Carnival of the Americas. The Festival Management Committee oversees the running of North America's largest outdoor festival.

Corporate sponsors/partners of this year's festival include: OLG, Toronto Star, CTV, CP24, OneCaribbeanTV, Virgin Radio, the Federal Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto, Grace Kennedy Foods, the Ontario Science Centre, Exhibition Place, Liberty Grande, Malvern Town Centre and Sunrise Restaurants.

For more information about the programs and events, please visit the Festival's official website at The Festival Office is located at 19 Waterman Avenue, Toronto.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @TorCarnival| #TorCarnival

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

For further information: For media inquires: Stephen Weir, Toronto Caribbean Carnival Publicist, 416-489-5868, Cell: 416-801-3101, Email:; Ontario Science Centre Media contacts: Anna Relyea, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-696-3273 | c: 416-668-1967,; Jefferson Darrell, Media Relations Officer, 416-696-3154,; Andrea Mus, Media Relations Officer, 416-696-3191 | c: 416-895-5482,


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