News / Toronto

The science behind playing king and queen in Toronto's Caribbean Carnival

The Ontario Science Centre will present an Innovation in Mas Award on Thursday to the best design. Last year, top honours went to Osei Brand.

Osei Brand won 2016's Innovation in Mas Award with this design called "Sport Fishing in the Caribbean Sea."

Don Mooreland / Contributed

Osei Brand won 2016's Innovation in Mas Award with this design called "Sport Fishing in the Caribbean Sea."

How do the kings and queens of Toronto's Caribbean Carnival wear heavy costumes for hours during the Grande Parade? A lot of engineering, experience and determination.The Ontario Science Centre will present an Innovation in Mas Award on Thursday to the best design.

Some facts about Osei Brand's "Sport Fishing in the Caribbean Sea" design that won last year's Innovation in Mas Award:

  • The "Sport Fishing in the Caribbean Sea" costume weighed about 200 to 300 pounds.
  • The whole structure is mounted on wheels to make it easier to move through the Grande Parade.
  • The costumes are specially engineered to balance the load.
  • Kings and queens must practise carrying the weight, as they wear the costumes for hours during the Grande Parade.
  • The outfit is made of steel, aluminum, fibre glass and galvanized wire in addition to all the decorative materials.
  • You can pull it apart and reassemble it; the protruding rods and fish come off.
  • The designer Osei Brand got a welder to make the base, but did his own wire bending.
  • It took two months to build this particular costume.
  • The judges spend 20 to 30 hours at the mas camps looking at designs and speaking with their creators.
  • Judges consider risk-taking, problem-solving and collaboration in their evaluation.

More on Metronews.ca