289. August 3-6, 2012 Weekend Events in Affordable Multicultural Toronto


Creole Festival Kompa Zouk. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy

This weekend is centered around the big Caribbean Carnival Festival with its Grand Parade on Saturday. Monday is the August Civic Public Holiday. It is also officially Civic Holiday Simcoe Day (and Hiroshima Day).

On Friday evening, the Irie Music Festival will open in Nathan Phillips Square, a family-friendly festival celebrating reggae, salsa, gospel, soul and African music. The Island Soul Caribbean Festival will be at Harbourfront Centre with music, dance, storytelling, Caribbean folk performers, etc. Both are free.

On Saturday, the Laotian Summer Festival will be in Norval near Brampton, 4 km. north of 401. You can expect Laotian performances, food and a soccer tournament with its $5 admission price. Here’s an opportunity to meet our Laotian neighbours. Unfortunately, the festival is not at their exotic Buddhist temple on Airport Road; however, you will get a chance to enjoy the impressive Croatian Centre.


Laotian Temple, GTA. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy

The Grand Parade of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival starts at 10am and goes west from Exhibition Place along Lakeshore Blvd. to Parkside Drive. It is a 4 to 6 hour parade. Because of the parade’s length, many delays and crowds, it might be worth it to splurge on a bleacher in the CNE Grounds. People going there will be searched for alcohol, etc. The price is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors or children.

One million people are expected along Lakeshore. We highly recommended this event if you like Caribbean music, fancy costumes and want to dance too.

The Irie Music Festival continues at Nathan Phillips Square, Queen and Bay. Look for its Art Exhibit too. The Island Soul Caribbean Festival will offer more performances in the afternoon at Harbourfront.

On Sunday, the Irie Music Festival & Art Exhibit will again be operating at Nathan Phillips Square. The Festival Kompa Zouk Ontario will stage a free concert at David Pecaut Square beside Roy Thomson Hall. The latter festival will have free admission and includes Creole (French-Caribbean) kids events, music, art, crafts, workshops, etc. Here’s your chance to try some Creole food, which should be for sale.

The Island Soul Caribbean Festival will continue at Harbourfront Centre with performers from Trinidad, Tobago, and Jamaica.

On Monday, banks, schools, government offices and many corporations and businesses are closed. Service industries, including shopping malls, restaurants and tourist attractions remain open.

This is the day for celebrating John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. We are grateful to him for abolishing slavery here. He founded York, which became Toronto. Thanks, Gov.

Entry to Fort York will be free and you will experience old British military traditions, a parade, tours, musketry demos, cannon firing, live music, exhibits, etc. You pay what you can at Gibson House, 5172 Yonge St. This is walking distance from the North York Centre subway station. You can get a tour of this historic home, kids’ activities, and homemade ice cream.

The Island Soul Caribbean Festival will still be at Harbourfront Centre. The Jambana Festival will jump at Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd. This festival is part of the year-long celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. It will have music, dance, comedy, Dominos, kids’ activities and food for sale. Expect to pay $7 at the gate.

Hiroshima Day acknowledges “those who work tirelessly to ensure that nuclear weapons will never be used again and to ensure that our cities remain safe for us and future generations.” A ceremony with music and Japanese drumming will be on Thursday, August 9 at the Church of the Holy Trinity. It commemorates August 6 1945, the day an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Please check our web-site: www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com for details, and in some cases, performance schedules and bios. Click on “Upcoming” for a printable version. And don’t forget to send us your impression of the performances, and notices of festivals we’ve missed. Our e-mail is: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com .


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