Take it or leave it. This is an impression felt, I believe, by the public, as they stood before an approximately 14 ft fence, temporarily erected at the CNE for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2013. They chose the most popular area where families and individuals have gathered year after year for FREE.
The anticipation of the festive day which included music, dance, sharing the happiness with food and laughter, was greeted with this very disappointing change.
What were they trying to do or accomplish?
Whatever the reason(s), I really do not think a lot of thought occurred during the months leading up to the big day. The committee involved, I have to believe, may not have anticipated who this was really going to affect with negative results. We all look forward to this day to show support and celebrate with pride in our diverse and beautiful city.
A $20.00 adult fee per person adds up to a significant amount for many families. Most cannot afford to pay. On this day they usually arrive, parents, grandma, grandpa, children, friends and visitors just to relax and cheer on. A tradition for many years.
Why does the Festival Management Committee now want to jeopardize what has helped shaped this festival into the biggest, most beautiful, fun filled and financially rewarding event of the year for Ontario?
The focus for 2014 should be geared to:
1. Eliminating the fee at the new fenced area.
2. Erecting temporary bleachers (sitting areas) for those who wish to watch along the parade route.
3. Creating designated areas for temporary tents to be assembled on a first come first set up. (always been the respected rule).
If there is no compromise, I believe, in the future, most will choose to stay at home rather than pay this absorbent cost to show support. This may result in financial woes for vendors and others who depend on this day for significant revenues.
In the future, revellers and participants may have no other choice but to place mirrors along the parade route and wave to themselves.