Toronto Carnival milestone celebration
August 10, 2017
Since moving from St. Vincent and the Grenadines almost three decades ago, he has not missed a Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade.
Carnival Vincy, as he is fondly known, was among the thousands of revellers playing mas’ at the 50th annual celebration last Saturday.
“You get to reconnect with friends in a joyful environment and have some fun outdoors for a few hours,” he said. “I also feel as if I am at home.”
Though born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Helen Charles didn’t play mas’ until she went to Brooklyn a decade ago.
This is the eight straight year she has been a member of Fantazia.
“I love the fun and excitement,” said Charles.
Hamilton-born Spencer Smith joined his wife Cherie Smith in jumping up with new band Venom Carnival.
“I just relish everything associated with this festival,” said Smith.
His wife has been playing mas’ since age four.
“The costumes are appealing and that’s why I like to get in one and play mas’,” said the former Carnival Nationz player.
Dr. Roz Roach has been playing mas’ for over four decades and has not missed a Trinidad & Tobago Carnival in the last 35 years.
“I started off in Montreal before coming to Toronto,” said the Durham Mas section leader and Dr. Roz’s Healing Place executive director. “This is the time of year when I can shake, laugh and act silly.”
For Jamaican Kurt Strudwick, this was his first time playing mas’ in Toronto.
“I have heard a lot about it and now I am getting an opportunity to experience what it’s like,” he added.
Louis Saldenah’s Mas-K Club captured the Big Band of the Year Award ahead of Toronto Revellers and Carnival Nationz.
Tribal Kinghts was the winner in the Medium & Small Band category.