Perhaps in a nod to its new title sponsor, Toronto Caribbean Carnival organizers offered some peeks of what’s to come in their 50th celebration of the festival.
Feathers and steels drums on Thursday filled the Weston Hot Zone, dubbed Hot, Hot, Hot Zone, at the Ontario Science Centre. Peeks, a Canadian online e-commerce live-streaming platform, is the new lead and title sponsor of now named Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival.
“We want to look at the heritage of the festival,” said CEO Denise Herrera-Jackson, “to commemorate the founders of this festival who brought it to Canada 50 years ago.”
The four-week festival will launch on July 11 with a noon kickoff at Nathan Phillips Square and will feature many events including the Junior Carnival and culminating in the famous Grand Parade on Aug. 5, which will have a new twist for the 50th.
The giant parade features hundreds of masquerade dancers and steel pan drums and has taken a year to plan. This year, they are reversing the parade route along Lakeshore at the C.N.E. for better viewing and starting two hours earlier. Also, the high fences will again be eliminated, allowing more access.
“People appreciate the cultural aspect of the festival because it is an art in itself.” said Herrera-Jackson.