Caribana now Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival
Published Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:02PM EDT
After a lengthy battle over who owns the name of Toronto's largest Caribbean festival, Caribana has been given a new -- and quite lengthy -- moniker.
The festival organizers announced Wednesday that it will now be called the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival.
Billing it as the "same festival, same vibe," organizers say attendees won't notice any difference in terms of the programming at the event, now in its 44th year.
"All of the participants are preparing for another major turnout of attendees this summer," said Denise Hererra Jackson, CEO of the Festival Management Committee.
"Rebranding ourselves as the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival helps us resolve any ongoing trademark issues around the old festival name, and allows us to move forward with an exciting program that will appeal to members of the community of all ages."
The name change came after the Ontario Supreme Court ruled last week that the name Caribana belongs to the Caribbean Arts Group, who founded the festival but is no longer involved.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the former organizers criticized what they say is an attempt to take over a festival they believe they still own.
"The CAG is cautioning against the stealing and renaming of the Caribana festival as it is in violation of trademark law, and will be considered ‘passing off,' which is legal terms signifying a copyright infringement on intellectual property," said the release.
"If the FMC attempts to ‘pass off' the Caribana festival under a different name then it will be held liable and all parties associated with and in support of such a decision could also be held liable, including major sponsors and facilitators of this illegal action."
The festival includes musical and costume competitions, as well as a massive parade. It is receiving about $500,000 from the city and is one of Toronto's largest summertime events, attracting about 1.2 million people each summer. Its signature event, the parade, will be held on July 31 this year.