Some 300 young people are expected to take part in the Caribana Arts Group (CAG) kiddies’ parade this Saturday.
The participants will assemble at Driftwood Community Centre at 10 a.m. for the event that starts at noon at Driftwood Court. The young revellers will make their way south on Jane St. to Yorkgate Mall where there will be live entertainment and speeches from several dignitaries, including Liberal MPP, Judy Sgro; York West councillor Anthony Perruzza and Toronto Police 31 Division unit commander, Supt. David McLeod.
CAG chair Henry “Cosmos” Gomez said Yorkgate Mall administrators and Jane-Finch residents made requests for the youth parade to be held in their area after the Festival Management Committee (FMC) moved its event out of the community to the enclosed Downsview Park.
“This is an event that the community had become accustomed to in the last 12 years and they wanted it in their backyard,” said Gomez. “Other groups in the community and the people at Yorkgate also said they wanted it.”
There will be no judging this year and a sound system will accompany the kids along the parade route.
The city’s band leaders, who produce the carnival parade, will not participate in this event. Toronto Mas Bands Association (TMBA) liaison John Kam said they will be penalized if they take part.
“The bandleaders held a vote and decided unanimously they were not going to be part of the CAG kiddies’ carnival,” said Kam. “They will also be staying away from the CariVaughan Caribbean Parade and Festival on August 11. Vaughan is part of the Greater Toronto Area and the city is already funding one parade which is (the carnival). To be aligned with CariVaughan will give the impression that the city’s funds are also being used for the bandleaders to be part of that event.”
Kam said the bandleaders can participate in the Barrie and Hamilton carnivals because they are outside city limits.
BY RON FANFAIR