Caribana began in 1967, coinciding with Canada’s centennial celebrations. It has been called by some ‘a gift’ from the West Indian community to Canada. The date of the big parade also coincides with Emancipation Day (August 1st) the time at which slavery was ‘officially’ deemed illegal in the British colonies of the Caribbean and Canada in the 1830s.
Caribana is characterized by cultural events, workshops, shows and lots of partying and dancing. The pièce de resistance is the big parade in which bands and bedazzled dancers compete to win title of King and Queen of the parade.
The name Caribana was later changed to the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival due to financial and legal issues.
This year the event officially gets underway on July 10th and culminates in the big weekend of festivities on July 31st-August 3rd.