To Members and Supporters of the Caribana Arts Group
Please attend a very important CARIBANATM Town Hall meeting beginning at 1:00 p.m.on Saturday, September 18, 2010, at Metro Hall, 55 John Street (John & King Street West), Toronto.
As you know, in 2006 the City of Toronto appointed the Festival Management Committee (FMC) to manage the CARIBANATM Festival for one year. During this time, the CARIBANATM ARTS GROUP (CAG), formerly the Caribbean Cultural Committee (CCC), the creator and owner of the CARIBANATM Festival and associated Trade Marks was to undergo restructuring, and adopt a new way of doing business. We have done so.
Five CARIBANATM Festivals later, the City of Toronto is still holding on to our festival through the FMC, a privately owned not-for-profit company that reports to the funders, but is not accountable to our community.
After a process that involved lengthy and expensive consultations with several lawyers, we were assured of our rights as the legal owners of the CARIBANATM Festival and Trade Marks.
In July 2010, the City’s Caribana liaison, Councillor Joe Mihevc, made it quite clear that he did not want to meet with the CAG, and that it was up to us to resolve matters with the FMC. However, we see this as the Councillor pitting the two groups against each other and not accepting responsibility for the situation he created. Backed by the City, the FMC has now become both entrenched and intransigent in its dealings with us, the legal owners of the CARIBANATM Festival. It is a private company that does not have a membership; but it now claims that it represents our community. We call this “theft by stealth”.
Please attend the meeting on Saturday, September 18 at Metro Hall at 1:00 p.m. sharp and show that you honour the work our volunteers have done over the years to make the CARIBANATM Festival what it is today. Show that you will not allow it to be stolen by the City and two or three people. Demand its return.
Henry Gomez, B. A., B. Ed, M. F. A., OCT