The Manchester Day Parade is a large, colourful and high-profile parade, produced by Walk The Plank, commissioned by Manchester City Council and created by Manchester People. The parade is a popular event in the cities’ cultural calender, attracting active community participation and audiences in excess of 80,000 people in 2012.
In 2011 and 2012, CAN worked alongside Global Grooves, Cabasa Carnival Arts and a range of other partners to create an innovative, multidisciplinary carnival presentation which wowed local audiences and, in 2011 won us the You Got The Rhythm award. Key to CAN’s involvement in the Manchester Day Parade is the desire to keep a loud and proud Exodus presence on the streets of Manchester and to celebrate the diversity of the communities we work with.
In 2012, CAN supported Global Grooves’ Junk Jam project, a carnival arts project using recycled material to create a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary carnival presentation including 160+ costumed and masked floating butterflies, tormented drum-beasts, raging percussion bashers, powerful vocals, a traffic cone horn section and a giant dragonfly wagon.
The CAN section led the Manchester Day Parade and featured the Exodus butterflies; women asylum seekers from a range of countries dancing a samba-reggae choreography and wearing butterfly masks, brightly coloured carnival skirts, T-shirts and accessories with their own organic designs and made from recycled materials. The section was produced through a partnership with the Boaz Trust, where CAN ran a series of workshops to develop costumes and a dance performance for the parade.
Feedback from the Boaz Trust and the women indicated that they loved the opportunity to be part of such a high profile, public and spectacularly visual event. They relished wearing the costumes and performing and the project very clearly raised their self-esteem and confidence.