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BOMBAX Collection (Toronto)


Celebrating 50 years in Toronto, the Caribbean Carnival (aka Caribana) is an important event in the city as it brings in 4.5 million visitors/tourists per year, and never fails to be an action-packed series of events. Nia Centre, through their new Carnival Arts programming, will participate through conceptualizing and creating carnival costumes. By introducing the rituals, the historical significance, and of course the intricate artistic elements of design, Nia is celebrating the event and also helping to ensure it is sustained into the future by training the young people and welcoming their influence of new technologies, processes, and ideals.


Through a partnership with SugaCayne Designs, a beloved entity in Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival community, Nia Centre presents the BOMBAX Costume Collection. Nia’s costume, as well as eight other original costume designs by members of the Venom Carnival group were produced under the overarching theme of Kang-Ka- Tang: When the Iron Roars. A tribute to the historical foundation of "ole time mas" through Caribbean folklore.


Our sub-theme "BOMBAX" was based on the Bombax Ceiba, a tropical tree, native to Western Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and South East Asia, also known as the Cotton Tree or Red Silk Cotton Tree because of the beautiful cup-shaped red flowers it produces.


In Caribbean Folklore and some West Indian myths, the Silk Cotton Tree is a notorious symbol of the spirit world where one can find supernatural beings...for this reason, some fear cutting the Silk Cotton Tree, with it’s soft wooden trunk (covered in spikes to deter animal attacks) as these spirits may be released as a result.

The Red Silk tree produces flowers with white capsules that contain cotton-like fibres when ripe it can grow to up to 60m, but is often about 20m in height.



** proceeds from the sale of the BOMBAX Collection will support youth arts and culture programing **



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