COVID-19 pandemic forces cancellation of Toronto Caribbean Carnival

The 2020 edition of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced Wednesday night.

“The Board of Directors of the Festival Management Committee has decided that due to the continued developments concerning the spread of COVID-19, the severe public health threat, and global health crisis, the month-long event held in July-August is cancelled,” organizers said in a statement.

According to the organizers, the decision to cancel the event, which attracts more than one million people to the Toronto area every summer, was taken following consultation with stakeholders — including the bandleaders, the Ontario Steelpan Association, the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, as well as partners and other related cultural organizations.

They said the mass crowds that attend the events present a tremendous risk regarding the spread of COVID-19.

“It is therefore unanimous that the priority must be the health and safety of our patrons, and having weighed all these considerations, there is no choice but to cancel this year’s festival,” the statement reads.

Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly Caribana, has been a fixture on the city’s calendar for 52 years.

A “non-traditional” celebration of the carnival will take place on the weekend of Aug.1 should the situation change in the upcoming months, organizers said.


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