Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 24 April 2020
Over the course of eight books Berot will show and tell the story of Mas. His backstage pictures of all aspects of Toronto’s annual Jump Up reveal how the magic of Carnival is put together.
You might not know who he is, but you have seen Toronto Carnival photographer Anthony Berot at work. It might have been on the parade route of North America’s largest street festival, or in the photographers’ corral at a midnight costume launch (imagine a mosh pit filled with people madly pointing and clicking their Canons and Nikons at everyone wearing feathers,).
Or you may have seen him taking pictures of 3,000 children dressed in Mas costumes, proudly dancing their way through Malvern at the annual Carnival Kiddies Parade. Anthony Berot has been taking pictures of the annual parade of youngsters so long he is now photographing children of the first costumed children he took pictures of!
Anthony Berot is a permanent fixture in Toronto when it comes to covering all aspects of the carnival arts. Fifi. Connector. The late great Dick Lochan. He and his cameras have been at every Calypso monarch contest this century, taking pictures of the very best performers this country has produced. Machel Montano, Des- tra, David Rudder and Ozzie Gurley are among a long list of international soca stars whom he has photographed on stage in Toronto. And that’s not all. Marches. Press conferences. Blockos. Fund Raising Fish Fries. Community Funerals. They all have one thing in common – the ever-present Anthony Berot with his Canon camera.
For over ten years he has taken his cameras where no other photographer has tread - from back stage right to the epicentre of the Grand Parade. He has won the respect of models, promoters, stars and the common people. He is super professional but is also known to dance and sing in the photography pit waiting for an event to start. Even as he wines he manages to take world-class pictures that no other living photographer has yet to match.
Still can’t remember seeing him? Well you have seen his work. In art galleries, in magazines, in the Caribbean Camera and in popular TV shows. His presence online is unparalleled. Punch in Toronto Caribbean Carnival into Google Images and you will see his work both authorized and not – his pictures are probably the most “borrowed” pictures out there.
Why is his art in so much demand? It is a matter of love and trust. His love for the Caribbean arts, and the trust that he has won in the hearts of the people he is photographing. They know his work is capturing the soul, the beauty and the history of Canadian Carnival.
“As a dedicated Carnival Photographer and advocate for Caribbean culture, I've created this collection to bring to light the Legacy of Caribbean Carnivals to all who love this celebration of freedom but do not know or forgot why we celebrate this way or why we play Mas,” explains Mr. Berot.
The Trinidadian Canadian is officially a senior, but his pictures will forever be filled with youthful exuberance. As a Carnival photographer his work will never age! He is a cultural advocate and founder of the Canadian Caribbean Photographic Arts Collective. He has published several limited edition books about the Canadian carnival arts scene and has produced numerous television shows about Carnival, Calypso and Pan. He is the official Photographer/Videographer and Media Partner for the annual Caribbean Tales International Film Festival, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (The People's Resident).
“Growing up in Trinidad, I was deeply involved in cultural productions and Mas making. With this Carnival Arts Collection I hope to share my knowledge, photography and that of others with similar experiences in all factions of the Carnival Arts.
The highly colourful first volume is free and there are seven more free volumes in the works. The link to the Carnival Arts Collection is: https://indd.adobe.com/view/