Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival is Back for a Summer of Celebrations

Canada’s largest cultural celebration is set to make its way back to Toronto this summer, bringing an expanded line-up of Caribbean-themed events, food and entertainment.

Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival is Back for a Summer of Celebrations

Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival will kick off its 51st year celebrating Caribbean culture in Toronto’s downtown core.

TORONTO, Ont:  Canada’s largest cultural celebration is set to make its way back to Toronto this summer, bringing an expanded line-up of Caribbean-themed events, food and entertainment.

Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival will kick off its 51st year celebrating Caribbean culture in Toronto’s downtown core. 

“Every year we welcome hundreds of thousands of people from across North America to Toronto in celebration of Caribbean heritage,” says Denise Herrera Jackson, CEO of the Festival Management Committee. “As the largest outdoor festival in North America we know how to have a good time and encourage people both near and far to join the fun!”

The festival will begin on July 8 and will include a variety of events over a five-week span.

The Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival highlights include:

Official LaunchJuly 10

Nathan Phillips Square, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The official launch will showcase the celebrations of Caribbean culture to come throughout the summer in and around Toronto. The event will feature the Toronto Mas Bands Association, the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists and the Ontario Steelpan Association.

Junior Carnival King and Queen ShowcaseJuly 15

Woodbine Centre, 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This is the second year for the young Carnival Kings, Queens, and individuals presenting the uniquely designed costumes for participating masquerade bands 

Jr. Carnival Parade & Family Day- July 21 

Malvern and Neilson Parks, Scarborough, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This event will showcase performances from young people who participate in the festival as producers, performers and presenters of the Toronto Mas Bands Association, the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists and the Ontario Steelpan Association.

Carnival Ball-  July 27

Riviera Events & Convention Centre, Concord, 5:30 p.m. – past Midnight

At this all-inclusive Ball, guests will enjoy delicious food and the best in Caribbean-style music, in an elegant. Beginning with a selection of Gourmet Hors D’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m., the evening will continue with a four-course dinner and a vibrant Caribbean-style after-party lasting into the wee hours.  There will be a sneak preview of masqueraders and performances by Calypso Artistes, and Pannists, among others.

Calypso ShowcaseJuly 29

St. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall, Scarborough, 6:00 p.m. 

This event, produced by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes, will showcase the original songs composed for the 2018 festival as well as past favorites. 

Lighting of CN TowerAugust 1

Roundhouse Park, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

This event will recognize the Emancipation of Slavery along with the Underground Railroad event organized by A Different Booklist Cultural Centre.

King & Queen ShowcaseAugust 2

Allan Lamport Stadium, 7:00 p.m.  – Midnight

At this highly popular event, the Kings, Queens, and individuals of the Carnival bands unveil their elaborately themed costumes showing the creative minds and imagination of designers. The Ontario Science Center continues to present the Innovation in Mas award. 

Pan AliveAugust 3

Allan Lamport Stadium, 7:00 p.m.  – Midnigh

This event will showcase the musical stylings of the steelpan, presented by the Ontario Steelpan Association. Steelpan performers range in age from early teens to adults partaking in original performances.

Grand ParadeAugust 4

Exhibition Place, Ontario Place and Lakeshore Blvd.

As the largest event of the festival, the Grand Parade will highlight extraordinary costumes, dancing and music. The parade will extend over a 3.5-kilometre stretch along Lakeshore Boulevard. 

Historically, Carnival stems from the cultural legacy that was born out of slavery and the celebration of freedom against oppression. This is what inspired this year’s theme “Canada’s Celebration of Freedom and Diversity.”