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Bianca AzizHome Financing Solutions
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Bianca AzizHome Financing SolutionsGreater Toronto Area647.983.6826
FMc re-estaBLIshInGcarIBana’s reLeVance
oronto’s CaribbeanCarnival, formerly Car
ibana, has left an in
delible mark on millions of people on a global scale and ithas become a ritualistic eventto attend annually. Originat
ing in 1967, this celebrationis a cultural expression of the splendor and vibrancy associated with Caribbeantraditions. This year’s paradeon Saturday, August 3rd will be no different than before.Thousands of cheerful partici
pants will be masquerading inintricately designed costumes while they dance to the ap
pealing sounds of mas bands.
Denise Herrera-Jackson has volun
teered intermittently for approximately two years and had been closely connect
ed to Caribana for nearly 15 years beforeassuming her current position as CEOof the Festival Management Committee(FMC) which is the organization thatnow runs the annual Festival. Withinthose years, Herrera-Jackson has wit
nessed growth in the area of audiencegathering. “The carnival aspect of thefestival stayed very pure in terms of theoffering and it became very attractiveso Toronto has become a landmark fora good carnival type of festival. Theparade and the carnival aspect wasmodelled after the Trinidad carnival soa lot of the events are very much true toform.” explained the former informationtechnology consultant for a number of highly inuential Canadian corpora
tions including TD Canada Trust, Hewl
ett-Packardand Imperial Oil Limited.The economic impact of this highly regarded festival in the city of Toronto isquite extraordinary. Hotels, event pro
moters, restaurants and so forth havereaped nancial benets from Toronto’sCaribbean Carnival so vast in numberthat it elicits awe. Alas, the participantsand those who labour untiringly andpassionately to make the Festival thesuccess that it is year after year have yetto receive a prot from their exertions. Without question, this is an involvedissue where there is no single or simpleanswer. Herrera-Jackson afrms that“we have done studies and we will con
-tiue to do tudie o tht whe we tlk
about the festival, all of us have to havethat knowledge as to what industries benet from our festival.” Another component that needs to beconsidered is the fact that many of theevents people have enjoyed over thepast four decades are free of charge. “Itdoesn’t make sense to continuously havefree events when part of our require
ments for getting grants is to show that we have a capability of generatingour own revenue.” explained Herrera-Jackson.“That’s one of the challengesthat as an organization we have and we have to face and we have to comeup with ways of generating more netrevenue.” In previous years, there was astrong dependency on receiving gov
ernment grants in order to sustain thefestival. Herrera-Jackson has empha
sized that as organizations evolve andtransform, the FMC has a responsibility to understand their role in the market
place and how they function. With the highly decorated profession
al portfolio Herrera-Jackson holds andher wealth of expertise in building andmaintaining relationships, it has givenher an in depth understanding of whatcorporations are looking for. “I am very aware of what my capabilities are andI have been fortunate in a sense whereI have honed my skills and I know my strengths and I know my weaknessesand I know how to improve on them.”said Herrera-Jackson, who is a mediaspecialist as well as a company directorat Caribbean Tales.Upon migrating to Canada fromTrinidad & Tobago over three decadesago, one of the primary goals Herrera-Jackson set out to accomplish and hasexecuted successfully, was to enhancethe cultural activities here in Canada.“I was always interested in theatre anddance so outside of my regular work activity I got involved in a lot of thoseareas.”explained the alumna of Univer
-ity of Weter Otrio d York Ui-
versity with a degree in Journalism anda Masters in Environmental Studies.“When you become a parent you realizethat the whole area of culture whetherit is music, dance or literature, it servesas an explanation to your children to
hre d udertd their ow hitory
because they’re a part of you and they’rea part of an even bigger history.” With all the splendor and uniquequalities that make Toronto’s CaribbeanCarnival what it is, those who expendtheir energy and sacrice sleep all forthe love of this festival should not gounnoticed. “We are all in this togetherand we should support everybody who isdoing anything within our community around the festival nancially. Thatenables us as a community to build oureconomic capacity and move forward.”said Herrera-Jackson.
“When you becomea parent you realizethat the whole areaof culture whetherit is music, dance orliterature, it servesas an explanation toyour children to shareand understand theirown history becausethey’re a part of youand they’re a part of aneven bigger history.”