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Saturday, March 20, 2010

TMBA Responds

To whom it may concern
I did not want to get involved with all the comments on this blog, but I will try to clarify a few things.

Toronto Mas Bands Association (T.M.B.A) is comprised of all the bandleaders who participate in the annual Caribana parade (16) and associate members. Once the facts were divulged, a vote was taken by the membership and by majority vote, Tribe was denied entry into our parade. Upon the membership instruction, a letter was approved by the executive and forwarded to Tribe Trinidad.

The N.C.C and the N.C.B.A of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival have incorporated rules to protect their product.e.g. If you are not a national of T&T you cannot compete in the national calypso monarch competition ,likewise if you are not a national of T&T you cannot participate in the king and queen competition, likewise a non national cannot win road march competition. A steel band from outside T&T cannot participate in the annual panorama competition.

Furthermore the queen of the bands from Toronto Caribana 2007 was entered in the queen of the bands competition in Trinidad 2008 and placed second. due to protest from bandleaders ,a rule was put in place by the N.C.B.A denying any future entry from outside T&T.
Does that mean bandleaders from T&T are afraid of competition or protecting their product?

And why would I be afraid of competition when i grew up in Trinidad when mas was mas alongside one of the greatest bandleaders who introduced sections mas into Trinidad Carnival "Harold Sally Saldenah" (Father)

Since someone with no regards for the association integrity choose to release the letter and partial minutes of T.M.B.A meeting to the public,I suggest everyone re-read the contents very carefully without bias. The majority of the members has spoken.


mm154 said...

'And why would I be afraid of competition when i grew up in Trinidad when mas was mas alongside one of the greatest bandleaders who introduced sections mas into Trinidad Carnival "Harold Sally Saldenah" (Father)'

OK, so is he representing the TMBA or himself?
What exactly was the purpose of this letter?

Shellss said...

I believe the purpose of the letter was to say that ppl should not "assume" when they dont know the full story. I totally get his point and as people said in their comments that "he" was afraid of competition. I guess thats why he made that statement that "he" is not afraid of such.


i love the free publicity at de end dat is kicks!!! lol

are people really that bothered about Tribe not being in Toronto??

i have to say if Tribe tried to come to London they would have the same issues, we are a band in our third year and had to collaborate for 2 years before we come out in our own right even though i been making and designing mas in the UK for 13 years now, we all know when a band is successful and big and just stepped on the scene, people will try and stop it! i have had this treatment and continue to do so! its not about protecting the "Product" cos its MAS we all bringing so dats crap its about not being able to accept change and newness, and i know i gonna have another battle on my hands when i break into the Trinidad Carnival scene this year!

the drama continues............

kantakarus said...

Okay. So I cant hold my tongue any more.


1. Why is it that info is only being leaked from one side?

2. According to a TMBA source, 13 of the 15 members voted against TRIBE Toronto. Sooo, two did not - meaning one was Tribe Toronto, BUT who was the other? And why wasn't THAT part of the meeting minutes published? hmmm

3. I'm not quite understanding what is so unethical about bringing an outside "brand". Let me attempt to conceptualize - So, if I own a "Canadian" store and import clothing from Italy, China and the US, does that make my business unethical? I guess I have no choice but to sell only what's produced here, because if I don't apparently I'm NO LONGER CANADIAN!

4. Oh BTW, I got wind that several Toronto bandleaders do import fully made costumes from China and India. Oops! Was that supposed to be a secret? *LOL*

5. Oh sorry, it's a matter of Canadian dollars leaving the country. So it's not ok to import anything to have any taxpayer dollars leave the province, but it's ok to attract over a half million Amercians across the border and take THEIR money. OMG! Canadian taxpayers should be furious!! *LOL*

6. And why hasn't the FMC publicly made a statement yet? Unless they are also baffled at the entire situation. *LOL*

OMG, I could go on and on. But really, let's wait for a public response from the FMC and TRIBE Toronto. I assume they will be issuing some kind of statement soon, since the almighty TMBA has taken their battle public (and it has seemingly back-fired. *LMAO*)

kantakarus said...
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kantakarus said...

Just FYI - The 2008 Queen from Toronto that placed 2nd was actually Trinidadian. There was never an issue against the competitor's nationality.

The REAL dispute was that the costume had already competed outside of Trinidad (it was the CARIBANA Queen of the Bands 2007 *wink*), and many had a concern about it's orginality.

