The Mas Camp is the hub of activity, construction, design, and camaraderie in the carnival community. It is a dedicated space where costume designers and their teams begin to carefully construct their costumes in preparation for parade day. It is the home for the individual mas bands, working towards the coveted titled of Band of the Year, based on their creativity, adherence to theme, and cohesiveness of their group/band overall.
|Carnival Nationz Mas Camp,|
Shantal Otchere for Now Toronto
The composition of each Camp is relatively similar: there is a showroom, where costumes available for purchase are set up on display on mannequins, for potential masqueraders to get an up-close look at the fabrics and embellishments that they will wear on the road for parade day. Also in the Camp, there is a point of contact for questions, pricing, and registration, where the best of the band's customer service is put on display to provide information and hospitable enthusiasm towards the band's objectives and brand.
Most importantly, the Mas Camps are open houses for the Toronto community and participants of all cultures to take a glimpse into this particular Caribbean tradition, and to learn about the various bands and players as well as do their part to sustain this beloved element of summers in Toronto.
With the conclusion of the last band launch in Toronto this weekend, most of the Mas Camps are now in operation and activity is underway as the bands (competing or otherwise) get ready for another exciting carnival season in the city, counting down the days until Carnival Day which falls on Saturday, August 3 this year.
Here's our unofficial listing of the Mas Camps operating in Toronto this season: please contact the individual bands for details about hours of operation and their registration processes and requirements (click on the band name to be connected to their websites):
TRIBAL CARNIVAL: 3401 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #8
TORONTO REVELLERS: 80 Midwest Road, Unit #13
FANTAZIA CARNIVAL: 2360 Midland Avenue, Unit #5
DREAM CARNIVAL: 875 Milner Avenue, Unit #105
EPIC CARNIVAL: 510 Coronation Drive
SALDENAH CARNIVAL: 1430 Birchmount Road
SUNLIME MAS: 3595 St. Clair Avenue East, Unit #19
CARNIVAL NATIONZ: 730 Military Trail
COSTUME CREATORS: Mas Camp Location TBD
VENOM CARNIVAL: 1160 Birchmount Road, Unit #4B
ATLANTIC MAS: 2655 Lawrence Avenue East
For photos, videos, and event information throughout the Toronto Carnival season, we invite you to check out our CARNIVAL SPOTLIGHT platform, focused on the presentation and celebration of Toronto Carnival, and Caribbean Carnival at large.
Our novel of the same name, "Carnival Spotlight," is currently available in e-book and paperback format, and can be accessed through our website KyaPublishing.com. This book is a fiction account of the Toronto Carnival experience, from the Mas Camp to the road, and captures the energy and vibes of one of the greatest celebrations of Caribbean culture in Canada.
Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales."