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Caribbean festival coming back to Montreal this summer

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Following the cancellation of the Montreal Carifiesta parade in 2023, a new coalition is coming together to celebrate Montreal's Caribbean communities.

This summer, the Caribbean Coalition Network of Montreal will hold a festival and parade celebrating nations such as Jamaica, Barbados, and Guyana.

Carimas spokesperson Kirk Bennett said the city has already invested in their plan.

"The city gave us this permit, gave us the go ahead to do this," he said. "We were granted $30,000 from the city for this project. Our projected budget is $105,000. So, right now we are in a fundraising phase of raising $75,000."

Carimas's vice president, Cynthia Waithe, said their proposal was accepted because the organizations backing it have been part of the Montreal Caribbean community for decades and have long-term plans.

"[It's] a sustainability proposal, and when I'm talking about sustainability, I'm talking about having a plan that's going to be in place for the next five years," said Waithe. "So we talk about the marketing, we talk about fundraising, we talk about maybe having a digital footprint."

The Caribbean associations say they have to work together to keep the event alive in Montreal, especially since it represents such a vibrant part of the city's culture.

"It is a community event and not a coalition event," said Carimas president Mark Henry. "So we are asking for your involvement, your support."

They also said that in a city where some festivals are in doubt, everyone is invited to make this one a success.

"Every organization - francophone, anglophone - that wants to be part of putting together a phenomenal event that the city has never seen before," said Waithe.

CTV News reached out to the organizers of the 2023 Carfiesta that was cancelled but did not hear back.

Carimas said festivities will begin in June and include pageants, a parade and a party in the park. 

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