Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kaiso 365: 2013 Calypso Monarch Finals Recap

This past Sunday July 28th, I attended Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch Finals presented by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (OCPA). Held at the Chinese Cultural Centre, the event began promptly at 5pm. The event commenced with a warm welcome given by Master of Ceremonies, Itah Sadu, and the singing of the National Athem, by Ossie Gurely & The Truth. Opening remarks by Itah provided the audience with a brief overview of the Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch competition, judging categories, point allotment and rules. In total, the nine finalists that were competing for the 2013 Calypso Monarch Title included Dennis James, PanMan Pat, Structure, Spivey, King Cosmos, Dynasty, Connector and Redman. Also among the finalist, was the reigning 2012 Calypso Monarch Macomere Fefe. 

The calypso monarch competition encompassed each finalist perform two original songs.  Referencing the historical roots of calypso, it is a genre of music that tells a story, conveys social commentary, highlights local issues and communities and/or adds a comedic twist to everyday situations. Many of the finalists’ song selections did the aforementioned, with musical renditions that highlighted issues such as violence, poverty, respect for elders, and scandal within government. On the other side of the spectrum, some of the musical renditions told stories that were humorous and celebratory in nature and reflected topics of relationships, obeha and carnival.  

Once the first half of the competition was complete, there was a short intermission and the audience was encouraged to check out the information booths of the event sponsors and partners. The audience was also informed food and drink was available upstairs to be purchased from local vendors such as Drupati’s Caribbean Restaurant. 

Subsequent to the intermission, the second half of the show followed with each of the finalists performing their second song selection. Prior the last performances, an overview of the prizes the finalists were competing for were announced. Prizes included, the winner of the 2013 Calypso Monarch Competition would be awarded the grand prize of $5,000, followed by $2,500 for the 1st runner up, $1,500 for the 2nd runner up and $1,000 for the 4th runner up. Additional sponsored prizes such as a trip to perform internationally would were also announced and said to be awarded to the recipient at a later date. 

While waiting for the results of the evening competition to be tabulated, the audience was treated to several live performances. Dance Caribe showcased a superb performance with an Afro-Caribbean dance routine that brought a fresh element the performances of the evening.  In addition, the live band and background accompaniment were exceptional when performing with the finalists as well as during their performances with International Calypso artistes, Sheldon Skeete and Scotty .  Complimentary giveaways and prizes were also drawn for the audience members, with prizes including two roundtrip tickets to any island of choice in the Caribbean courtesy of Caribbean Airline and also gift baskets from sponsors such as Carib beer.

Apart from the wonderful entertainment, another aspect of Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch Competition that I really appreciated was the effort that was put towards ensuring the audience was informed about Emancipation day and its association with carnival. Historically, Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observance of the emancipation of slaves of African origin. Being that the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 ended slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834, Emancipation day is often recognized and celebrated during carnival, in countries that hold their festival within August. This year, Itah announced that to welcome in the Emancipation Day and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Underground Railroad, on Wednesday July 31st they would be meeting at Union Station at 11:15pm and taking the 11:35 train from Union to Downsview Station. All are welcome to attend!

With the evening drawing to an end, the OCPA committee stood on stage to announce the results and present the awards. Macomere Fifi, was crowned the 2013 Calypso Monarch, as well as the recipient of several special awards categories including: Best Lyrics, Best Melody, Best Presentation (for her song Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Best Vocal Rendition, Most Original Calypso, Best Composition on a Local Topic, Most Humorous Calypso, Best Arrangement and People's Choice. The unofficial results of the competition included:
  1. Macomere Fifi
  2. Structure
  3. King Cosmos
  4. PanMan Pat
  5. Dennis James
  6. Connector
  7. Dynasty
  8. Spivey
  9. Redman
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch Competition, especially being that it was my first time attending. I would like to extend congratulations to Macomere Fifi, all the finalists, the OCPA committee and volunteers for their contributions to an exceptional event. 

