Toronto-based, award-winning Pan Fantasy Steelband presents “A Night of Fantasy Under the Stars” to commemorate its 26th anniversary. This event will take place under a specially-erected tent at Downsview Park, 32 Carl Hall Road, Toronto on Saturday June 23rd, 2012; showtime: 7pm.
Since Pan Fantasy is a North York-based steelband with its pan yard located at Downsview, it is a natural fit for it to host its upcoming event within this community’s neighbourhood.
“Last year, we orchestrated our anniversary show under a tent at Downsview, and it was totally beautiful,” says Wendy Jones, band leader and business manager. “The tent provided an opportunity for people to experience us in a different setting … not a hall. And since our fans had such a wonderful time last year, we decided to provide that same ambience again this year. There will be several special guests appearing including a house DJ, comedian(s), special pan soloists, and popular Caribbean calypsonians.”
Pan Fantasy Steelband’s performance repertoire comprises calypso, classical, reggae, jazz, Latin, pop, R&B, Soca, etc. This steelband’s players range in age from 14 to 65. It has a strong youth element; 40% of whom attend college/university during the winter months. However, during the annual summer months, Pan Fantasy’s experienced performers swell to its competition size of 75+ musicians.
Responsible for its sound is award winning arranger Al “Allos” Foster. Highly respected within the steelpan community, Foster has been Pan Fantasy’s principal arranger for the past 10 years. He was at the helm when Pan Fantasy won the Toronto “Pan Alive” Competition for 2005 and 2006. His stella arrangements have maintained Pan Fantasy’s position as one of the best Toronto-based steelbands for the past five years.
They perform at many types of private functions including weddings, birthdays, corporate functions, galas, and community events using a core stage side of 25-35 members.
Under Jones’ outreach stewardship, Pan Fantasy has also performed for the past three years with other traditional drumming communities including the Native drumming community based on Manitoulin Island, and with the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
“Both of our indigenous communities see the drum as a sacred beat connecting the love and life of the human realm with the heart beat of Mother Earth,” says Jones.
Tickets for “A Night Under the Stars” include dinner: $25 (adv); $30 (door); group rates available for tables of 10. For more info contact: 416-525-2391; 416-567-9103; www.panfantasysteelband.com.