Caribana, the colorful and high-energy Toronto summer festival, which celebrates the Caribbean culture, is dead. And from its ashes arose a creature with a corporate-sounding and verbose moniker: Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto.
Forget the politics and wrangling that forced the Ontario Superior Court to order the name change. There’s nothing progressive about this development. This was a stealth corporate takeover by Scotiabank, part of a growing trend of corporate takeovers of our cultural icons.
Not long ago the Rogers media empires scooped up the Skydome and renamed it Rogers Centre.
And oh what a boon it is for Scotiabank and it’s corporate friends in Toronto. According to the Toronto Star:
In 2009, the festival attracted 1.2 million people, including 300,000 from outside the country, and helped fill 85 per cent of Toronto’s hotel rooms.
That’s a lot of people exposed Scotiabank through the silly new name, advertisements and news reports around the festival.
The consolation: People still ask for directions to the SkyDome more than six years after the Rogers takeover. For some time to come, people will still call the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto by it’s real name: Caribana.
Photo credit: Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Flickr photostream