Stay tuned... An album of pictures from the Calypso Monarch Competition will be added to our facebook page soon! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Sunday July 28th, 2013from 1pm-9pm
@ The Woodbine Centre - 500 Rexdale Blvd (SE Parking Lot)

 BIKERBOYZ 10 Featuring...The BIGGEST Outdoor Bike MEET of the Year!
The Miss 2RIDE Pageant 2013
Custom Motorcycle Show N ShineBikini Bike Wash
Motorcycle Accessories & Apparel on Sale
Food & Drinks on Sale
- Kickstand Pucks
- Helmets
- Gloves
- Tshirts
- Jackets
- Sweaters
- Accessories\
- Calendars
Music by Toronto's finest
DJsJester (G98.7FM)
Jason Chambers (G98.7FM)
Soca Sweetness (Team Sweetness)
D'Bandit (Redemption, Sunset)
DOC (Island Explosion 105.5FM)
Mr Presto (Island Explosion 105.5FM)
WhiteBwoy (2012 Stylus DJ of the Year)
DJ Sin (G98.7FM)
DJ Shiva (Bacchanal Radio)
MarXman (from The KOS)
Renegade Squad (Slow Wine, Reggae Cafe)
DJ ChiefMs
Hosted byJean Paul (Comedian)
Jamaal Magloire (NBA Star)
Kid Kut (The Voice of the Vibe)
DJ Richness (QZ Radio)
$2 per bike (passenger free)
$5 per car
100% of Proceeds Donated to MSR's children (Ocean & Tyler Ruiz)R.I.P. Master Steve Ruiz
Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch Finals
Sunday, July 28th   5pm

The highly-anticipated 'Kaiso 365 Calypso Monarch
finals takes place this year on Sunday, July 28 at the P.C. Ho Theatre, Chinese
Cultural Centre, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.

Eight finalists will join last year's winner Macomere Fifi, each performing two
new songs in hope of winning the prestigious 'Kaios 365' Calypso Monarch title
and Canada's top calypso prize.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Summertime Barbeque

The Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Summer BBQ takes place in Eglinton Square, offering Caribbean food, live entertainment and arts & crafts from different Caribbean backgrounds. Young masqueraders who participated in the Junior Carnival will also get an opportunity parade again. The event starts at 12:00 noon and ands at 3:00 pm.

When: Thursday July 25th, 2013
Where: Eglinton Square Shopping Centre
Time: 12:00pm- 3:00pm

Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 Toronto Junior Carnival Parade

We had an amazing time attending the 2013 Toronto Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day event. With weather perfect for a fun day in the sun, thousands of junior masqueraders were jumping and waving as the sounds of soca music vibrated through the air.

Starting at 11:00 am,  the procession of the parade of bands began at William Baker Park and ended at Downsview Park for the Family Day festivities. Live entertainment, a midway, and delicious food were available for the children, parents, their families and spectators to enjoy.

In case you missed attending, check out more pictures in our facebook album.

Congratulations to the 2013 winners and participants of the Junior Carnival Parade! Your energy and enthusiasm is a true depiction of essence of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, which is a celebration of culture! Great job also to the parade organizers and volunteers for the successful execution of the parade and Family Day event.

The unofficial results of the Junior Carnival competition are now posted on the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean website and included:

  1. Tribal Carnival- Caneisha Edwards
  2. Carnival Nationz- Kai Castle
  3. Carnival Nationz- Reeyana Singh
  4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club-Emma Lemieux
  1. Toronto Revellers- Jalen Magloire
  2. Tribal Carnival- Courtney St. Louis
  3. Fantazia International- Joshua Martinez
  4. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club- Amari Lee
  1. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club- Faith Hermelijn
  2. Tribal Carnival- Celena Seusahai
  3. Fantazia International- Rebecca Martinez
  4. Toronto Revellers- Chania Cunningham
  1. Tribal Carnival- Malik Adams
  2. Toronto Revellers- Ty Williamson
  3. Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club- Fabian Lee
  4. Fantazia International- Aaron Degraff


1st Once Upon a Time - Toronto Revellers- Jamaal Magloire
2nd Heaven and Earth- Saldenah-Louis Saldenah
3rd The Reef- Carnival Nationz- Marcus Eustace
4th The beauty of Nature- Tribal Carnival- Dexter Seusahai
5th Mini Legends- Fantazia International- Will Morton
6th  In Flight- Connections Mastume Band-Mervyn Skeete
7th  Celebrating our Heritage- Concept Costume Creators- Whitfield Belasco
8th Home for Carnival - Carnival Revolution- Osei Brand
9th Lost Civilizations - Blues Carnival Fusion-Narissa Ali 
10th Sugar and Spice - Black Sage- Corey Howard
11th Mama Dis Is Mas -D'Regulars- Michael Williams  
12th Timeline- Mas Toronto- Garvin Crichlow 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Toronto Junior Carnival Parade 2013

This upcoming Saturday the Toronto Junior Carnival Parade will be taking place. A day filled with fun in the sun for kids and families, the Junior Parade is always a highlight during the Toronto Carnival season! For more information on the Junior Carnival Parade, check out the official Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival website.

