During this season, I’ve found several traditional Toronto events that are worth while considering for multicultural fans. I aim for food for the mind and soul, for fun and contemplation.
Events listed here are mostly free or almost-free. They are not just about our Christian traditions, though there are many this month, of course.
Christian. Crèches from Across the World. Sunday, December 11 through Thursday, December 23. 12:30-4pm. Free. Donations welcome. Archives & Museum, St. James Cathedral Centre, 65 Church Street. “Other viewing times may possibly be arranged by appointment with Archivist, Nancy Mallett, 416-364-7865 X 233.” Archives@Stjamescathedral.on.ca. http://www.stjamescathedral.on.ca/HistorybrArchitecture/CrecheExhibit/tabid/603/Default.aspx
Christian. Noon at Met. Free recitals. Thursdays. December 8 (Stefani Bedin) and December 15 (Thomas Fitches). 12:15-12:45pm. Many of these concerts feature the historic Casavant pipe organ. By donation. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East. http://www.metunited.org/jmv4/index.php/events/eventdetail/5149/noon-at-met-free-recitals.
Christian. It’s a Wonderful Christmas. Broadway-style musical. December 10-11. $5. Church on the Queensway, 1536 The Queensway, (across the street from IKEA). Parking is free. This sounds like a lively, fun show. http://www.cpacentre.org and https://tickets.cpacentre.org/eventperformances.asp?evt=11
Christian. Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series, curated by Peter Drobac, features vocal chamber ensembles in a variety of sacred music from Eastern and Western liturgical traditions. December 14. 12:15-12:45pm. Free. 416-890-1710. “The intent of this series is to present music usually sung in a liturgical or devotional context, not as part of a service, and not as a concert, but for quiet meditation, or simply to absorb and enjoy. There is no applause, and listeners are encouraged to come and go as they wish.” Trinity College Chapel, 6 Hoskin Avenue, http://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/about/news/
Europe. Multicultural. The Christmas Market at the Distillery District continues to Thursday December 22. Free admission Tuesday to Fridays, $6 on Saturday and Sundays. Closed on Mondays. This market, inspired by European Christmas markets, has some performers from many cultures. On December 11 look for the Arkan Ukrainian Dance Company; December 14 Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir; and December 17 Romanian Folklore, Music and Dance. On December 21 Kosa Kolektiv will perform. It’s the lively, innovative Ukrainian group with whom we celebrated Spring in 2014.
Among the yummy offerings are Schnitzels, and Stickling’s German Bakery. Among the Russian style matryoshka dolls, I found Harry Potter.
More information about the market: http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com; for daily schedule: http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/event-calendar.html.
Finland. See Iran below.
First Nations. Peel Aboriginal Drumming Circle. Thursday, December 15. 7-8:30pm. On the Third Thursday of each Month PAMA and the Peel Aboriginal Network invite you to join an evening of shared traditions and songs. Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, 9 Wellington St. E., Brampton. Tel: 905-791-4055. http://calendar.pama.peelregion.ca/default/Detail/2016-12-15-DRUMMING-CIRCLE-WITH-PEEL-ABORIGINAL-NETWORK
Please be aware that the Native Canadian Centre at 16 Spadina Road (near Bloor Street West) also has many cultural programs including a Big Drum Social every Thursday evening, and hand drumming every Monday evening. See: http://ncct.on.ca/events/
Hong Kong. The roots of Hong Kong’s never-ending political crisis”rations. December 13. 2-4pm. Free. Munk School of Global Affairs, 208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place. Sponsors Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library and Asian Institute. http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/21752/. For other scholarly lectures on world events, see: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event.
Multi-Racial. Gender, Carding and Racial Profiling. December 8. 6-8pm. Free. ($5 suggested donation). OISE, Room 2212, 252 Bloor Street West. https://urbanalliance.ca./. This is one of a couple events organized to mark Human Rights Day. SOCIAL MEDIA: #UARRforum, @uarrtoronto. Facebook.com/UARRToronto. This event is sponsored by the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto
Iran. Finland. Canadian Opera Company. Free Concert Series. Tuesday, December 13. 12 – 1pm. “GGS New Music Ensemble. Brian Current, director. The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble presents a world premiere by the multi-award-winning Iranian-Canadian composer Saman Shahi; the large work, Aventures, by internationally acclaimed Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg; and Four Movements for flute, clarinet, harp, violin, cello and percussion by Ron Smith.” Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West. http://www.coc.ca/PerformancesAndTickets/FreeConcertSeries/December.aspx
Jewish. Latin America. Emerging Jewish Communities in Brazil and Elsewhere in Latin America. Presented by Daneel Schaechter. December 11. 7:30pm. $10. 864 Sheppard Avenue, West Toronto. 416-638-4783. http://www.darcheinoam.ca/event/emerging-jewish-communities-in-brazil-and-elsewhere-in-latin-america.html
Multicultural. Labyrinth Walks.
Christmas. Yule Fire. Monday, December 12. 6pm. Led by The Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East. “Taize Worship, based on the teachings of Brother Roger from Taize France, uses music with simple melody lines and periods of silence to quiet the soul and renew the spirit. There is no sermon–just a meditative service with candlelight, prayers, readings, silence, and soft music with repetitive words.” http://www.metunited.org/jmv4/index.php/events/icalrepeat.detail/2016/12/12/5284/-/celtic-christmas-labyrinth-walk-yule-fire
Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk. December 21. 12-1pm. Free. Toronto Public Labyrinth. Trinity Square Park near Eaton Centre: http://www.labyrinthnetwork.ca/events/
Multicultural. 2016 Toronto Climate Film Festival. Last day. December 11. 7pm. Free or PWYC. There will be short and feature length films, light refreshments, and engaging discussion on one of the greatest challenges facing the whole world. Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue. http://www.tcff.ca/
Tibet. Nobel Peace Prize Celebration. December 10. 11am. Non-Members $25 (includes lunch). See poster. Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre. 40 Titan Road, Etobicoke.
Ruth writes: If we find more affordable events that reflect Toronto’s cultural diversity during this period, we will try to add them to our “Leave a Reply” section below, time permitting. But please, no more traditional neighbourhoods or mall Santa Claus events or church carol sings. There are just too many to mention. I will try to list events of interest to fans of multicultural Toronto also on www.twitter.com/torontomulticul so please follow us there too.
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Please share your impressions of any of these events. Please tell us what generous Torontonian should do if they want to invite newcomers like refugees to join one’s personal Christmas dinner. If you have opinions on this or other matter, please write to me at: email@example.com.