Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto? If the answer is yes, you will have to check out the exhibit Toronto’s Carnival: Festival Photographs from 1967 to Today.
Running at the Royal Ontario Museum until August 1st, 2011, this exhibit explains the history of Carnival in Toronto through video footage, photographs and text you will find written on the walls along side the photographs. The quotes are from a 1967 article published in the Toronto Daily Star (now known as the Toronto Star) on the first Caribbean Carnival. The text is fascinating to read as you view the images taken by legendary Star photographer Boris Spremo, capturing the excitement of that first Carnival in 1967. The archival photos are juxtaposed with more recent images of this annual Toronto event.
Community activist and artist, Nation Cheong, documents present day Carnival with beautiful images that have an underlying social message as well. He not only showcases Caribbean culture through his photos but touches upon other issues, such as marginalization and emancipation, as well.
Don’t worry if you think kids will be bored with the exhibit. The images are bursting with colour and excitement and there’s a story being told in each one. As our eight-year old exclaimed after going through the exhibit, “It’s pretty cool!”
To participate in this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival check out their schedule of events.
For more information on this exhibit and others at the Royal Ontario Museum, click here.
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Images: Phil Raby
Article: Anna Rodrigues
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