One of the biggest Caribana events ‘Carnival Kingdom’ was supposed to be held at Improve Canada (7250 Keele Street, Vaughan) from August 3 - 5. Unfortunately, due to unanticipated circumstances, it was cancelled, leaving many prospects and attendees upset. As the director of Canada’s largest home improvement centre, which provided space for the event, I feel the need to share an official response to the event cancellation and help resolve some misunderstandings.
First of all, I would like to say that I feel sorry that this highly-anticipated event has been cancelled. We are also very sorry that a lot of people did not get the chance to experience the Carnival, and that some people have experienced noise issues. This is definitely not the result and experience everyone was expecting, especially when considering hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. As a successful businessman with many years of experience, I can tell that the ‘Carnival Kingdom’ has been very well-organized, and if it was not for the noise complaints and permit revocation, then it would have been an amazing event. In my opinion, the decision to cancel the event was quite radical. It was the first time that the Carnival has been organized at Improve Canada, and a noise complaint could definitely be addressed in a different way, especially since there even was a suggestion to lower the volume, which unfortunately has not helped to resolve the situation. Despite some assumptions, we do not believe that the filed complains were a result of discrimination or racial profiling.
Improve Canada has been providing space for so many different occasions, and Carnival Kingdom could have easily been one of the best events we hosted at Improve Canada. Since our grand opening, we have organized many events, such as Russian Festival, Iranian New Year, Chinese Festival, and the Vaughan Home Show (the next one will take place from 21st to 23rd of September). The history of our events demonstrates the fact that we welcome communities from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, especially ones as prevalent and influential as the Caribbean community. Since we were just providing space for the event, we had no authority on the city’s decision. We have always had incredible support from the City of Vaughan, and representatives of the city are always welcome at our events.
We also would like to mention that we do not do events for profit, as Improve Canada has no financial gains in the most of the events it hosts. Despite the fact that some media outlets have called us an “outdoor entertainment complex”, we would like to inform the public that we are the largest home improvement mall in Canada, with more than 350 different home improvement stores, and our primary focus is to help Canadian homeowners improve their homes. We have gathered the best renovation solutions and products under one roof, which are represented by so many different people and serve the needs of homeowners of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
At Improve Canada, we highly encourage diversity and respect, this is why we do what we do and we welcome people to become a part of it – whether it is for an event, or to search for inspiration for their next home renovation. We hope that this incident will serve as an opportunity to be more inclusive and respectful towards each other, and we are looking forward to seeing you at Improve Canada in the nearest future.
Oleg Chekhter, President of Improve Inc.