“For the past 52 years, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) has delivered an exciting summer festival featuring elaborate costumes, Caribbean music, and food in our Grand Parade. This festival is a labour of love created by our extraordinary talented artistic stakeholders, and supported by participants and volunteers,” the organization said on Wednesday.
“Taking into consideration the mass crowds that attend the events present a tremendous risk regarding the spread of the virus, 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.”
Organizers said if circumstances change and the City of Toronto allows events after July 1, there will be a “non-traditional format” celebration during the weekend of Aug. 1.
Mayor John Tory responded to the cancellation and said the festival is “one of our favourite events.”
“While we hope for the best in the war against COVID-19, planning and the need for certainty make the cancellation of the festival sensible though very sad,” Tory added.
“Fingers crossed we can still celebrate in a non-traditional format.”
Toronto’s annual Pride Parade weekend that was scheduled for June 26 to 28 was also cancelled due to COVID-19. The City of Toronto announced it was cancelling all major city-led events, like festivals, conferences and cultural programs, and all city permits through to June 30.