Sunday, July 27, 2014

Getting ready for the road



For 14 years I've picked up my costume on the Thursday or Friday before the parade. So imagine my surprise when I received a call on Wednesday that my costume would be ready for pick up on Saturday, July 26! Based on how it always went in the past, I thought I would need confirmation that mine was in fact done before I left to drive to the mas camp. So to be on the safe side, I didn't go at 2:00, I figured I should wait until later, get there before 9:00.
So you can imagine my shock to see designer Melinda Rickson and her team waiting for their masqueraders, all the bags of costumes lined up and ready to be handed out. No glue guns were in sight, no last minute additions were being made. Melinda's wasn't the only section completed and being distributed either. I was very pleased with how approachable and helpful Melinda was, she ensured my bra/monokini/bottoms fit, and gave me tips on how to wear the very light headpiece. (Regular readers know my luck with headpieces staying on - basically, I couldn't wear a headband style headpiece, they always fell back.)   



Since everything was ready, I could take the time to check out the goings on in the camp. I liked the vibe, possibly because of this new location which I prefer, which is not as massive and therefore everyone spread out. There wasn't a frenzied feel at all. (Mind you, that could be because it is a week away.) Dr. Jay was playing tunes, snacks were being sold, children were playing video games and couture eyelashes for sale were displayed by flasheseyelashes.com. Louis was happy to tell me Saldenah has over 4,000 masqueraders this year, a Toronto Carnival record.




Wire bras for sale
 
Ready to be an Arawak Princess
First time wearing this type of light headpiece that is simply held together with a tie. Dare I say it does feel secure, and I want to feel confident that it will stay on!

 Princess jewels

Melinda designed the necklace and earrings perfectly for the costume. 

Someone on facebook mentioned how great it must be to have your costume 7 days in advance, as it gives you time to accessorize. In this case, all the accessories came with the costume, and we even have our own customized beverage bottle. I bought my boots in May and my purse in June. And I have no shortage of gems. 

In the past, I sure could have used those 7 days, even 4 days to make alterations though. This time, no adjustments required. Except now that I have it a week ahead, I'm going to be working out twice a day and eating salad.
 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Festival Gala


 Last night we checked out the Festival Gala at the Liberty Grand. We figured that we have been blogging about Toronto's Carnival going on eight years now and we knew very little about this event. So we joined the media folks, and this is what we learned.
 The Gala is held annually and it's really a corporate type fundraiser in support of different charities. This year, the proceeds went to The Caribbean Children Foundation (TCCF) - a registered Canadian charity based in Ontario. Their mandate is to bring children from the Caribbean to Canada for medical treatment that is not available in their home country. Over the past 12 years TCCF has raised over $800,000 and 54 children have received life altering and lifesaving surgical care in Canada.


 The event was a good time, with El Dorado sponsoring the bar, and Scotiabank matching funds raised for the worthy cause. Besides the dinner and cocktails, there were Calypsonians, some big mas, costumed models and awards handed out.

The thing that I liked was to see our community and our festival come together with corporate sponsors  to support a good cause. This festival is not just a jump up thing. They were celebrating, encouraging and supporting positive initiatives within the community.
 So, if you are in a position where you need to wine and dine customers or associates, keep this event on the radar. Or, if you just want to get dressed up and support our community while enjoying the culture, this could be your ticket.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mash it Up!

 Some of the most stylish wedge sneaks were found at Yonge Eglinton Ctr.

As long as I love shoes, I will never grow tired of shoe shopping for Carnival.  
I've happily noticed there are more styles this year to consider for the road, with sneaker wedges being the top consideration, as they can be found everywhere.
(Unless you ordered your boots online by last month, you can't find boots as easily locally as shoes. So in this post, I'm featuring shoes.)   

 
The stores on Orfus Rd. rarely disappoint, and for a mere 5 bucks, these are a steal!
  


These were the perfect colour match for my costume, but Suzi had only one pair, and not in my size. sad blinking emoticon
But turns out it was just as well, because I found much better footwear for my costume on Orfus Rd. the same day! true love smiley 


Also $5, and a perfect canvas if you're into decorating.

