Karl Mullings, artist manager, co-founder of the Toronto chapter of the Cornwall College Alumni Association and founding organizer of the cultural event that gave birth to Caribana in Toronto was honored posthumously at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the KW Mullings Channel in Brampton, Toronto on October 17th – coincidentally the 50th birthday of his eldest daughter and founder of Stages Canada, Carrie Mullings.
Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown and Brampton West MP Murarilal Thapliyal celebrated the occasion with daughters Tanya Mullings, a veteran reggae artist and multi-award winner and Karl’s youngest Keely Davis.
“To make such a mark in your community, that you have a park, have a channel, have an ecosystem named after you is a legacy that lives on” Mayor Brown stated.
Other attendees at the historic event were singer Natural Fyah, whose vocal interlude and tribute song opened the ceremony; close friends -Tipper Henry and retired principal and radio host Luther Brown – who spoke heartfelt words which highlighted their fondest memories of Karl and his contributions to the community and the growth of the reggae genre in Canada and Jamaica.
“The Mullings family are honoured to have shared such a memorable event with the very community that our father and patriarch worked so hard to help grow and sustain and in a city which he also called home” Said Carrie Mullings.
Karl Winston Mullings affectionately called “Mullo” and “Mayor of Brampton” was born in St. Elizabeth and graduated from Cornwall College in Montego Bay. Music was his life. For more than 40 years he was the go to guy in Toronto’s world of reggae. He was instrumental in transforming the music scene in Toronto from what was predominantly soul/funk in 1963 to introducing reggae to the community. He is recognized as the “Forefather of Canadian Reggae,” his legacy and hard work giving foundation to the generations of musicians and artists now living in Canada. He was one of reggae music’s most influential artist managers, working with artists such as the late Jackie Mittoo, Lynn Taitt, Hopeton Lewis, The Fabulous Flames, The Cavaliers, The Sheiks and The Cougars. Karl also served as manager for his daughter, reggae singer Tanya Mullings.
Mullings operated Club Jamaica on Yonge St in Toronto, followed by the West Indian Federation Club and later the Caribana Club. In 1994, he was awarded the Peter Tosh Memorial Award by the Canadian Reggae Music Awards. In 2005 he was awarded the Circle of Distinction Award by the Caribbean Crucible radio program, 105.5 FM for his lifetime service to reggae music. Karl Mullings passed away in Toronto on July 29, 2005.