(Originally published at
Xtra: Link to visit in preparation for the Toronto International Carnival:… and, read this historical document at Canada’s Digital Collections website…

The message boards are buzzing, but Toronto is humming with activity as the legendary Caribana, the premiere Caribbean Festival, takes on a new name and a new focus. The Toronto Mas Band Association (TMBA)’s initiative is geared towards positioning the annual fete as representative of many peoples and cultures.

Caribana was born in 1967, bringing about community awareness and Caribbean pride for emigrants from the islands – particularly Trinidad. As the years went by, the hundreds of participants sprouted to many thousands, and their diversity made for a true World Party. The many hands making Mas came from Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Brazil, the Bahamas, Guyana… the Afro-Caribbean and Latin American influences blended into the monster jam that packs hotels, dancehalls, shops and restaurants each summer.

In addition to the concentration on pageantry and the multifaceted approach, organizers of the Toronto International Carnival have modified the parade route to allow for a more comfortable and safe parade.