Cultures from four continents are among the choices this weekend in our free or nearly-free department. We’ve already told you about Japan, and Ethiopia. Just click on www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com and keep scrolling down. Here are some others:
Afrofest: July 9 and 10. I’ve always gone to Woodbine Park early afternoon, and even then, had a problem finding parking. Next time I will take the TTC. This festival was cut back to one day earlier this year because of noise complaints – but has now been reinstated to two. I suspect the evenings are livelier than the afternoons. If you like different varieties of African music, this is the place to be. The dancing is fantastic too. You can hear samples on: http://afrofest.ca/. The rhythms are catchy. The event is free.
Argentina: Free Tango lesson. Saturday, July 9 from 7 to 9pm. Joy of Dance, 95 Danforth Avenue, #302. Everyone welcome. Phone 41-406-3262 to confirm.
Carabram: July 8, 9 and 10. 12 different countries in different venues in Brampton. Includes Eelam, Hawaii, Ireland, and Nepal. $12 for a three-day passport. Performances, food, vendors. http://carabram.org/
Caribbean Carnival, formerly and still commonly called Caribana. July 5-August 1. Official launch July 5 in Nathan Phillips Square. Many events free. I love the Junior Carnival, this year July 16, 10am-8pm. Malvern and Neilson Park. The highlight is the lively and flamboyant Grand Parade on July 30, 10am-8pm. You can watch it for free along its 3.5 kilometer route on Lakeshore Boulevard but I prefer to splurge and spend $10-$20 for a seat in Exhibition Place. http://www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com/events.html#juniorcarnival
Eid ul Fitr: the end of the Muslim month of fasting is on July 6 so look for celebrations at mosques and fairs. The biggest carnival seems to be at the Enercare Centre (formerly the Direct Energy Centre), 100 Princes’ Boulevard. Free entry. $20 pass for rides. It also has food for sale, performances, interesting vendors, and of course, prayers. As a non Muslim, I’ve been to one of these and enjoyed it tremendously watching families having fun. See: http://maceidfest.com/toronto/.
France’s Bastille Day: July 10, 11-8pm at Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. France’s national day. Free entry for dancing and vendors. UEFA European Championship Cup final match live on a giant screen. Lawn bowling and volleyball. Lots of food and wine for sale. See also poster below.
Fringe Festival: Various dance and theatrical performances some with themes reflecting our diverse cultures, e.g. Chinese, Caribbean, etc. Various venues. $12 each for adults. http://fringetoronto.com/
Harbourfront: Friday, July 8 has German artists, and Reggae and Haitian music. Saturday, July 9 has Mongolian throat singing, and music with Nigerian and Caribbean flavours. Sunday, July 10 has a Chak De Bhangra Workshop and then a Chak De Bhangra Dance Competition. I saw this competition two years ago and witnessed this colourful Indian folk dance at its lively best. It’s even better if you learn more about it in the related workshop. Free. See photo of Bhangra competition from 2014. http://bit.ly/29fG3E4
Latin Arts Festival: July 8-10. North York Civic Centre and Mel Lastman Square. http://ontariolatinartsfestival.com/
Taste of Lawrence: July 8-10. While not designated as an ethnic festival, this event had many expressions of multiculturalism when I saw it last. International food & cultural street festival. Lawrence Avenue East from Warden to Birchmount Street. It is also near a Filipino grocery store with a buffet table. http://www.tasteoflawrence.com/events/taste-of-lawrence.
There are probably more events. If you hear about them, please add them to our “Reply” section below. This is a great week to get a feeling of multicultural Toronto and to meet people from other cultures who also live here.