Renu Maharaj played mas’ for the first time in the arms of her father, George Maharaj, a calypso researcher and former band leader who took part in J’ouvert celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago before migrating to Canada.
It’s not surprising that his granddaughters, Gianna and Amaya Khan, are already regular players in the annual junior carnival parade held in Scarborough.
“Though they are just seven and four years, this is the third time they are both in the carnival,” he said. “They have proudly accepted the torch that has been passed on to them.”
Maharaj said it’s important young people keep Caribbean culture and traditions alive.
“Carnival and all the elements associated with it are something that Caribbean people are proud of and love to share,” he said. “My granddaughters sing calypsoes and will be learning to play the steelpan soon.”
With their dazzling costumes and youthful exuberance, the young people put on quite a show to pulsating Caribbean rhythms in the sweltering heat.
Jamaal Magloire’s Toronto Revellers captured its fourth Junior Band of the Year crown in the last five years with its celebration of the Pan Am Games’ spirit.
Fabian Lee of Fantazia International and Reeyana Singh of Carnival Nationz clinched the Junior King and Queen titles, while Joshua Martinez of Fantazia and Kaia Lewis of Carnival Nationz were the Junior Male and Female winners.