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Monday, March 15, 2010

The "Truth" Of TRIBE Toronto !!

Well here I was minding my business this afternoon, when in my inbox drops the following letter. After consulting my lawyer (yes I have legal counsel!) I was informed of the right that I have to publish the following letter:

"Please note that the content of this letter is deemed confidential between TRIBE Trinidad and the TMBA".- Dear Saucy,You cannot make someone hold a letter in confidence unless you have a signed confidentiality agreement between the two. Truth is a defense to libel and slander.If a journalist gets a leaked copy of "the truth" how will  they sue TRIBE for someone getting a hold of "the truth"?'.

I find it quite telling WHO is the TMBA President...afraid of competition now? And does this letter does not reek of bullying and intimidation? If I were a certain band I would be the one looking for legal counsel! Anyway, you read and be the judge. Long live "the truth"!
January 26, 2010

Toronto Mas Band Association

242 Braymore Blvd.

Scarborough, ON

M1K 2G8

Attention Dean Ackin &TRIBE

Re: TRIBE/TRIBE Toronto’s participation in Caribana 2010

We, the Toronto Mas Band Association (TMBA), the sole governing association for Mas bands in Toronto’s annual Caribana festival, are writing you, TRIBE (and your Toronto affiliate, TRIBE Toronto), to officially notify you that your participation in said festival under either band name or operating structure (i.e. TRIBE and/or TRIBE Toronto) has officially been denied with immediate effect.

First, let it be clearly known that the TMBA and FMC (Festival Management Committee), who jointly oversee a 40 year old festival that is world-renowned and has been clearly recognized as the largest festival in North America, annually attracting over 1 million attendees and generating in excess of $350 million (CDA) in revenue, are flattered that one of the biggest and most popular bands in the world has shown interest in participating in our festival. Also, let it be clearly stated that the aforementioned decision to “deny participation” was taken not from a “vindictive” or “malicious” perspective, but rather due to the failings of TRIBE Toronto to meet and adhere to clearly defined rules & regulations set forth by both organizations.

Whether such indiscretions are due to TRIBE’s lack of due diligence in properly assessing this venture or due to any misleading information from TRIBE Toronto’s management team, the fact is that there are clear, multiple and more importantly, extremely alarming breaches of both organizations’ (i.e. TMBA’s & FMC’s) rules & regulations. As such, this body was left with no alternative but to rule accordingly.

Second, as mentioned above, said decision is based solely on the overall lack of respect for and adherence to Caribana’s rules & regulations (as defined by both the TMBA and FMC). As our goal is to be as transparent an organization as possible, below is a shortlist of some of the major infringements perpetrated:

Effecting a Registered Band name change – for a registered member of the TMBA to effect a change in name (from the one officially registered with the association) for operating/advertising/ promotions purposes, this can only be accomplished by providing timely written notification to the TMBA and upon consideration/approval of the TMBA’s executive committee. In this particular case, neither was there any “official” letter communicated by Ken/Andre De Freitas (which on record is the official name of said band) to the TMBA, nor did any meeting of the executives take place to first discuss said name-change application and furthermore even approve it. As such the joint promotional efforts of TRIBE, TRIBE Toronto and Ken/Andre De Freitas that “TRIBE is coming to Toronto” are completely premature, misleading to the public, and in absolute violation of TMBA rules &a regs.

Government Funding – Caribana is a Canadian festival that is recognized and more importantly funded by 3 levels of government in Canada (i.e. the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto). Money is provided to the FMC and TMBA by these levels of government to run the festival and assist bands in offsetting costs. One of the keys aspects of accepting this funding is the presumption by these government arms that they are funding 100% Canadian entities with no “business arrangements/affiliations/agreements” with non-Canadian organizations. If found in violation of this fundamental stipulation, not only will the band in question be deemed to be potentially perpetrating “fraud” against these various government funding arms as well as the FMC, but it will also make the TMBA accessories to the fact and jeopardize the integrity of the festival and the association as a whole. In this instance, the openly stated and well-documented/advertised link and business relationship between TRIBE (from Trinidad & Tobago) and its franchised TRIBE Toronto (as seen on respective websites, press releases, social websites, logos, emails, listing of management team which includes TRIBE’s owner ‘Dean Ackin’, etc... just to name a few) means that this is once again in complete violation of both TMBA and FMC funding rules. In questioning Andre De Freitas during our January 23rd meeting, he was unable to convince the executive of the TMBA and its membership that TRIBE Toronto has “no affiliations to or business relationship with TRIBE (Trinidad)”. As a means of self-preservation and protecting the interests of the group as a whole, the TMBA has no other choice than to “deny participation” of said group.

Overall conduct of TRIBE Toronto: Participation in an event such as Caribana should never be taken for granted, no matter how big, successful or popular a band may be. Furthermore, carrying an air of arrogance and trying to blatantly deceive the membership and organizations that run the festival is unacceptable. What TRIBE Toronto has clearly demonstrated from the beginning is:

Lack of respect towards the festival - by trying to impose itself in a festival through circumventing basic rules and regulations, prematurely promoting a “non-existent/unregistered” band and thus misleading the public in Toronto, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and the World, TRIBE/TRIBE Toronto has demonstrated a lack of respect to all the stakeholders of this festival. TRIBE/TRIBE Toronto has now placed itself and the festival in a precarious position and in many ways adversely impacted upon the mainly positive image the festival has worked extremely diligently on improving and portraying over the past few years.

