Carifiesta did not meet certain criteria for funding: city

By News Staff

Organizers of Montreal’s Carifiesta festival and parade did not meet certain criteria for funding this year, says the city official responsible for the file.

Both parties met Wednesday afternoon with organizers saying, “there was no change and the file is still rejected. We will be putting out a release within the next days ahead.” Adding, “the city is firm on it not happening.”

Ericka Alneus of Montreal’s executive committee would not reveal specifics as to why Carifiesta was denied $30,000 in funding from the city.

“Some criteria that are important is how the budget has been made, is the governance OK, is there a proclamation?” said Alneus. “So some certain things. And as I said from the committee that analyzes their demand, they were not meeting those criteria.”

Carifiesta celebrates Caribbean culture in Montreal. The festival, first established in 1974, was scheduled for July 8 this year. Without the city’s support, it seems the parade can’t go forward.

“I don’t appreciate the narrative out there that we’re not organized,” says Carifiesta organizer Everiste Blaize. “All the people that are supporters here and at a distance, put your money where your mouth is and help – now is the time.”

Alneus, who’s responsible for the file, would not confirm if the parade will be cancelled when she spoke to media earlier in the day, before the meeting.

Ericka Alneus of Montreal’s executive committee on May 10, 2023. (Alan Sukonnik/CityNews)

The parade’s organizing committee says it received a letter from the city May 3 saying it was not selected for the funding.

“Given the quality of the applications received, the evaluation committee had to make choices and select projects that most closely align with program objectives,” reads the letter addressed to Blaize. “Unfortunately, your project was not selected by the committee.”

Alneus says she sympathizes with the community, which was left confused and frustrated.

“Being part of the Caribbean community and being an attendee of this festival since my early 20s, I understand the disappointment,” she said. “And now it’s time to be in solution mode and see for the future what can be done to make sure that the Caribbean community can celebrate their culture and share it with the other Montrealers.”

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