Unified Multiculturalism in Toronto
Jan 2, 2015
Having been born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, my heritage has only ever been a story told to me by family, friends and even strangers who have migrated to Canada from the Caribbean. On August 2nd, 2014, I was immersed in an explosion of vibrant colours, exotic flavours, and electrifying beats as I took part in Scotiabank’s Caribbean Carnival at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario. As a community, regardless of our birthplace, we were bringing together people from all demographics, and the result was a mosaic of vivacious energy and joy. Ontario, Canada is internationally known for being multicultural, however, what exactly this means is not readily apparent to those who have not lived here. On this one single day, visitors from around the world witnessed the realism of living in unity.
Here, on the streets of Toronto, we did not march, but danced our way through the crowds. Regardless of our diverse heritage, beliefs, and personal attributes, we were perceived as a unified mass representing the Caribbean, and yet we walked on Canadian soil, danced with Canadian spirit, and took refuge in our Canadian homes. What defined us as individuals melted away that morning as we dressed in cohesion with the rest of our band mates. Each band stood apart from the rest with their immaculate costumes and bewildering floats. Together, the bands were a cascade of colours fused in unison by the underlying universal dedication to live those hours as a singular life force creating happiness. On the 2nd of August 2014, I took part in Toronto’s announcement to the world that living in peace, as one, and in a joyous manner, is in fact possible.