Inappropriate conduct of TRIBE Toronto towards other bands - furthermore according to the TMBA rules and regs, no band can issue public threats to other bands on matters discussed in confidential association meetings. The message sent out via FaceBook on January 19th by Andre De Freitas (see screen below), the head of TRIBE Toronto and thus an official affiliate and representative of TRIBE (as listed on TRIBE’s own website) is not only clearly a threat to all official and registered TMBA members, but is also extremely inflammatory which if followed through on could eventually lead to libel and/or slander, and consequent legal action.

Blatantly trying to deceive the Executive Committee and its membership – in the aforementioned January 23rd TMBA meeting, Andre De Freitas was caught in a series of lies towards the TMBA and its membership stemming from the attempted “change of name” process of his band from “Ken & Andre De Freitas” to “TRIBE Toronto” and in also clarifying his business relationship with TRIBE. On the former matter (i.e. “change of name”), he lied to all present regarding his attempted name change and then proceeded to try and pass off a fraudulent document to the TMBA and its membership. On the latter matter (i.e. “business relationship”), Andre De Freitas stated: :

He has no official link in any capacity with TRIBE Trinidad...
He alone owns the brand TRIBE Toronto...
He can use any logo, including the jointly promoted “TRIBE Toronto” logo at any time and in any fashion as he owns that logo and the rights to use it in any form...
He and his father have full control of TRIBE Toronto, from designing all costumes to all other matters...
He told TRIBE Trinidad to remove TRIBE Toronto’s logo from their website because they have no right to use his logo as there is no link...
He has no member of TRIBE Trinidad on TRIBE Toronto’s committee/ management team...

These overtly false statements were immediately discredited by the TMBA due to previous communications by TRIBE Trinidad (e.g. website, press releases, etc...) and by TRIBE Toronto itself in its own messaging and listed management team etc... These appalling and farcical attempts to deceive the TMBA and its membership, and conversely the FMC and the various levels of Canadian government, as well as the general public have not only been to the detriment of the TRIBE Toronto brand name, but also knowingly or unknowingly associates and implicates you, TRIBE Trinidad (the brand owners), as willing participants in this deceit and web of lies.

After considering all matters at hand and events over the past couple of weeks, the TMBA has been left with very few options than to exercise its authority and “deny TRIBE/TRIBE Toronto participation in Caribana”. As a result, the TMBA would advise TRIBE/TRIBE Toronto to immediately “cease and/or refrain” from advertising that they are “coming to Caribana 2010”, remove all erroneous elements of this venture (including FaceBook pages, websites, printed materials, etc...) and release a public retraction indicating such.

Please note that the content of this letter is deemed confidential between TRIBE Trinidad and the TMBA. Should this letter or any part thereof be publicly used to attempt to discredit or slander the TMBA in any way shape or form, the TMBA would be required to seek advice with a view to pursue legal action against TRIBE and its franchise TRIBE Toronto. We anticipate that good business sense will prevail in said matter and all parties can carry on operating in an amicable and professional fashion.

For additional information I can be contacted at the following: and c. 416.560.4419


Louis Saldenah

TMBA President

The Carnival Rumour Mill!

I have been reliably informed that the breakaway band from Island People Mas will definitely be looking to venture into Carnival 2011. The persons involved in this new band have severed their affiliations with the formerly mentioned Island People and are currently looking for the hottest designers out there as they did not hold a "designer" position in Island People.Names like "Sandra", "Crystal" and "Ruana" are being whispered about as potential designers for said new band. I am liking the idea of using the young, forward thinking designers and this person certainly has the cash to fund a new band... but we all know money and costumes are only part of what makes a new band successful. Hopefully they learn from predecessors mistakes as I am quite interested to see how this new band fares and whose crowd they will pull.

In other Carnival news outside of Trinidad and Tobago, for those who were wondering looks like TRIBE Toronto is still in the works. Sources say they are scouting for designers and designs;however , the standard is pretty high. Looks like TRIBE Toronto wants to give you Trinidad quality costumes! You can check out the website as well.

And finally, one band for New York's Labor Day will be getting a touch from the dynamic duo (so much for taking the year off!) as I hear they will be doing the sexy designs for Ramajay Mas! Looking out for that one as well.

Skullduggery... Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2011

Skullduggery Mas.... "The Dance of Deceit".... Carnival 2011

Rumour is that this band is a collaboration between the two Peters, one being Peter Samuel... Peter Minshall fans are salivating at the thought that HE is the other Peter involved. However, I am more inclined to believe that this band will be comprised of individuals who consider themselves "children of The Mas Man" looking to pay tribute to Peter Minshall by doing what other critics of bikini mas have failed to do. Simply, if you do not like the direction the mas today is taking bring your own band to showcase the creativity you think is lacking!

I am really looking forward to seeing what Skullduggery brings!
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