Toronto is full of events that link us to the outside world and countries that have given us our many wonderful citizens. We are grateful to those who have enriched our lives. Here are a few of our free or nearly-free upcoming events and their national origins. And there are many other events that we haven’t been able include.
Black History Month. Kuumba. Two weekends February 3, 4, 10, 11. Free. Programs include: Shak Shak, Neu Jenarashun, and Comedian Trixx, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. ttp://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/festivals/kuumba/
Black History Month. Toronto Public Library. Many branches. Free. 55 programs including South African gumboot dancing, Black Lives Matter, films, drumming and steelpan workshops, gospel singers Toronto Mass Choir, women in hip-hop, Sir George Williams Race Riot, African Canadian veterans, Author Roxane Gay. For the list of library programs: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?N=4293412646&Ns=p_pub_date_sort .
For information about Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State, Bad Feminist and Difficult Women: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/25/roxane-gay-simon-schuster-milo-yiannopoulos.
For those who don’t want to go out in the cold, the Public Library might have Black History Month films like Belle for you to borrow.
Black History Month. A Special Exhibit at St. James Cathedral to mark Black History Month and the diversity of the Black Community within the Cathedral. Sunday, February 5 – Saturday, February 25. 9am-5pm every day except when services are in progress. Free. Everyone is welcome. Opening service: Sunday, February 5. 11am. The Homilist will be The Right Reverend Peter Fenty, the first Black priest to be consecrated as bishop within the Anglican Church of Canada. All music by Black composers, including Nathaniel Dett. The Cathedral Church of St. James, Corner of Church & King Streets. For further information, Contact Nancy Mallett: 416-364-7865, ext. *233. http://www.stjamescathedral.on.ca/HistorybrArchitecture/BlackHistoryExhibit/tabid/662/Default.aspx
China. Lantern Festival. February 4 & 5. 12–6pm. Free. Metro Hall, 55 John Street (SE Corner of King St and John St). Lunarfest.org.
China. This is not an upcoming event. This item is for people who don’t want to go out into the cold. I just wanted to share two particularly heart-warming photos with you, one of them below. The second is online. Organized by the Chinese Canadian Archive of the Toronto Public Library, nine Torontonians who attended the Chinese Canadian Institute and graduated preschool together in 1945, gathered at the Reference Library late last year to reconnect for the first time in 71 years. See: http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/local-history-genealogy/2017/01/kung-hei-fat-choi.html
England. The Commemoration of the 65th Anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty The Queen. Sunday, February 5 at 4:30pm. The Cathedral Church of St. James, Corner of Church & King Streets. http://www.stjamescathedral.on.ca/
Finland. Sounds of Finland. February 5. 3-5pm. $30. February 5 begins a year of Suomi 100 events with a Centennial Concert showcasing the wealth of musical talent found in the local Finnish community. George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street. http://finland100toronto.com/centennial-concert/ . Note: This is Finland’s centennial year of independence from Russia. For this reason, we are listing this important event in spite of its higher than usual (for us) price. http://suomifinland100.fi/info/?lang=en
Interfaith Harmony Week. WIHW was unanimously adopted in October 2010 by the UN General Assembly. Toronto is commemorating it with events on February 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 at various venues around the city. They include First Nations, Hindu, Wiccan, Zoroastrian, Mysticism in Judaism, Hinduism and Islam, concerts and other performing arts, prayers, and chants. Some events free. For details: http://www.interfaithtoronto.ca/events.html.
India. Saraswati-puja. Worship of Hindu Goddest Saraswati. February 4, 10am. There is no fee, but you do have to RSVP. 1386 Gerrard St. http://torontotabla.com/event/saraswati-puja.
Ireland. A Terrible Beauty Voices from 1916. Wednesday, February 1. 8pm. $10. Film with “Dramatized Readings from Statements, extracts from letters and speeches from the day by day happenings, by and about the sixteen executed leaders of the Rising; gathered from contemporary sources, with appropriate musical interventions” The Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm Street. Tickets $10.00 Phone: 416-932-3960.
“Please be sure to book in advance, as the previous performance of this Commemorative Evening of the Uprising was sold out …” For this and other Celtic events: http://canadiancelticarts.ca/Events_Calendar.html.
Ireland. Open Door Ceili. Saturday, February 4. 8-11:30pm. Tickets $15.00 – Cash Bar. Everyone welcome – (Beginners and advanced alike). Royal Canadian Legion, 3591 Dundas Street West. Barry’s Irish tea and home baked treats. Live Music, Great Dancing, ceili, set and waltzing too. Free Parking, TTC accessible. For more information contact Geraldine 416-573-1205 or Mary 905-330-7972.
For this and other Irish events: http://saturdayirishradio.com/city-events-detail.php?Open-Door-Ceili-363.
Multicultural. Volunteer help needed in a move. February 4. 11am-4pm. One of Toronto’s unusual book stores is moving across the street. A Different Book List, which specializes in multicultural and multiracial books, would like a hand. 777-779 Bathurst Street just south of Bloor. In the process you can learn about books on Black History, First Nations, Japanese-Canadians, Che Guevara, etc. http://www.adifferentbooklist.com/.
Ukraine. Enemy Aliens: The Camps, “a feature film written by Ryan Boyko about Ukrainians in Canada. Based on Canadian Internment Operations 1914-20, erased from historical records in 1950s.” Series of short videos. Free if you have a computer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3vrSvLfk_E&feature=youtu.be&a.
Please keep sending us information about events such as these at least a week in advance, preferably longer, to email@example.com. It helps to have posters. Join us on Twitter.com/torontomulticul for last-minute festivals that we can’t get into our blogs. Subscribe to our newsletter that inform you of new blogs. Email us stories of your adventures in Multicultural Toronto. Enjoy the diversity. Many thanks. Ruth.