This period’s events seem to be dominated by Toronto’s Halloween and Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Fans of free or nearly-free gatherings in Multicultural Toronto can also experience the British Isles Show, Diwali, Arabic music, miniature Japanese bonsai trees and several more.
Arabic. Oum Kalthoum. Between Two Notes. A film about a musical journey to transcend borders through Arabic music. Thursday, October 27, 7-9:30pm. $5 minimum donation. Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street. “… Tel Aviv, Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Aleppo…. in a troubled world, these cities share a common inheritance, that of classical Arab music. 2006 | Dir Florence Strauss | France-Canada | 84 min | English, French, Arabic, Hebrew subtitles.” For more information: http://beitzatoun.org/event/film-between-two-notes/.
British Isles Show. Part of Toronto ZoomerShow 2016. Saturday October 29, 10am-5pm & Sunday October 30, 11am-5pm. $12 at door. Enercare Centre, (formerly Direct Energy Centre), 100 Princes’ Boulevard, Exhibition Place. Vendors. You can also meet, greet and take a selfie with special guest Ryan James Thomas, English actor best known for playing the character Jason Grimshaw on ITV’s Coronation Street. http://www.zoomershow.com/toronto/britishislesshow/
India. Diwali/Diwali/Deepavali. the Hindu Festival of Lights marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. This year Diwali is on Saturday, October 29. Like Christmas, this favourite festival is celebrated in many locations across the GTA during a period of over a month. You can find it in a wide variety of venues with a range of prices from free to expensive gala banquets that you book by the table. For a list, see: http://www.deepavali.net/canada.php. You could also ask your Hindu friends how they celebrate Diwali. They might even invite you to their temple or their home.
Among the free events are those at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple), 61 Clairville Drive. 416-798-2277. I like taking friends there during this festival, because you can see mountains of food offerings, many worshipping devotees, and beautiful statues of the different manifestations of the Hindu deity. Guides then were available to explain different aspects of the religion. However, temple officials recently wrote, “This year we could not work out the logistics for school visits tours. However people like yourself who makes enquiries, we can definitely work something out on Monday, October 31. You can use the standard booking Form: (http://www.baps.org/Global-Network/North-America/Toronto/Tour-Reservations.aspx).
Another Temple to visit is at: http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.ca/2016/10/diwali-celebrations-sunday-october-31.html.
India. Diwali Fest. October 28-30. This one is secular. Bramalea Civic Centre. www.diwalifestival.ca.
India. International. Exploring Faith Series: Hinduism. “A Day in the Life of a Hare Krishna”. Did you ever wonder what happened to this religious movement, infamous for aggressively pushing its message at airports in the 1960s? Speaker Kevala-Bhakti Dasa is Chairperson for the annual Festival of India, perhaps best known for its three chariots pulled by devotees down Yonge Street while they chant “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare”. The procession ends on Centre Island with lively discussions, yoga, and music. You don’t have to go to Centre Island to learn about it this time. October 27, 11:45am-1:30pm. Intercultural Dialogue Institute, 481 University Ave, Suite 711. $10 includes lunch, speeches and Q&A. http://toronto.interculturaldialog.com/exploring-faith-series-hinduism-october-27.
Italy. Meet Rose Grieco, author of District: Growing Up in Little Italy, a memoir. October 25, 7-8pm. Dufferin/St. Clair Library. 1625 Dufferin St. Please confirm event before you go: 416-393-7712. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMLIB040&R=LIB040
Japan. 64th Annual Exhibition Fall Flowers and Bonsai. October 30, 12-4:30pm. $5. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Kobayashi Hall, 6 Garamond Street. http://www.gardenclubsofontario.ca/toronto-japanese.htm
1. Evergreen’s 6th Annual Day of the Dead. October 30, 10am-3pm. Free entry. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue. Latin vendors, altars, cooking demonstrations, salsa competition, music, dances, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org. 416-596-7670. https://www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event-details/12482/
2. Casa Maíz. October 29, 4-10pm. Free. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. Mexica (Aztec) dancers, culinary creators, artisans, visual artists and performers. http://www.casamaiz.org/
3. Harbourfront Centre. Day of the Dead. Nov. 5 and 6. Free. http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/festivals/dayofthedead/index.cfm.
