Friday, 8 August 2014

Respect De Mas

Photo By: Sid Naidu Photography
I just want to touch base with everyone post Toronto Carnival 2014. How was your overall experience??? I did not participate in too much of the social stuff because Carnival Spice was pretty booked up (AMEN!). So please share; I would love your feedback. 

Which band did you play with? Did you have a great costume pick-up experience at your mas camp? Besides your costume what items were in your costume bag? 

What Fetes/Parties did you attend? Which were the most fun?

Did anyone check out Jab Jab Jouvert?

How was your road experience??? 

This question is a biggy! It is clear the road had several issues this year; mainly in the logistical and security department. Issues so serious that many folks are speaking up to ensure many of these mistakes are not made next year.

If I were to rate my experience on the road this year I would say 6/10. For factors out of my band’s control I didn’t get food or water, I lost a majority of my friends for two hours, and I didn’t make it to the end of the lakeshore. Womp Womp. I did however like the look and feel of the costume I put together, I got to see so many wonderful people, and I got see beautiful mas in the sun.

A primary issue this year was the HUGE presence of people not in costume on the Lakeshore!! Ughhh you people stress me out. I know the soca is contagious and I know the fences may be hard to see through, BUT if you are spectator then you need to spectate on the sidelines! You can hear the music from the sidelines as well! ...but when you decide to take it upon yourself to hop the fences & sneak through barricades to get to the Lakeshore, you are ruining the parade and identifying yourself as a STORMER! 2014 Toronto Carnival Stormers caused costumes (which are not cheap) to get ruined, a back log of the music trucks, music to stop being played on the road, interruptions on the stage where costume competitions take place (causing some bands not to be judged)... I could go on...

I truly hope that the Toronto’s Festival Management Committee sorts out and fixes many of the issues that continually occur in the parade. My tip to them is to speak with masqueraders to determine solutions – they are your best assets. PLUS masqueraders are the ones who carry out the parade so you have to ensure that they are happy. Caribbean Carnival in Toronto has the elements to be even bigger and better than it is. Before it can grow we as the Caribbean community need to educate masqueraders and attendees on the history of mas or the parade will dwindle into being JUST a street party with a couple people covered in feathers. WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

Now Have A Great Day.



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Friday, 1 August 2014

Keep Calm It’s Carnival Weekend

Hello Lovelies,

I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a happy, blessed, and prosperous August! It’s the last month of “summer” so make it count.

I also would like to wish you a safe, energized, E.P.I.C., colorful, blissful Caribana weekend full of flags in di air, laughter, glitter, feathers, Johnny walka, loved ones, soca, sunshine and PLENTY vibes.

You can find me jumpin and waving with my Jamaican flag in the band Saldenah Mas as they present “The River of Mirrors”. It will be quite interesting because the band has sold over 4000 costumes! Not sure where all those people will fit but it shall be interesting to see.

The costume section I will be wearing is “Cristales”. Costume designer Rodney Minguel describes the section as follows: “Carnival is color and color is mas and legend has it that there is a river so beautiful; it's known as the river than ran away from paradise. Cano Cristales or the Liquid Rainbow is a unique biological wonder and is famous as the river of five colors. Together, this explosion of natural colors represents the vibrance, splendor and uniqueness of all carnivals.

What I look forward to the most this Toronto Carnival weekend is jumping down the lakeshore with two close friends of mine. These two will be playing mas for the first time! Are you a first timer? Carnival Virgin? Mas Rookie? 

Here Are Some Tips For You:

-          Insoles will be your best friend – Wear them in your shoes!

-          Bring your OWN water bottle. They heat will getcha if you’re not prepared. I have learned that the hard way. Stay hydrated!

-          Take lots of pictures

-          Have fun! 

KNOW THESE SONGS or you may feel left out, lol
-          Too Real – Kerwin Du Bois

-          Doh Tell Me Dat – Flipo

-          Epic – Machel Montano

-          Truck On The Road – Bunji Garlin

-          Skinny Banton - Saltfish (Soak it Good)

Last but not least, watch the video below.
My Carnival Spice ladies and I will bring di vibes!

If the video isn't visible, click the link here:

H’alright Time Fi Mash Up Di Placeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Some Carnival related work I did in the past - Check it:

My “Carnival Spice Up Your Life Article” written for Eligible Magazine

My Toronto Sun “Carnival Sunshine Girl” Photoshoot

Interviewing the Queen of Bacchanal Destra Garcia

Stay Connected With Me Via:

Twitter: @SimplyShakera
Instagram:  @SimplyShakera
YouTube: Simply Shakera