Carnival in Toronto is one of the most anticipated events of the summer. A three-week event that encompasses Caribbean cuisine, music and culture – the event has grown from its modest roots and this year celebrates its 46th year. With every year something new, exciting and innovative is introduced to the mix – from changing parade routes to new mas bands, and this year is no different. For the first time in its existence, a soca superstar will take part in the official events of carnival as the Monarch of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival.
This year’s inaugural “ambassador”, is none other than soca sensation – DESTRA! Over the years, we have all jumped up to her music and gyrated to the infectious beats of her hit songs like Bonnie and Clyde and I Dare You. This year, for the first time ever, Destra will actually be taking part in the parade and playing mas with her legion of Canadian and American fans!
Destra Garcia hails from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and since her debut on the international soca scene in 1999 – she has become a force to be reckoned with. As a female in a notoriously male industry – Destra has many “firsts” under her belt including becoming the first female spokeswoman for Caribbean telecommunications giant, Digicel, in 2006. Some of her other accomplishments include sharing the stage with international superstars like the Heather Headley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Ja-Rule, Rihanna, Mary J Blige, Patti La Belle, Natalie Cole, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé. To date she has released seven albums, her first being Red White and Black in 2003, Laventille in 2005, Independent Ladies in 2006, Soca or Die in 2007, HOTT in 2008 and Welcome Back in 2011. Her two releases from 2012 (Beautiful Day and Breaking Away) have also created waves in the dance and house music categories.
For the past seven years Destra has won many awards and accreditation’s some of which include 15 Soca Awards and five COTT awards (three of which were best female songwriter from 2004-2007 and best pan song 2006). She remains one of the the most requested female Soca artists of the Caribbean and the world. Her latest acclaim would be “Best Female Soca Performer” at the IRAWMA awards held in Trinidad last year. As part of her official duties as this years “monarch”, she will help officiate the King and Queen competition and the Grand Parade. She will also assist in the crowning of the King and Queen of the Parade. On Saturday, August 3rd she will appear at the judging stand of the Grand Parade in Exhibition Place and then will perform for revelers inside the Park at the Band Shell at 2 pm.
And finally on Sunday, August 4th Destra is headlining Fire Fete at the Sound Academy at Polson Pier (formerly The Docks). Over 3,000 people are expected to attend the Sunday night (10 pm) party with Destra and her band. Also appearing on the bill will be Alison Hinds and her band and KI & 3veni.
For more information about all these events stayed tuned to the blog for more with Miss Destra!