The brilliant burst of colour and beauty filled Lakeshore Boulevard last Saturday as thousands of costumed revellers played mas’ in the 43rd annual Caribana parade.
At the end of the day, Louis Saldenah’s Mas-K Club’s Portrait, with a record 2,400 participants, was voted the best Big Band. Carnival Nationz’s Sparrow D’Legend and Toronto Revellers Disco Fever were second and third respectively.
Mas Players International Wonders of the World won the “B” and “C” category Band of the Year title followed by TruDynasty’s Fever: What Makes You Hot and Fantazia International’s Fashion Runway.
A total of 14 bands – seven in the “A” category and seven in the “B” and “C” categories – took part in the magnificent celebration of Caribbean culture which was witnessed by more than a million people along the parade route.
D’Chandelier: A Portrait in Crystal portrayed by this year’s Queen of the Band winner Pat Horsham of Louis Saldenah’s Mas-K Club clinched the inaugural Ontario Science Centre-sponsored Innovative Costume award.
The winning costume design was based on an innovative combination of problem-solving, risk-taking, inspiration, material innovation and mobility.
Incoming Caribana chair and chief executive officer Denise Herrera-Jackson said the new award is intended to increase exposure and appreciation for the science of mas’, detailing the processes involved with costume making while recognizing the scientific merit and honouring the engineers of the creative masterpieces.
“The award consists of an individual trophy with the band having the honour of carrying the innovative display at their mas’ camp and at the Ontario Science Centre for a year,” said Herrera-Jackson.
Winning designer Peter Tang’s prize includes a Caribbean Airlines-sponsored trip for two to Trinidad & Tobago.
Tribal Knights’ Predator Returns captured the Band of the Year crown ahead of Saldenah’s Mas-K Club’s Portrait of Trinidad & Tobago and Carnival Nationz’s King & Conqueror.
King of the Bands was Dexter Seusahai, portraying “Predator Returns” from Tribal Knights followed by Anton Saldenah, “Portrait of Trinidad Carnival” from Saldenah Mas-K Club and, in 3rd place, Mista Meggy, from Carnival Nationz’ Sparrow d’Legend.
Queen of the Bands was Pat Horsham, “D’Chandelier – A Portrait in Crystal” from Saldenah Mas-K Club followed by Betty Toni, “Fire on Ice” from Dexter Seusahai’s Tribal Knights and, in 3rd place, Joella Crichton, “Calypso in Flight” from Carnival Nationz Sparrow d’Legend by Marcus Eustace.
Nicholas Gui of Saldenah’s Mas-K Club secured the Male Individual of the Year award with his costume A Portrait of India. Ron Belfon of Carnival Nationz and Shane Mungul of Tribal Knights were second and third respectively.
This year’s Female Individual of the Year award winner was Penne Sutherland from Saldenah’s Mas-K Club followed by Lisa Shalini Mahadeo from Tribal Knights and Aisha Grant from Mervin Skeete’s Connections.
Salah Steel Academy proved that they are the best steelpan outfit in the country, winning their fourth straight Pan Alive title. Golden Harps International was second followed by Afropan and Panatics.
Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best praised this year’s participants for staging a grand show of splendour and sparkle.
“We are proud of the role that festivals like Caribana play in showing the world what a truly international place Ontario is,” said Best. “And like people around the world, we here in Ontario love a good party”
The province contributed $484,000 to Caribana which is North America’s largest street festival.