By Michael Van Cooten
TORONTO, Ontario, December 5, 2018 — Richard de Lima, whose curriculum vitae boasts a 30-year career in engineering and business management, was appointed as General Manager of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, effective Monday.
He will be responsible for the overall management of the parent organisation — Festival Management Committee (FMC) — that owns and operates the Carnival, Canada’s largest Caribbean arts and culture festival.
“I look forward to working with our key stakeholders in the Mas, Pan and Calypso communities to forge truly collaborative relationships, where my objective is to evolve the Toronto Caribbean Carnival to be the best carnival in the world,” said the new general manager, whose vast portfolio of experience includes working for major tourism, hospitality and entertainment organizations in Canada, the Caribbean and other international locales.
He also brings into his new position, a robust passion for carnival arts and culture, evidenced by 43 years as a “mas maker”, masquerader and steelpan aficionado.
“We are grateful to be working with an executive, who combines both the required operational skills along with a deep knowledge of, and passion for, Caribbean carnival operations,” said Joe Halstead, FMC Chairman. “We look forward to our 52nd year of the celebration under his guidance and leadership.”
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival — formerly known as Caribana and established in 1967, as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations — is a four-week long, annual, summer celebration of Caribbean arts and culture that takes place in Toronto’s downtown core, with events and attractions across the greater Toronto area.
“As Canada’s celebration of freedom and diversity, our objective is to engage and invite Canadians and visitors, from coast to coast, to participate and experience the ‘Festival of Joy’ that happens every summer in Canada’s downtown,” noted de Lima.
Today, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival is reputed as North America’s largest event of its kind, attracting over one million participants and spectators annually.