Ruth writes: It was billed as a “Multicultural Show” hosted by the “Youth Council”. I’m always keen to find out about different expressions of multicultural Toronto and I hadn’t heard of this event before. The organizers didn’t have pictures that indicated the flavour of the program nor did they have a website about it. It sounded inexperienced but intriguing. I asked to attend a rehearsal.
The youth were about 13-18 years old. What did they consider “culture”? They had heritage roots in such countries as Finland, England, Nepal, Italy, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. Most were born in Canada but the Finn knew no Finnish. The “Native American” didn’t know which First Nations her ancestors had come from. This was no surprise; it is so typical of many Canadian young people.
The performances I saw were reggae and hip hop. Youth Outreach Worker Sabrina Novello-Cheatley is of Italian heritage. She will be performing a belly dance. And there appears to be other cultural items as well.
The event is also multicultural because for $1, it is offering French baguettes, jerk chicken, and nachos and salsa from Spain. Food is both donated and home-made. There will be a fashion show too. I took pictures of some of the performers, trying my best to understand and appreciate these cultures I know so little about. (I was brought up on Beethoven, Gershwin and ching ming.) I won’t be able to go but it’s worth a visit to find out what our young people are doing. The venue is close to the Victoria Park subway station at 63 Pharmacy Ave. It is easy to get to.
It is also one of many opportunities we have to enjoy Toronto’s diverse cultures for free or nearly-free. If you go to this one, you might discover some new talent.
You can find more multicultural events by asking your neighbours about their cultural festivals and events. Hopefully, they will take you with them.