Winners and Marshalls have colourful and embellished styles that look like Keds or Toms. 




All of these were spotted at Forever 21.



Every year I see masqueraders in sandals or flip flops. I can't help but think it must be your first time, you didn't know, no one told you, so you thought sandals would be alright. But by the end of the day, you realize your mistake. It was your first and last time wearing shoes with 0 support on the Lakeshore.
If you are a newbie, please, take my advice, no open toe shoes. You may start your day off fine in them, but the route isn't on a beach. Think of the amount of people who will step on your feet, so by 6:00, you'll be mashed up and limping back to your car or the TTC. I always see broken sandals or parts of shoes ditched along the side of the road.
If you haven't found footwear yet, don't panic, get shopping! Your favourite stores are bound to have something.
So what are you going with people - boots, sneakers, flats? Where did you get them? If you want to post a brag picture here, email it to me at:  karabana01@yahoo.ca


Regular blog reader Shaquilla sent these great pics of her gloriously gemified shoes
She explains: I love the look of the sneaker wedge but I will admit that I'm not a fan of them for myself personally only because I find they hurt my toes. However, every year I manage to find an old pairs of shoes in the back of my closet that I bedazzle according to my costume. This year I'm playing in Saldenah's Vortex Reflections section, which is mainly white, silver, and turquoise. I will say that I went a little extravagant with the gems and beads but I think they fit with my costume well. I'm a little bit of a crazy crafter so the shoes are always a fun project for me every year.
Check out her instagram theshurkfiles - scroll far enough you'll see all the old shoes she's re-purposed over the years.

 
   Shaquilla, will you take orders next year? These are incredible!  thumbs up emoticon

by Carnival Exclusives
Kiwana sent this explaining this version is their Frontline foot wear. It comes with feathers and jewels of course at a cost. But for those of us who don't mind splurging a bit its a great way to turn old boots into something spectacular.
Great looking job, there is lots of talent out there!!


Kryssy sais "this year I'm playing as one of the section leaders of the Bliss section from Tribal Carnival. It's a gorgeous costume so I felt like the footwear needed to be decorated accordingly.
I bought some black boots at a discount shoe store for $20 and got spray adhesive, glitter, diamond trim, and silver spray paint at WalMart. A few coats of glitter and paint later, I have these blinged-out boots. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to see glitter again for a LONGGGGGGG time! :)"



Holy glitter Kryssy, wow, these will work wonderfully with the costume.

Thanks for the pictures, keep them coming... nice to see such carnival creativity extending to footwear. 


Ms Carter found these bad boys down at Orfus Rd for just $10 at Sirens.. talk about such a good deal. I for one wasn't with spending a lot money on shoes for Caribana, so when I found these down at Orfus for $10 I could NOT and I repeat I could NOT pass them up. I brought my glitter and gems from the dollar store for $2.. I completed the shoes last night and it wasn't as messy as I thought it would be. In my eyes they look a little simple so I might add on more glitter during the week (a little bit more red) Excited to be jumping with Saldenah - Arawak Princess this year! Saw you're playing in my section! I hope I can spot you in the crowd.. lol
 
Nice deal for sure. I'll be looking for your boots! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Junior Carnival!

Today marked the return of Junior Carnival to the Malvern Community. The children and parents came out on mass to play mas, but sadly the weather didn't really co-operate, so there weren't as many spectators as I had expected to see.



The kids were as cute as ever, and they looked like they had a nice time. Neilson Park was all setup with vendors and activity for the children, but I think the rain put a little damper on that.





 





Results:
Junior Band of the Year 2014
1. Carnival Nationz
2. Saldenah
3. Toronto Revellers


Junior King 2014
1. Tribal Knights
2. Saldenah
3. Fantazia


Junior Queen 2014
1. Carnival Nationz
2. Saldenah
3. Tribal Carnival


How was it for your children? There will always be complaints, and people like to compare to Jane St. or Downsview. Aside from the rain though, what was your kids experience like?

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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