Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 14 December 2018
It was a Carnival birthday party for the ages! Louis Saldenah, the most winning bandleader in Canada, used the R word only once while talking to the Caribbean Camera on Friday night at his birthday bash at the Windies Bar and Restaurant in Scarborough.
“ I’m 68 today and I am feeling great but you know I could easily walk away from all of this” he said.” But there are a few things I HAVE to do before I retire and turn it over to my (adult) children.”
Louis Saldenah, the Trinidadian born bandleader of the Mas K Camp immigrated to this country 48 years ago. He brought to Canada a family winning tradition of mas. His famous father, Harold ‘Sally’ Saldenah, was one of Trinidad’s most successful bandleaders.
40 years ago, Louis Saldenah launched his first Toronto mas costume band (Shangri-La) and promptly won Caribana’s Band Of The Year Honours. His band is now called the Mas K Club and continues to put over 5,000 costumed mas players on the streets of Toronto each summer.
And the club continues to win. “We have won the Band of the Year 19 times including Years 2017 and 2018,” said Louis Saldenah. “ We have have been runner up 12 times too!”
“Before I pack it in I want to make it 20 wins. I want to get that 20th title (of Band of the Year), it is something I have to do!” How serious is he? The band has established the hash tag “Questfor20” on Facebook!
Retirement was not on the minds of the crowd of friends, family and band members who jammed into Windies. Louis put on an expansive free buffet that was spread out over the bar’s pool table, and his guest DJ had people dancing until closing time.
In between wishing the bandleader happy 68th, the talk was about the 2018 summer parade where they won Band of the Year honours. As the party ended Louis shouted out his season’s greetings to all who attended and told them he would see them all in a few months at the Mas K Club’s 2019 band launch!
The Caribbean Camera took the family picture at the party. “Looking at the picture from left to right you see my son with the tee shirt ‘property of Saldenah’ Ronny, Ariel, myself Anton and Aaron,” explained Carnival’s very young senior citizen