This year marked the 46th annual Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto, formerly know as Caribana. The kick-off event was hosted by the Toronto Police Services on Thursday, July 25th. The Service has had a float in the parade since 1991, and this year the theme was “Diversity in Motion.” Hundreds of campers from the Footsteps to Success program attended this event. It began with a live steel pan performance of songs like Bruno Mars’s “Just the Way You Are,” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” to which everyone in the room sang along to. There was also a performance by a Juno award winning artist, and notable speakers such as: Chief William Blair took the stage. After the speakers, women in gorgeous colourful, costumes adorned with feathers and face paint walked down the main stairs in the lobby and got everyone up on their feet – including Chief Blair and the other policemen! The campers then headed outside to continue the festivities. The rest of the day was filled with lots of music, singing, dancing, and authentic Caribbean food! Campers climbed onto the float as the ribbon was cut, signifying the official opening of Caribana. In addition, the radio station 98.7 FM set up a tent with a DJ playing music that had everyone dancing. Overall the event was a huge success, enjoyed by many.
The Pro Peace in Our Community event was created to spread the message of stopping violence around the world, starting in our communities and schools. Guest speakers from different organizations such as RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) were in attendance.
Randell Adjei, one of the guest speakers, shared his intriguing story with the audience, as well as giving them a dose of one of his many talents, spoken word. He encouraged the kids to follow their dreams, and to not be afraid to ask questions.
The kids of Blessed Mother Teresa then came together in groups to explain what peace should look like in their communities. They showcased their group work in visual arts, acting, poetry, and storytelling.
The students came away with knowledge of the roots and cause of gun violence, and how to prevent it.