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Durham Caribbean Festival

by: Mary Galvan
City: Toronto, ON

Project Type

Festivals & Events

Number of beneficiaries


Project Description

This festival engages the entire community. Ajax Ontario has the highest population of black Caribbeans in all of Ontario at this present time. The festival gives all students in the Durham Region a platform to perform on our youth stage, we provide delicious foods representing the Caribbean Islands . We provide a kid s zone with live animals and a fair and have an abundance of vendors sharing information that is vital to the community. We have an official proclamation every year called Caribbean Week and it is televised . This week is a great opportunity to showcase Caribbean businesses and create Caribbean Inspired themes throughout the week.

How would $50,000 benefit the project

The funds would be used to enhance our youth stage with prizes , entertainment and more mentors . We would use the money to allow every student performing to have customized tshirts and create an incentive for participation. The funds would be used to bring more awareness to the festival and upgrade some of our props and sound equipment . The funds would allow us a budget for rehersal with our students and we would also be able to incorporate a cullinary aspect on our stage where we would have our students submit Caribbean dishes to be judged.

About the Community

This festival was created 6 years ago with absolutley no funding nor sponsors. I paid for everything out of pocket because I believed in this so much. I write for the Durham Citizen and am a host for Caribbean Headline News on Rogers TV and owned a Caribbean takeout restaurant in Ajax. I am passionate about this festival because weather you are from the Caribbean or not someone you know is or a coworker is or your child s playmate is. This is a great opportunity to celebrate culture and get to know your neighbours. My son was 4 years old when he was called a nigger in a local store in Ajax and I knew from that point this festival was needed as there is nothing to engage the Caribbean community nor is there norhing to recognize the Caribbean community and it never made sense to me as the largest community that is Caribbean resides in the Durham Region

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