No matter how many times you said it, the ‘Toronto Caribbean Carnival’ just didn’t sound right.
That was the new name chosen for what had been known as Caribana.
Which is why many will be breathing a sigh of relief that the city’s biggest island festival will be back this summer bearing its original title.
When a city of Toronto audit forced politicians to transfer control of the festival to the Mas Band Association, the Caribbean Cultural Committee insisted it wouldn’t allow the famous moniker to be used, because they had it copyrighted.
But on Tuesday, the dispute was finally resolved, just a few months before the latest incarnation is set to parade before millions of revelers. And that’s brought back the Caribana name.
“The festival is a festival of joy, a festival of freedom, and it cannot be successful unless the parties who put this thing on are reconciled together,” advises Charles Roach of the Caribbean Cultural Committee.
The funding flap had exacerbated a longtime schism in the ranks of those who put on the big show. But those behind the scenes are grateful those rifts appear to be healed.
“The festival conservatively brings in over $300 million into the coffers of the city of Toronto, the province of Ontario, and the federal government,” explains Caribana Management Committee member Courtney Betty. “Conservatively if you … take the last ten years, you are talking about a contribution of over $3 billion. However, there have been challenges that the festival has faced primarily as a result of funding.”
The Caribana name isn’t the only part of the party that will proceed as usual. The parade will be held when it always has been – on the Simcoe Day long weekend in August.