Once a year we get to celebrate our Caribbean heritage here in Toronto in such a grande way, it’s so beautiful to see. It makes me so proud to be part of this culture that is an explosion of varied shades and shapes. What a sight it is to see all of us in one place celebrating in unity!
Caribana (yes I will call it that til the day I die) started in Toronto in 1967 by West Indians living in Toronto to celebrate Canada’s centennial. It was a birthday gift to Canada and what a gift it continues to be. A parade of beautiful people, music, colours and costumes for everyone to participate in. As the years have gone by it has become one of the biggest parades in North America, attracting 1.3 million to date and all kinds of revenue for the city that the Caribana never seems to benefit from, unfortunately. That’s another story for another time though.
This year I arrived at the parade around 3pm, a little late, but my party started elsewhere first! When I arrived I immediately started to take pictures of beautiful girls in amazing intricate costumes. As I become more entrenched in my brand I find I am noticing so much beauty in different types of people. I have so much more appreciation for the beauty of difference.
I was ecstatic there were no tall blue wire fences on the road this year as they were present the previous two years. These fences were horrible, I felt like a caged animal being herded by police. This year it was back to the normal barricades. Next year it will be Caribana’s 50th year and I think I want to experience it differently. Lookout, I may be chippin’ down de road in a mas band.