The new rule implemented thereafter, was to prevent future entry of costumes that have already competed elsewhere.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...'s a good thing this isn't a reading comprehension test because so many of you would fail! I'm not sure what the problem is when it comes to reading and understanding what's been written. This whole situation is not as a result of other band leaders being afraid of competition. It's not a matter of whether or not bands can import items for their costumes from other countries (@ kantakarus). T&T bands import many of the items for their costumes from other countries as well. It's nothing new or only done by band leaders in Toronto.
What Louis is explaining is that when it comes to Trinidad carnival, certain rules are in place because it's a matter of keeping a Trinidadian festival held in Trinidad, as authentic as it can be by only allowing Trinidadian nationals to take part in and win certain competitions. The same holds true for Toronto Caribana. Only Canadian nationals with no ties to mas bands from outside countries are allowed to bring a mas band in Caribana. It's a stipulation for the funding that is provided by the Ontario government. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? It doesn't matter if you're a Canadian citizen. If you are a branch off of a mas band in the UK, in T&T, in the US or anywhere other than Canada, and you are trying to get into Toronto Caribana by bringing a subsidiary of that band to Toronto, you can not do it. End of story.
And let's just assume for arguments sake that Tribe Toronto has no dealings with Tribe Trinidad at all. Are you people assuming that just because a band calls itself "Tribe" Toronto that it is going to have the same level of supposed costumes, service etc...that Tribe Trinidad brings? All because of the name? Well, if that's the case you're an easy mark. Here's what...I have a bridge for you to buy...

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Let me see if I get this Lisa, TRIBE Toronto is a NEW band or is it the name change of an existing band that was formerly Evolution and Allspice?

From my limited comprehension skills there were a number of issues brought up:

1. The name change of the band and if this was approved and done in time.

2. The affiliation with TRIBE Trinidad; no one could ascertain if TRIBE Toronto was 100% Candandian owned with just a name change or sections being "handled" by TRIBE.

3.Accusations that Andre De Fretias lied about the affiliations with TRIBE Trinidad.

4.Premature advertising on websites, newspapers and facebook of TRIBE Toronto's Caribana "debut".

5. Sponsorship being jeopardized if rules are broken.

6. No clear indication of EXACTLY what rules have been broken...

Shellss said...

Kantankarus you just take the baton to finish making this thing long and tedious (based on the length of the previous 2 Tribe TO related posts). You just confuse the living daylight out of me. I totally agree with Lisa. Whats so hard to understand in this little post? Geeze

Lisa said...

@ Saucy, 'nuff respect to you and your blog. Love reading it. And your questions are valid. But the problem is that no one seems able to answer them, including the DeFreitas'!
Yes, "Tribe" Toronto used to be Evolution and AllSpice because DeFreitas was part of those 2 bands. However, where DeFreitas stumbled and messed himself up was by naming this spin-off of the former 2 bands after a band from Trinidad, which makes it seem as if there are direct ties to the T&T band, which is a no-no for Toronto Caribana. You can't tell me that people didn't get excited when they saw the name "Tribe" Toronto. Just read the posts all over FaceBook and other sites. People immediately thought that there was a direct connection. Who wouldn't? And when asked if there are ties or not, to me that's a simple 'yes' or 'no' question, DeFreitas can't give an answer! He still has not validated or denied. In the minutes that are posted on your site it's mentioned that DeFreitas said that Tribe TT would only be bringing sections in Tribe TO. Again, against the government funding rules. Then he retracted the statement. That's where things become fishy. So if you lie about something as important as that. Something that has the potential to cause a problem with the funding for the other bands, what else are you lying about?
And when it comes to government money in the White man's country, as far as I'm concerned, it's better to be safe than sorry. If he can't prove that "Tribe" Toronto (again...named after a band from T&T) has no connection whatsoever to Tribe in Trinidad in any form, then his application needs to be denied. It's better they deny the app now than let him bring the band, and afterwards it be discovered that he and Tribe T&T were working together (again, which is against the government funding rules), and all of the band leaders lose or get their funding reduced for 2012.
Curtis Eustace was Carnival Nationz and then in 2009 became AllSpice. He became a new band because he separated from CNZ, so he had to follow the rules, apply to be in the parade, and appear at the end of the parade in his category (he was in position 13 out of 15 bands).
The DeFreitas' have always been Evolution and they've always been at the back of the parade because they haven't been able to win in their category. They disbanded Evolution and joined Curtis to become AllSpice in 2009.
Now in 2010 they've become Tribe Toronto. A new band. Which means that they have to appear at the end of the parade in their category...if their app was approved (I've heard that they didn't apply to be in the parade, which is part of the process. Don't know if this is true or not) I am not the expert nor do I profess to know the ins and outs of everything that's been going on. I've just been reading various blogs and the info that's been posted.
Sure, I agree that some of what's been said by Louis is 'personal' versus just sticking to the facts. However, it's not a matter of whether Tribe TO spoke too soon and advertised before they had approval. It's not that DeFreitas used to be one band and now is another. The sticking and most important point is that he is trying to bring a band to Canada that possibly has direct ties to a foreign entity and he can not do that.
To me, once you look past all the 'personal stuff' that's being said, it's pretty simple to understand.

Carnivalcocoa said...

He damn right.

Empress said...

Thank you Lisa! I think people getting caught up with the seemingly unprofessional way in which Louis responded and in which his letters were written. They bypassed everything written in the minutes to focus on the manner in which the meeting was carried out. I think you summed it up well.
As for Tribe Toronto being a name change as opposed to an affiliation. Give me a freaking break already. I don’t see how a supposedly well managed and run band like Tribe would allow a foreign entity/band to use its name in advertising without repercussions. For the very least Tribe should come forward to disassociate themselves from ADF. If I am mistaken then I throwing a Tribe party next week self, using their logo and all.

