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Saldenah 2009 Band Launch "A Tribute To Harold Saldenah"
Date: Saturday 30th May 2009
Embers Banquet Hall. Toronto, Canada
Promotions: Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club

Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery

Carnival ’round di corner... and yessss all Toronto masquerades will be down deh to take over the Lakeshore on August 1st. For the past month we’ve been to band launch after band launch to see the display of all the new Caribana costumes; and we feeling the Carnival spirit!!! TJJ was out with all force to capture these band launches and you know we had to make our final stop at Louis Saldenah’s launch to end the band launching month off right.

When we heard what the theme was for this 15 time "Band of the Year" winner, we knew that nothing but gorgeous costumes were in store. This year, Saldenah is paying a tribute to his father Harold Saldenah - well talk about Legacy!!! Some of you wonder what this legacy is. Well, Harold Saldenah has changed the face of mas as we know it!

TJJ was inside Ember's Banquet Hall around 10:00 pm, early enough to catch the models getting dressed, and late enough that the line up was around the building. You could feel the anticipation of the fete-go'ers as they waited to enter the building. Chunes were already pumpin' and de party was in full swing on the inside. Dr. Jay, Soca Vibes, Soca 101 Soca Prophets and Soca Messiah were handling us nice, and E-Man de Hype Man kept us on our toes all night long!

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Photos By Nadelle L.
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Around midnight, the models were ready and lined up to display Saldenah’s 2009 costumes, but before they made it to the stage, facts and a little history about Harold Saldenah were told to the audience. This made the crowd stop and reflect on all of what Harold Saldenah has done in the past.

In 1951, Harold came out with his first band in Trinidad Carnival. By 1955, his presentation of "Rome" astounded masquerades and spectators as there were elaborate casts of centurions, gladiators, and cesars. He used a 20 yard cape of purple velvet which was the FIRST introduction of standards to mas bands. In 1968, his presentation of "El Dorado City of Gold" was a mix of history and fantasy. He was the FIRST band leader to use foil and introduce metal to costumes to create a glistening spectacle in the sun. In 1964, he took "Band of the Year" with his portrayal of "Mexico" as well as won the People’s Choice and Queen of Carnival. He was also the FIRST band leader to put mas into sections. “Section mas” allows each section to shine as they individually crossed the stage. As a tribute to his colourful presentation over the years the Harold Saldenah Award is now awarded to the bands that best display the use of colour for Trinidad Carnival. Harold Saldenah died June 23 1985, but his legacy is passed on through his son and grandsons. Harold and Louis Saldenah have 21 years combined of "Band of the Year" winners, and it is now time to pay tribute to this legacy.

When this announcement was made and everybody heard all that Saldenah has been able to accomplish, the crowd was now antsy to see how these costumes would portray this legacy. When the "Tembu Warriors" came out onto the stage first the crowd's eyes was filled with excitement. TJJ's own Mizz Kayz modelled around de stage gracefully showing up this well-portrayed section.. Everyone was in awe to see how section after section was able to capture legacy and made a spectacular presentation of Harold Saldenah’s past themes. Other sections to follow were "Atlantis", "Fantasy of Jewels", "Mexico", "El Dorado City of Gold", "Psychedelic Latin America", "Glory that was Greece", "Pacific Paradise", "Masquerade" and lastly, "The Crees of Canada". It look like the best from each of Harold Saldenah’s past years were on display on stage ... WOW!

Together with Louis Saldenah and his sons, all Saldenah masqueraders past and present are ready to take over the Lakeshore this year as we "Meet Harold Saldenah"! If you're ready to make history with Saldenah check out their website at or visit the Mas Camp at 787 Warden Avenue and be part of the legacy. What section will you be in as we make history? Not just Mas, It's Tradition! Past Harold Saldenah. Present Louis Saldenah. Future Ronny Saldenah, Anton Saldenah, Aaron Saldenah!

Soca P and Mizz Kayz registered and ready fuh de road! See yuh on de LAKESHORE!!!!!