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Reply to A. Joseph article on The Caribbean Camera

Reply to A. Joseph article on The Caribbean Camera
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Welcome to Caribana Official Website. Caribana is owned by The Caribbean Cultural Committee


I don’t think you have a handle on the issues around Caribana. You like the Harambee that tried to claim Caribana as “we ting” was and is the root of the festival’s problems. I don’t know which island you are from, but most or all Caribbean islands have Carnival as part of their culture. Hence the first pioneers, (and they were all black) were from several Caribbean islands with a carnival background.

Caribana has its roots in the black people from the Caribbean, so you, Mihevic and those at city hall who are calling it a community event, without the word Caribbean before it; is doing what Scotia did when it renamed the festival. You don’t dare ask the Chinese to change the name “Chinese Boat Race” to Canadian Boat Race. All other ethnic groups are holding on to their culture, but you are asking the Caribbean people to forget theirs.

Instead of questioning Caribana’s legacy, why not get your paper to push city hall to have pictures of these pioneers right, left and center on the walls of city hall. It will cost pennies from the $400million the city, the province and the country gets from the festival these people started. Can you name me one thing any level of government has given the Caribbean community for the labour and work it has contributed to the economy of the city, the province and the country? I don’t think you can!

Check the Website http://www.caribana.ca and read the last paragraph of Welcome To Caribana Ca Blog: It’s Bacchanal Time For Caribana. It explains the negative vibes you made about CCC, so I won’t cover it here.

If you know anything about the problems the festival had for several years, then you won’t talk crap about the scholarship and resource center the pioneers had in mind. There was and is never enough money left after the festival and I covered where the money came from to start the festival in the same article.

No cultural event like a carnival can generate enough money without proper planning and without help from the community and donors. It’s easier to ask people for donations than to force them to pay to see the parade. I have written to several boards with ideas to raise funds, instead of going cap-in-hand to the city politicians.

Think of the early years when you had close to 40,000 people going to Centre Island. The government slowed down the ferry trips and people refused to wait in line for hours to attend functions on the island. Then they started putting pressure on the boat rides, but taking away the liquor license. The festival was slowly drawn into a box so that it was difficult to make a reasonable profit after the festival.
It was not until Harambee hijacked the festival and dropped all the fund raising events, which kept the previous boards from going cap-in-hand to city hall, that things started going downhill. Most of the new boards had no clue what or how to plan and operate the festival in a way to pay all their bills. Today there are too many blood sucking Dracula hanging around the festival where once you had volunteers.

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