Information on the parade and route have also been posted below!

At what time do the bands arrive at the assembly area?
All bands must arrive by 9:00am.

How do I get to Downsview PAt what time do the bands arrive at the assembly area?
Downsview Park is located south of Sheppard Ave W between the Allen Expressway and Keele Street. Access to Downsview Park is off Sheppard Ave W. 

How does one get to the parade route by Public Transit? 
From Downsview Station: 84 Sheppard West buses; 106 York University buses; 107 Keele North buses; 108 Downsview buses. From Keele Station: 41 Keele Buses. For masqueraders who take the bus, the drop off point is Keele and Sheppard intersection. This provides direct pedestrian access to the assembly area. 

Where is the Assembly Area? 
The Assembly Area is located on Robert Woodhead Cres, at the west end the former Military Housing Area; north of William Baker Park. The assembly area will be restricted to PARADE VEHICLES ONLY - a music truck and one other vehicle. However we suggest that the second vehicle be parked if not required on the route. NO VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED TO PARK IN THE ASSEMBLY AREA. Vehicles left behind could be towed 

How do vehicles access the Assembly Area? 
From Sheppard Ave, turn North on John Drury Drive and left on Robert Woodhead Crescent to the
Assembly area. There will be no vehicle access to the Assembly area from Downsview Park.
Where do we drop off the Children and to whom? 
Children should be dropped off at the Assembly Area only, and in the care of an adult that the parents recognize, from the band. Bandleaders are encouraged to ensure that parents are fully aware of the drop off point and that small children are not left unattended or handed over to “strangers”. 

Where do we park? 
Parade parking will be provided on the grounds located east of Sheppard and John Drury Dr (just west of the Flea Market). Access can be gained from a gravel road/ramp located at Tuscon Road, in front of the Flea Market Building. An adventurous driver may be able to drive over the sidewalk on the south side of Sheppard Ave. There will be some parking for the parade trucks (only), in the lot south of 40 Carl Hall Rd on a first come basis. Persons are encouraged to drop off passengers or material at the Assembly Area and then proceed to park their vehicle. Volunteers and Security will be at the parking areas to direct the traffic. Adequate signage will be posted. 

Is there a designated Wheelchair Viewing Area? 
Yes – An area opposite the judging point / VIP viewing area has been designated. Wheel-Trans will be provided with access. 

Are there any restrictions with regards to finishing our costumes at the Assembly Area? 
Yes there is. There shall be absolutely no spray painting done in the assembly area, including the street, sidewalk and adjacent grounds. 

When does the parade start? 
The opening ceremony will be at 10:45 and the parade starts at 11:00am SHARP. 

Describe the Parade Route 
From the Dispersal Area, the parade will move west through William Baker Park, turn right and over the bridge above Sheppard Ave. W. The parade then continues south, left on Canuck Avenue, left on John Drury Dr, right at the ramp (10 John Drury) to the paved parking platform, left along the west side of the paved lot, right along the north side of the paved lot, right along the east side of the paved lot, left on Call Hall Drive to the dispersal area. A Parade Route Map is attached. 

Where is the judging point? 
The Judges Tent is set up at the intersection of Canuck Ave and John Drury Dr. 

Where is the dispersal area? 
From the paved platform, the parade turns left (east) on Carl Hall Road and disperses in the park on the right (south). One music truck from each band will be designated a parking spot at the parking lot located on the north side of the Carl Hall Road. 

What happens after the parade and when will the results be announced? 
There will be Family Day activities including children activities and displays, music, a market place with Food and Arts & Craft Vendors. The parade results will be announced as soon as they become available. The activities will conclude at 7:00pm. 

When do we get refreshments for the Children?
An adequate amount of water will be provided for the Children. The FMC will set up a water station
along the route. However, Bandleaders will provide for their masqueraders. 

Will there be washroom facilities along the route? 
We will provide Portolets at the Assembly Area, along Canuck Ave and at the Dispersal Area. 

Will there be Waste Disposal Facilities 
We are expected keep the grounds and facilities in a reasonably clean state. We will provide garbage containers to each bandleader at the assembly area. There will be a disposal bins placed in the park and along the route. 

Safety and Emergency 
The FMC will deploy volunteers at major crossing points to assist kids and parents.