Lace said...

Well put both Lisa and Empress.
I would like to add that on the Tribe website under the section entitled disclaimer, Tribe Toronto is listed as an affliate. So really that says it all...

kantakarus said...

Thank you oh great Lisa and Empress for your infinite wisdom *LMAO*

My comments were merely to point out that information was only being leaked by one side; probably for a reason, but clearly your comprehension is sooooo far advanced that you couldn't read in to that *LOL*

Further FYI: Why is that the mysteriously so called 'RULES AND REGS' hasn't been published??? hmmmmmmm

Egypt said...

Before we go helter skelter looking for official rules and regs let's think about this for a second. GOVERNMENT funds or subsidies benefiting non local entities/companies = ubhappy tax payers and investors. Where in this world do you see government funding international companies? Do you really need an offical rule to tell you that this does not make economical or political sense

JJ said...

Egypt said:

"Where in this world do you see government funding international companies?"

First, I must be mistaken, but I was under the assumption that we were talking about nonprofit organizations and not for profit companies? Besides that, there are several multinational and international companies that receive funding via tax relief, subsidies, bonds and other investment incentives -- most of which are underwritten by the tax payers of the country luring in the company.

I'm of the free market, laissez faire type and think it would behoove Toronto, Canada to actually take steps to encourage additional tourism which could come from a popular foreign band entering its annual carnival. The move could expand its tax base during Carabana. By making exceptions or adding provisions, it could actually help the economy of the city by encouraging increased tourism and participation in the festival. In the end, the city will gain the most. Some people cannot make or afford the trip to Trinidad and may be happy to make Toronto a next best alternative. The hotel, travel and tourism industry could expand.

And I hear all you guys have to say about the government funding issue being the crux of the matter. Notwithstanding all of that, the facts and circumstances of this "controversy" are wedded to that sole seemingly simple issue regarding funding. It is too late to separate the surrounding issues once they are revealed. People are not "dense" or cannot comprehend simply because they question other relevant or not-so-relevant facts presented to them. All of it DOES or can in fact matter.

You cannot tell someone to look at a convoluted, multi-faceted and quasi-complex issue with many different parties and issues in play and expect people to put on blinders and focus on that one issue. It doesn't work that way. Once out of the gate, everything is fair play.

I'm not agreeing with the feller lying and manipulating the situation and I think Lace has called out Tribe TNT sufficiently as undercutting any argument that could have been made that Tribe Toronto was not affiliated, but I still stick to my original position that all of this stinks of unprofessionalism, intimidation, and an absence of decorum.

I think I may just have to make a trip to TO this year and watch first hand as the bacchanal unfolds. ha!!

carnival babay said...

JJ, I think Tribe Toronto should hire you as their legal representative or publicist! You making total sense on a educated level...The rules and regs have been posted and its funny that all these other arguing against this have NOT posted a single comment yet.

Egypt said...

Alls well said and good but the business of mas is not a non-profit game. Nor can you tell me that the inclusion of Tribe in Toronto will result in an influx of revenue for the province. Hence, unless that is proven I would be damned if my hard earned tax money goes towards the pockets of a foreign owned company. There is no need for an investment incentive because Caribana already pulls millions of tourists every year (not just Caribbean-based) and even though it competes with Kadooment. People who as you put it “cannot make it to Trinidad for carnival” and care about the culture already make plans to go to other carnivals world-wide. What you are suggesting is not a novel idea. You can’t just come and say bring me and my business in your country and I can help you make money AND on top of that give me a handout for doing so. There are certain stakeholders you need to convince and there are protocols for doing so. No one is denying that TMBA acted unprofessionally. But at this point the TMBA is not under scrutiny and as much as we want to get our hands on these so called rules and regs that prevent Tribe TO from entering the Caribana parade, one has to wonder why the need for the lies with regards to affiliation with Tribe Trinidad. If Mr ADF really is aware that there is NOTHING that prevents him from being affiliated with a foreign company then all he had to do was answer the question with a simple yes. He chose not to which lends me to believe that that affiliation is indeed a hindrance to entering the parade. Call it circumstantial if you may but I am but a reader and that is my deduction.

Tr|n|gYa| said...

I cannot WAIT for the tiers of the Canadian government to step into this embarrassing fiasco. Clearly this is the only way that both public and private organizations will learn how to be civil, diplomatic, and professional about this entire situation, especially where the almighty taxpayer dollar is concerned.

The ULTIMATE chess-move is yet to be played!

JJ said...

um Egypt, points taken, but in my first line I was not making a commentary or judgment as to whether mas is a for profit venture or not, but merely replying to your mention of why a government would not pay a company. I was simply pointing out that TMBA is a nonprofit organization and hence the rules of application differ. Pardon me for being facetious.

And I am sorry, but I used to work for a city that brings in millions of dollars in tourism annually and it never EVER turns its back on an opportunity to make more, if it fits within the guidelines as you so aptly point out. Any support (not handout) in the form of tax incentives will be well worth it in increased tax base and subsequent revenue for the government. The return on the investment is well worth it.


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