696. Weekend Events in Multicultural Toronto – July 14 -17, 2016

African, British, Chinese, Franco-Fete, Indian, Mexican, South Asian, Tamil, and Tatar events this weekend in Toronto. Someone asked me for a list of Chinese events here, but that’s not what we are about. We would like people from one culture to enjoy the festivals of other cultures. We don’t want them going only to their own festivals. Please take your friends to fun events in each others’ cultures.

African Dance Arts in the Park, Flemington Park, 150 Grenoble. July 17, 5pm. Free. West African.  www.luashayenne.com

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British Summer Music Festival: London Calling. July 14 to August 7. $20. Passes available. “Music from the baroque to the 20th century pop British Invasion!” Torontosummermusic.com.

Chinese mostly but other cultural groups represented. Night It Up! Night Market. July 15-17. Free entry. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd. Sports, food, vendors. Will they have stinky tow foo this year too? http://nightitup.com/

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Franco-Fête Yonge-Dundas Square. July 15-17. Free. Electro-jazz, hip-hop, blues, pop, etc. Most of the performers will be from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. http://www.franco-fete.ca/?lang=en.

44th Festival of India July 16-17. Free. Chariot parade from Yorkville Avenue down Yonge Street to Queen’s Quay, then ferry to Centre Island. http://www.festivalofindia.ca/.

Indian mainly but multicultural. July 17. Free. Fusion of Taste. Albion-Islington Square, Albion Road and Islington Avenue and surrounding areas. Outdoor celebrations of culture and food. 100 performers. Set in interesting neighbourhood with dosa restaurants, gold and diamond jewellery stores, and saree bazaars. http://www.fusionoftaste.com/ and albionislingtonsquare.com

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Indian – Kathak Dance. For more information: http://bit.ly/29IligV

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Mexican – Ritmo y Color. July 15-17. Free. You can find Mexico street culture and lakeside breezes at Harbourfront Centre. Mexican rock, cumbia, mariachi, folk ballet from different Mexican states, Astrid Hadad, etc. http://bit.ly/29EcWH1. If you don’t know what these are, why don’t you go and find out.

Astrid Haddad. Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

Astrid Haddad. Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

Festival of South Asia July 16-17. Free. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bengali and Sri Lankan cultures. Gerrard India Bazaar, Gerrard Street between Coxwell and Greenwood. festivalofsouthasia.com

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Tamil /Eelam The most thought-provoking religious event we have in Toronto are the Chariot Festivals of our Hindu Tamil temples, most of whose adherents are from South Asia. Once a year, at least one man will dangle from a crane for a couple hours, held off the ground only by hooks pierced into his bare back and legs. A dozen or so men will have their companions pierce their backs with hooks attached to cords. While they carry heavy wooden yokes on their shoulders, their partners will pull on the strings as they dance, skewers stuck through their cheeks. Why? You can ask them yourself. Many dancers speak excellent English. July 16.10am. Free. Sri Ayyappan Temple, 635 Middlefield Rd. (north of Finch). Tel. 416-321-6104.

Some but not all Hindu Tamil temples have similar events. July 23. 9 to 11. Free. Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Temple, 3025 Kennedy Road #10, Scarborough. Contact Jaya at 416-816-4019.

For other Tamil events in Toronto and the GTA; info@tamilheritagemonth.com; http://www.tamilheritagemonth.com/events/ and http://tamil.events/.

Tatarstan Sabantuy Picnic. Sunday, July 17. 10am-6pm. Contact Mirslu Arslanova, President, 416-604-0603. Cell 416-305-0604. This is the annual picnic of our small Tatar and Russian-speaking group with games and performances from the Tatar culture. This group has welcomed outsiders. http://bit.ly/29EjK7r and  https://www.facebook.com/Toronto-Community-Berlek-164710640241981/info/?tab=page_info.

“No. 4 Picnic area is south of Eglinton Ave. W (if you take Centennial Park Blvd.), north of Rathburn Rd., b/w Centennial Park Rd. & Elmcrest Rd. Parking: near Olympium Centre (entrance from Rathburn Rd.), larger parking from Centennial Park Rd. Picnic Area #4 is across the soccer field and pass the baseball courts (going to the west) – approx. 250 meters.

In the Program:
“10:00 – 12:00 – Registration, setting up tables, cooking national dishes, hot tea from samovar
For children: crafts & arts, preparing for the performance, national games
12:00 – 13:30 – Opening ceremony, greetings, concert and children’s show
13:30 – 14:30 – Lunch, national dishes, tea from samovar
14:30 – 16:30 – National Tatar games, contests
16:30 – 17:00 – Lottery, and closing ceremony
Please bring your family and friends (adult & children). It will be fun for everybody.

“Admission fee: $5.00 for a lottery, $1.00 for each coupon which can be used for food, games, crafts, and others (minimum 10 coupons per person).”

Many of our other diverse cultural groups also organize picnics in public parks during the summer.

If you find more events during this period, please add them below in “Reply”. We’d like to hear your reviews of events if you go to them. Write to us at: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com.

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