(TORONTO, ON – April 9th, 2020) - The Board of Directors of the Festival Management Committee has decided that due to the continued developments concerning the spread of COVID-19, the severe public health threat, and global health crisis, the month-long events held in July-August is cancelled.
The events include the Festival Launch, Junior King and Queen Show, Junior Parade, Adult King and Queen Show, Pan Alive, and Grand Parade.
In consultation with our stakeholders, which includes the Bandleaders, Ontario Steelpan Association,(OSA) Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, (OCPA) as well as our partners and other related cultural organizations, and taking into consideration the Mass Crowds that attend the Events present a tremendous risk regarding the spread of the virus. It is therefore unanimous that the priority must be the health and safety of our patrons and having weighed all these considerations, there is no choice but to cancel this year's festival.
It is our responsibility to the City and our patrons to encourage social distancing, hand washing, and self-isolation to support the efforts of our first responders and essential workers who are at the frontline of the COVID-19 containment.
For the past fifty-two (52) years, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) has delivered an exciting summer festival featuring elaborate costumes, Caribbean music, and food in our Grand Parade. This festival is a labor of love, created by our extraordinary talented artistic stakeholders, and supported by participants, and volunteers, who begin preparation for the spectacular King and Queen Show and the Grand Parade six-months in advance of the scheduled events.
Given the importance and economic value of this festival to the City, the Province, the Federal government, the Tourism Industry, and our community, we will work with our stakeholders and the community to assist the City with the recovery efforts. Should the circumstances change, and permit restrictions lifted by July 1, 2020, we will seek to celebrate together in a non-traditional format the weekend of August 1, 2020.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the frontline professionals who risk their lives by making tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe.
On behalf of the Festival Management Committee, thank you for your continued support.