Multicultural. Social Justice Week. Ryerson University. October 31-Nov. 4. For enlargement of poster and details of program, see: http://www.ryerson.ca/socialjustice/index.html/
Multicultural. World Press Photo 16. I accidentally came across this magnificent collection of recent prize-winning photographs. Its subjects range from a wheel-barrel full of orangutans to tragic, desperate refugees in boats. The exhibition continues to October 25 at 6pm so there’s still time to see the newsworthy world at Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street. This is within walking distance of Union Station. Open daily from 9am to 9pm (including weekends and Thanksgiving). Free Admission. http://www.brookfieldplacenewsandevents.com/events/65/worldpress/.
My photos of a couple of the prize winning images do not do them justice. I hope they inspire you to see the collection on line or preferably at the exhibition itself in their larger sizes. They are online at: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2016.
Muslim. For Love and Mercy: Exploring Matrimonial Practices in U.S. Muslim Communities. Lecturer, Dr Juliane Hammer, Associate Professor and Kenan Rifai, Scholar of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Saturday October 29, 7-9pm. $5. Auditorium, Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive. http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/?p=14519
Palestine. A Palestinian Halloween with Ghouls and Jinns and other characters. Monday, October 31, 7-9:30pm. $5. Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street near Bathurst Subway Station. Learn about the equivalent of Halloween in the Arab world. http://beitzatoun.org/event/mythical-creatures-of-the-arab-world
Toronto. Halloween. Originally an ancient Celtic festival, this is the eve of the Christian All Saints’ Day. From dusk to about 9pm, children dress up in costumes like ladybugs, princesses, Harry Potter, zombies, vampires, etc. They go door-to-door “trick or treating.” House-dwellers usually oblige by giving them candy or apples. Many schools, bars and community groups also celebrate with costumes and parties. Many houses, stores and neighbourhoods are decorated with pumpkins and harvest themes for weeks before. Many have scary themes like grave stones, skeletons, cob-webs, and ghosts. Being frightened is part of the fun. Halloween street parties and pumpkin fests in many of our neighbourhoods and museums are also popular.
Please be aware of the sensitivities of our new immigrant families. For some, the fear of death and skeletons is not fun.
1. Halloween at the City of Toronto’s Historic Sites. After dark. Ghost stories. Spooky fun. Haunted walks. toronto.ca/museum-events
Colborne Lodge, October 21, 22, 28, 29. $7.50, $15 and $20 plus tax. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=cb6c2271635af310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
Fort York, October 26, 27, 28. $12.50 plus tax. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=ab897a334f6a0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
Todmorden Mills October 22, 23, 29. $5-$10 plus tax. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=93221d18ed7a0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
2. Annual Halloween Street Party in The Church-Wellesley Village. October 31, 6–11pm. Free. Three blocks of Church Street north of Carlton. The costumes are amazing and photo-ops are everywhere as the evening goes on. Music and dance. http://www.churchwellesleyvillage.ca/events ; http://www.blogto.com/slideshows/church-street-halloween-block-party-2013/1942/ ; and https://www.facebook.com/ChurchWellesleyVillage.
3. 8th Annual Halloween Bed Race and Pumpkinfest in support of Dorothy Ley Hospice. October 29, 9:30am-12:30pm. Free entry. Opportunity to donate to a racer or to the hospice. Bloor Street West in between Montgomery and Royal York Road, Etobicoke. Video and more information on: https://cause2give.unxvision.com/P2PWeb/Default.aspx?EventId=1001&LanguageId=1
4. Toronto West Halloween Fest. Bloor Street West and Windermere between Jane and Runnymede. Costume parade, dance party, performers. October 30, 10am-2pm. Free entry. Opportunity to donate to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation. http://support.stjoe.on.ca/site/PageNavigator/TWHF_2016_home.html#.V_A1PPT0_-s
Our featured Halloween image was taken in Toronto. Image Copyright ©2016 Ruth Lor Malloy
This is our last blog until early November. If I hear about interesting Toronto events when I’m away learning about multicultural China, I’ll try to post them on www.twitter.com/torontomulticul and in our “Reply” section.. Please follow us there. Please also send information and posters about free or almost-free November events to me email@example.com. Thanks. Ruth