Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 23 March 2019
Put away the parkas and break out the feathers and glitter. Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s Band Launch Season is about to begin.
The Caribbean Camera has received details about the when, where and hows for nine Mas Camp band launches that will be held this March, April and May in Toronto.
Although not all the details have been released to us, it is clear that the Mas Camps are planning larger, more elaborate themed costume fetes than in 2019.
Last year eleven bands held costume launches, this year there are two notable bands missing from the current list – Michael Williams’ D New Regulars and Forever Carnival and Atlantic Mas.
Traditionally D’Regulars are one of the last bands to announce and stage a launch, so we expect to learn soon about their spring event. Atlantic Mas is usually one of the first to announce; in 2018 Atlantic Mas brought up Machel Montano to perform at their Toronto harbour launch.
The reason for delay in information about Atlantic Mas could well because many members of the band have been in Trinidad taking part in the carnival – they had a section within Yuma Mas.
“Yes we are in this years parade launch date will be announced soon,” the bandleader told the Caribbean Camera. For the past few days Atlantic Mas has been using Instagram to post a call for models for their costume fete.
Friday March 29
Tribal Carnival is Canada’s most successful travelling Mas Bands. This year they are playing Mas at both Toronto and Grand Cayman’s carnival parades. The theme for Cayman is Glamour and Toronto is Magic. The Toronto Launch is billed as the Caribbean Carnival Runway Show at Grand Luxe. The hall is at 3125 Bayview Ave, North York
Saturday April 6th
Fantazia is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a launch theme called Rebirth. The costume launch will be at The Grand Cinnamon Hall
(Formally known as the Chandni Grande) on McNicoll Ave Toronto
Saturday April 6
Jamaal Magloire’s “The People’s Band” says that the launch will be at the York Mills Gallery and it will be the “baddest launch” of the Toronto Carnival Season. This year’s theme is Treasure Island.
Saturday April 13
Epic Carnival (formerly Durham Mas) has chosen Personas - our inner personalities - as its theme for 2019. The launch will be held at J.C’s Banquet Hall on Ellesmere Rd in Scarborough.
Saturday April 20
Toronto’s most winning band, Saldenah Carnival, has chosen
Heart Beat, The Thrill of Life as its theme this year. The launch will be held at the Grand Cinnamon Banquet Hall on McNicoll Avenue in Scarborough
Friday April 26
Late last year Sunlime announced that its theme Mesmerize will do just that to people attending their launch. According to Dwayne Gunness, “Yes Sunlime's theme is still " Mesmerize." We will be launching at the Latvian Cultural Centre, 4 Credit Union Drive”.
Sunday May 5
Concept Costume Creators is the only Mas Band in Toronto that has been producing mas since the beginning of Toronto’s Carnival in 1967. Bandleader Whitfield Belasco hasn’t yet announced his theme or launch location
Saturday May 11
Venom hasn’t announced its theme yet but it is sure to be popular. They have released a video on Social Media that says their launch will be the Sexiest Band Launch for 2019.
Cinnamon Grand Banquet Hall (3895 McNicoll Ave)
Carnival Nationz hasn’t announced a date/location yet, but there is a video on social media from the Mas Band says that this year’s theme will be based on the music of Kes the Band. We are betting we will we see Kes going down the road with CNz?