TPS celebrates Caribbean Carnival virtually

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:36 a.m. July 29, 2021

For the second straight year, Toronto Police Service (TPS) is celebrating the Caribbean Carnival virtually because of the pandemic.

A group of men and women in-front of a large crowd of students waving a variety of nation flags from the Caribbean region
Former TPS Board member Ken Jeffers (third from left) with Caribbean diplomats at the TPS Carnival launch in July 2017

Launched in 1967 as the Caribbean community’s gift to Canada to mark the country’s centenary, the event is North America’s largest street festival.

“Although this year’s celebrations continue to be impacted by the pandemic, it remains important to recognize the many contributions of the Caribbean community in our city which includes members of our Service,” said Chief James Ramer. “TPS has been part of these celebrations for decades, whether at the Grand Parade or at community events to keep everyone safe while celebrating. We always enjoy rejoicing at these fantastic events alongside the community, our members and participants of our Youth and Policing Initiative (YIPI).”

Two young women wearing carnival costumes posing in-front of a float
Tasha McLarty (l) and Xania Nancoe at the TPS Carnival launch in July 2012

From its inception, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) has been a passionate supporter of the annual event.

“While the pandemic has impacted our ability to celebrate as we usually do, this significant international event creates an incredible display of the diversity that’s the pride and essence of Toronto,” said TPSB Chair Jim Hart. “The Caribbean Carnival is always a vital and exciting time for the residents of our city and has grown to become a powerful celebration and symbol of the spirit of inclusion that marks our character. We take tremendous pride in the fact that Toronto is composed of a diversity of people, languages, religions and cultures. This festival is, first and foremost, a celebration of the cultural heritage of people from the Caribbean. But it’s also a celebration of the vitality, richness and colorfulness of the kaleidoscope that is our city and country today.”

Man in a police uniform is flanked by two women on the left and a woman and a man to the right, all dancing in the street, with a large crowd behind them
Former Police chief Mark Saunders bust a few dance moves with YIPI assistants Kidisha Joseph (l), Larissa Leach and Musa Raveendran and co-ordinator Melva Radway at the August 2016 Festival

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival celebrates the cultural heritage of people from the Caribbean and the spirit that they contribute to Canadian culture.

TPS, in partnership with community corporate partners including The Children's Breakfast Club, have been participating in this event since 1991. This participation includes a Toronto Police Service float in the parade as well as celebrations at the local Divisions.

@TorontoPolice Celebrate Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2021

“Although the pandemic has caused us to do things differently, we will continue to celebrate the Carnival festivities virtually,” said Supt. Stacy Clarke of the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit.  “The Toronto Police Service continues to emphasize the importance of Caribbean people within our great city and country at large and we are looking forward to Carnival 2022.”

TPS crest watermark