Tag Archives: Toronto City Council

Time to decide where we stand on Caribana

Time to decide where we stand on Caribana

Posted by Arnold A. Auguste on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 in Share News –Caribana News  Opinion

By ARNOLD A. AUGUSTE, Publisher/Editor – Share News

In a recent conversation, Denise Herrera-Jackson, the CEO of the Festival Management Committee (FMC), the organization which has run the Caribana festival for the past five years, told me that the FMC’s aim is to wean the festival off of the City of Toronto’s funding. She said her organization is working to attract sponsors for the festival which will make it less dependent on the city.

While it is a great idea to work on attracting more sponsors – and there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to do so since any other event of Caribana’s size and draw would be an advertiser’s dream – the comment just serves to underscore the fact that they, and just about everyone else who has ever been involved with Caribana, still see the city’s financial contribution as a grant, as funding, as a gift. It is not and should not be perceived as such. It must be seen as an investment in a festival which brings in a massive return – to the city, the province, the federal government and to all the hotels, restaurants and other businesses which benefit from the more that $450-million the festival injects into the economy each year.

Funding is for community organizations such as those helping new immigrants settle into the country; groups working to house and otherwise assist the poor; groups working with youth, especially youth from disadvantaged areas of the city or seniors; groups which provide services that governments, unable to provide themselves, fund to help meet the social and even cultural needs, especially of the disadvantaged. Or those huge feel-good events – such as Luminato – which make a big show but generate little by way of economic impact.
But, not a festival such as Caribana.              Continue reading