There are lots of places to celebrate diversity in our city, for free on Canada Day, Friday, July 1. You have to plan your day carefully to get to them all. The only fireworks we know of are at Mel Lastman Square and Ontario Place. Please let me know of others. Please let me know if I’ve missed any events aside from the BBQ at your brother’s.
Downsview Park: 8-10am. Canada Day Breakfast, free while quantities last. Enter at Tuscan Gate. Please note that due to an all-day ticketed concert, Downsview Park’s traditional Canada Day event and fireworks will not take place. 1-35 Carl Hall Road. Tel. 416-952-2222. For map: http://bit.ly/mENTJG
Queen’s Park: 10:30am-5:30pm. This has been a Government of Ontario tradition since 1967. This year the event begins at 10:30 am with the citizenship ceremony for new Canadians. Even for old Canadians, this can be a very emotional event as officials explain the meaning and obligations of citizenship. I hope other Canadians will be around to welcome newcomers to our country.
The Performance Schedule: :
12:15pm. Street Talk. House Band.
12:30pm. Morning River. Aboriginal
12:55pm. Olsi Dance Sport. Ballroom
1:20pm. Street Talk. House Band.
1:45 p.m. Liliom Folk Dancers. Italian-Hungarian
2:10 p.m. Street Talk. House Band
2:35 p.m. Sakura Kai. Japanese
3:00 p.m. Na Rae Dance Ensemble. Korean
3:25 p.m. Street Talk. House Band
3:50 p.m. Arabesque Dance Company. Egyptian
4:15 p.m. Arkan Dance Company. Ukrainian
4:40 p.m. Greenfire Dance Theatre. Celtic
From 1:30 to 4:30pm or so, the Kids’ Stage will feature Shrek. Click on:
www.ontario.ca/canadadayfor more information.
Yonge-Dundas Square: 12 noon – 9pm. 5th Annual Multicultural Canada Day. 30-minute ethnic folk dance performances on the main stage with groups from Europe, Canada, South and Central America, Asia, and South East Asia. The Community Folk Art Council, for some 40 years, only promotes traditional arts. But it will have a Bollywood Dance Party starting at 7pm. You can learn how to dance Bollywood style then.
Harbourfront: In the ethnic and Canada department, there will be classes on how to make a maple leaf sun visor 1-6pm. At 1pm, Lisa Odjig, an amazing Ojibwe Hoop Dancer, is worth seeing. From 4-4:30pm, you can help judge the finalists of the O! Canada singing contest. From 5:30-7pm, you can eat Longo’s birthday cup cakes. For full schedule, see http://bit.ly/kE5zjd. 235 Queen’s Quay West.
CNE Grounds (near Dufferin Gate. Bus 29 from Dufferin subway station). Scotia Bank CHIN International Picnic. 8am-11pm. Bandshell Stage, Centennial Stage, Midway, and Better Living Building. Free entry and free rides. Food extra. This celebration goes on for three days.
For July 1, it includes: Bollywood, South Asian, Chinese, Polish, and Filipina performers. Everyday there are free rides, games, petting zoo, pony rides, birds of prey, and Zero Gravity Circus. The bicycle race is at 8am. Over three days, there will be 2000 performers from more than 15 ethno-cultural communities. Expect large crowds totalling 250,000 people.
CHIN is a local radio station which broadcasts 32 cultural groups. The picnic show times for July 1, 2 and 3 are on: http://www.scotiabankchinpicnic.com/pagedisplay.aspx?i=295.
On July 2, the picnic will include a Miss CHIN beauty contest, Portuguese singing contest, singing, and wrestling. On July 3, it will include a Mr. CHIN beauty contest, Italian and Caribbean performers.
Riverdale Park East (North of Gerrard on Broadview near the Gerrard Chinatown). 18th Annual Neighbours Together. 11-4pm. Free Kung Fu, seniors & children’s performances, lion dance, Pakistani singer, birthday cake and roast pork, etc. For information, tel. Valerie at 416-533-0445. This is for those who want to experience a neighbourhood party away from huge crowds.
11:00 – 11:15 Welcome – MC: Valerie Mah,
11:15 – 11:30 WoodGreen seniors – Cantonese confirmed
11:30 – 12:30 Lippert Music Centre – various performances confirmed
12:30 – 1:00 Kung Fu performance confirmed
1:00 – 1:15 Eastview Children’s folk dance confirmed
1:15 – 1:30 Lion dance confirmed
1:30 – 2:00 Official Opening, Cake and Roast Pig Cutting
Flag-raising ceremony by 38th Scout Groups of Agincourt, Mississauga, Richmond Hill & Toronto. O! Canada by Jeffrey. Greetings from VIPs:
2:00 – 2:15 WoodGreen seniors – Mandarin confirmed
2:15 – 2:30 Pakistani singer
2:30 – 3:00 SPACE confirmed
3:00 – 4:00 TBA
Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. 8-10pm. Tel. 416-395-0490. Official City of Toronto celebration. Canadian performers. 10:15pm fireworks. North York Centre Subway Exit. www.toronto.ca.
Earlscourt Park |Amphitheatre (Caledonia & St. Clair). FREE Canada Day BBQ! 12:00-4:00pm. Hosted by City of Toronto Parks & Recreation and Councillor Cesar Palacio. Free hotdogs & hamburgers, while quantities last! Entertainment. Jessica Amaro, Andrea Garofalo, Tha Spot Dance Centre, Enrico Capocci (DJ), and others. Neighbourhood festival.