Festival finally sees financial boom in its 40th year

Carlos Osorio/torstar news service


Sasha Gaetan, 18, gets ready to perform at the official launch of Caribana at Nathan Phillips Square yesterday.

One of Toronto’s most popular festivals will receive an infusion of cash after years of bleeding money, the city said during Caribana’s official launch ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square yesterday.

City Councillor Joe Mihevc said funding from the city would amount to $436,000, a nine per cent increase over last year. The province announced it would match that amount.

It was a second straight year of good news for festival organizers, who last year made almost $9,000 in profit after several years of barely scraping by. In 2006, the festival brought 1.2 million visitors and revenues of $912,000.

The festival has been expanded to five weeks this year, instead of three.

There will be twice as many events to regale Caribana-goers this year, said Joe Halstead, chair of the Caribana festival committee, partly because it’s the festival’s 40th anniversary.