On Saturday, July 4, Roots Cultural Association will be on St. Catherine Street in downtown Montreal doing what they have done best for close to four decades, showcasing the art of masquerade and adding that little touch of splendor to the Carifiesta parade.
This year’s presentation From North to South is what’s called in Trinidad, Indian Mas and traces the migration process of various native tribes from North to South America.
As they have been doing for the past 39 years, Roots will be the centre-piece of the waning parade, and according to Seymour Thomas one of the leaders of the group, it’s important for him for see costumes remain a part of Carifiesta.
He said he was drawn into Carifiesta because his family was regular participants, and now after investing a lot of money, energy and time he is addicted.
But he is troubled by what the parade has turned into.
“What we’re seeing these days is not what carnival should be, so we are doing our best to keep the color and creativity in the mas,” says Thomas.
Standing side by side with Seymour in that commitment is husband and wife team Inskip and Evelyn Raphael, who have been involved in the group for more than three decades.
Inskip, also a carnival addict, is one of the designers and builders for the band. He says he learned much of what he knows from former bandleader Steve Payne, and feels a duty to continue to do all he can for “the culture of carnival.”
Roots, which in its almost four decades participating in the Montreal carnival is the winningest band in the history of the parade, will have a full contingent of young revelers in the Kiddies Carnival on Saturday, June 28, and are inviting Montrealers to come play mas with them on July 4. Call 514-884-0488 or 514-927-0450