Caribana, the celebration of Caribbean culture that brings more than a million people to the streets of Toronto each summer, has a new name.
The festival will now be known as the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto, organizers announced Wednesday.
The name change, ordered earlier this month by the Ontario Superior Court, is the latest in a long-running battle over the massively popular festival.
The name â€œCaribanaâ€ is trademarked by the Caribana Arts Group (CAG), the successor of the Caribbean Cultural Committee (CCC), which founded the festival in 1967 but lost control in 2006.
Thatâ€™s when the city and province cut funding after organizers failed to produce adequate financial statements. Control was transferred to the newly created Festival Management Committee (FMC).
After the transfer, the festival was officially called the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.
The FMC has said nothing but Caribanaâ€™s name will change, much to the consternation of the CAG, which claims the festival itself is the group’s intellectual property. The groupâ€™s chair, Henry Gomez, said they’re prepared to go to court again unless FMC acknowledges CAG’s ownership.
In 2009, the festival attracted 1.2 million people, including 300,000 from outside the country, and helped fill 85 per cent of Torontoâ€™s hotel rooms. That year, the festival generated $483 million for the provincial economy.
But last year, an expected $600,000 in federal and provincial grants didnâ€™t come through. The festivalâ€™s budget decreased from $2.6 million to $1.8 million.
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