Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mas men

Time for another post about something that went right at our parade!
Have others noticed this year the amount of marvelous male masqueraders? 
Now I don't have stats, but I think there was an increase!
 
 
 
 
 
 With all the images out there of boys storming & disrespecting our mas, I've got to applaud and show appreciation to the men who play mas - and play it very well!
 
 

Send me your pictures of marvelous male masqueraders so I can include them.

 
 

To all you men, why do you play mas? Especially since we all know you could just storm, so why buy a costume? Tell us please... we don't hear enough from you.

  
 
 
 
  
 
 
 To all the men who played mas this year: Thank you for doing your part to keep the culture alive! 

Like Save Toronto Carnival on Facebook.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Speaking on CHRY 105.5 FM tomorrow

Listen to it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXyf4fhklwI&feature=youtu.be
Tune in and call in to the My Data Bag show on CHRY 105.5 FM tomorrow Tuesday, August 11 at 2:00 when Karli, a mother of a young Toronto masquerader and I will be speaking with host William Doyle-Marshall.

Due to the quick action of Trinidad Carnivals who arranged for this, Karli will get to publicly share her experiences with the parade, this one in particular. I've taken the collective parade frustrations and suggestions from all of you readers who have commented, and will be expressing them as well.
We will be speaking between 2:30 – 2:45
Very importantly though is here's also your chance to have your say about the parade, so be sure to call in!

Like us on Facebook:
Save Toronto Carnival

Call in at ---&  416-736-5656
Listen live --& http://chry.fm/listenlive.html 


This is how we does play mas

 Here are the photos that I took.
Check out your gorgeous selves! 





I took another approach to playing mas this year, I had a different outlook, and so I did enjoy much of the parade. My goal (besides having a fierce costume) was to experience great band vibes. I also hoped for my usual Caribana wish, no rain. < We know how that turned out!

Really liked speaking with you amazing Amazonia gyrl, and everyone note, this ^ was at the beginning of the route!



Those boots though!  


Speaking of boss boots, several Arawak Princesses got these beauties being sold at the mas camp. 



Besides these fringed ones, which were of course, perfect for the costume, those red, rhinestoned boots were stand outs.






As I was happy to detail here, this was the best costume pick up ever! Melinda is a truly talented designer, a class act section leader and lovely lady. From the first email with her, which she responded to immediately, to any further contact regarding (online) registration, all communion was a pleasure.  

As you regular readers know, I've had my share of headpiece woes, & Melinda can confirm I did a double take when I saw this one bc it's flat & therefore looked smaller. I'm used to the huge helmet style headpieces (or headband). BUT THEY DON'T ALL NEED TO BE DESIGNED LIKE THAT!!!!! A lot of plastic & thing for nothing much of the time. This was simply felt & feathers man, and one string to tie it on. Melinda showed me how to put ½ my hair in a ponytail, put it on over it, then let the rest of my hair fall over it. WHY hadn’t I tried this before??!! D’uh! I’m all about learning something new, and there you have it. So anyway, I was nervous, considering the past, but I’m happy to report it stayed on my blasted head!!! It wasn’t too heavy, was quite light, no uncomfortable wire sticking into my forehead, nothing coming off. My bikini bottoms didn’t fit (the handmade ones tend to do that), so I went with a boy shorts tied up the sides which looked and fit much better. Melinda was very patient with me!  

What can I say about the Arawak Princesses, they looked perfectly colourful & stunning on the road.
 






We arrived in the CNE @1:00. Why is it no masquerader can easily find the way to get into the assembly area? There needs to be plenty of signs indicating where masqueraders should go, and more than one entrance for us. We came from the Go station, as always, and after maneuvering our way through the spectators, we managed to get in and eventually found Saldenah. The bands made quick progress it looked like, because in years past, arriving at 1 meant you’d be in the assembly area for awhile. We (the 8th section) were on the Lakeshore for a bit with no movement, as sections were at judging. Band vibes were nice this year, I was thrilled whenever I saw you, yet sad nearing the end that I couldn’t find all of you. But on the positive side, I met many more new blog readers who stopped to chat and thank me. I just have to say that makes me feel all of this is worth it.





I loved the stage!!! That was MY time !!!
What should the stage feel like? – this right here!!


 



After that we did get some stormer free time. We even made it to the end where the music stops & the masqueraders aren’t converged together any more, they’ve dispersed, gone off to the lake side or went back up the route.  I was worried it would rain, so we went off to get the annual lake side picture and eat.  I did see when I got back into the band that there was still lunch being served. I had enough water to drink, but then it wasn’t the usual scorching humid day we normally get. 




There has been a lot of complaining online (more than ever before) about how awful this year was. Sure, the stormer problem was terrible for the bands after the first 3. For me though, the storming issue has always been bad. I knew going into this parade there would be stormers. It gets progressively worse each year. I wondered though what made this year any different than previous ones? Is it due to the increase in more people capturing pictures & videos and sharing them of the assholes blatantly disregarding our mas?





Always great to see these guys.


And these guys.



All legitimate efforts to help save the parade should be applauded, not dismissed or discouraged.  There are many great ideas being discussed out there, and discussion is the first step.
 Action is the next. 
People have differing views on how securing the parade should be handled. 
I know I would like to see something different done with our present security, or lack thereof.  Bottom line, we deserve better security. It should be included in with the price of our costume. We deserve to play a safe, respectful mas.  If with educating them, stormers continue to not care about the culture, then that's unfortunate for them, but that doesn't mean we should not try to keep them out of our parade. 
This smart new idea by Trinidad Carnivals is certainly worthy of a try. Directly contacting the City of Toronto about the problemed parade hasn't been suggested before, and it certainly can't hurt, as they fund the festival.  Imagine if it works, and we get (some, any!) help with our security!! 

Check out some new initiatives that have been happening on:

 
 It had been many years since I got a CN Tower shot.

So everyone - your experience, how was it? Whether you're not new to this or a carnival virgin, what was your entire carnival like (from costume selection, registration & the road)?  

Caribana 2010 slideshow

Mardi Gras, Hamilton

Mardi Gras, Hamilton
2004

J'ouvert 2008!

J'ouvert 2008!

Mardi Gras 2010

Buublenut, Megan & Karabana at Caribana 2007!

http://www.westindiantube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=bcbeece3d9128ae855 a7

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