Wow! Spring really is here. Festivals and trees are blossoming all over the GTA. This first week of May and the rest of the month have so many events reflective of our culturally diversity that I can only list a small percentage here. No one can possibly see them all anyways – so you have to choose from a few sample events, some of them starting the first week in May and continuing through the month. Please mark your calendars so you won’t miss your favourites.
Asian Heritage Month. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/asian/declaration.asp.
Asian Heritage Month. China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Philippines, Bharatanatyam to Bolly-Hop, food to henna, Malala Yousafzai to Joy Ogawa. Our amazing Public Library has over eighty events this month related to Asia. Some are only an hour long, some all day. Some are for adults and some are aimed at children and they are all free. Most give you an opportunity to meet important people from other cultures. Only a few films: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?Ntt=Asian+Heritage+Month
For other Asian Heritage Month events see: http://www.vmacch.ca/alpha/events/index.html
Bangladesh. Take ActionFAST for Bangladeshi Garment Workers. May 4 & 5. 7pm-12am. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. West, (at Dovercourt).
• Canadian and Bangladesh bands, singers, dancers, food
• Pop up fashion market of indie Canadian designers
• Mock Sweatshop – sew giant t-shirts with garment workers from Workers United Canada
• Rana Plaza Memorial –remember those who died making our clothes
• Art by and about Bangladeshi garment workers
Take ActionFAST website coming soon!
Generously supported by Unifor, Public Service Alliance of Canada, United Steelworkers and Private Donations. Contact: Robin Pacific firstname.lastname@example.org. 416-994 9980. www.robinpacific.ca
Buddhist. Buddha’s Birthday Celebration. May 6 and 7. Zen Buddhist temple.
Saturday May 6:
4 pm, Public Forum: Praying with Our Feet—Religion & City Building by Joe Mihevc.
6 pm, Big Birthday Dinner & Music
A wonderful vegetarian feast and music offering. Come with friends and family to enjoy a celebratory evening. Donation.
Sunday May 7
10 am, Religious Service and Contemplation on Human Life
Noon, Blessing of Children. By Appointment. $10 donation.
4 pm, Introduction to Meditation: Talk and Demonstration. All welcome.
7:30 pm, Lotus Lantern Lighting and Chanting Service (Lantern dedication available)
A larger multi-temple birthday celebration is coming up later this month on May 28 in Mississauga’s Celebration Square.
England. Morris and other dances. They appear every year starting at dawn on May 1 in High Park near the restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get there by subway at that hour, but there are buses along Bloor Street West and it’s a short walk if you bear left from the main Bloor Street entrance. This free event doesn’t get advertised and the dancers do it for the joy of dancing, for being together, for tradition, and for fun. It’s a great way to welcome Spring. Rain or shine. They will also be singing at Castro’s that night with Pressgang Mutiny. For more information, see: http://www.greenfiddlemorris.ca/About_Us.php. For one of our previous blogs about this event: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2016/04/26/641-englands-morris-dancers-may-1-2016/
First Nations. Christian. Multicultural. Niigani-Gichigami Gratitude Walk – St. James Cathedral Water Festival. Saturday May 6. 10am-2pm.” All are welcome to meet at the waterfront, at the bottom of Sherbourne St. in Toronto for an interfaith/cultural service of gratitude for Niigaani-gichigami/Lake Ontario. Opening prayers will be led by an Indigenous Elder, prayers and words will be offered by faith leaders, and we will walk towards St James Park at Church and King St. for a Halal BBQ, live music, and artistic activities for all ages.” https://stjamescathedral.ca/water-festival
Israel. Raising of Flag on Israel Independence Day. May 2. 9am. Toronto City Hall. For other flag raisings this month, see: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=b3097aac783a1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=7bbdb3066f9e1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
Japan. Bazaar. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court. http://www.jccc.on.ca/en/events/annual/bazaar.php
Jewish Heritage Month. Proclamation Ontario Government: http://www.holocaustcentre.com/Programs/Jewish-Heritage-Month
Schedule of events ( to be updated): http://ontariojewishheritagemonth.com
Multicultural. Black History, Germany. Lebanon. Old Ontario, Syria, etc. Scotia Bank CONTACT Photography Festival, “…the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural experience in Canada, with over 1500 artists in 200 exhibitions and happenings throughout the month in the Greater Toronto Area… “ Most are free .Dates differ between April 29-June 24. http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com
A few samples from every exhibition are on-line. Themes from other cultures include:
Arctic. Akimbo. Ice in the Palm House. Allan Gardens. http://www.akimbo.ca/106320
Black History. Free Black North. (Old Ontario). Descendants of former slaves. Art Gallery of Ontario. https://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/2017/primary-exhibition/art-gallery-of-ontario-free-black-north
East Germany. The Stasi Archives. Loop Gallery: http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/2017/featured-exhibition/loop-gallery-deutsche-demokratische-republik-the-stasi-archives
Multicultural. National Pictures of the Year 10th Anniversary. First Canadian Place – Main Lobby: https://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/2017/open-exhibition/first-canadian-place-main-lobby-npac-national-pictures-of-the-year-10th-anniversary
Syria. Finding Home (old Damascus). Toronto Centre for the Arts: https://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/2017/open-exhibition/toronto-centre-for-the-arts-finding-home
Multicultural. World Labyrinth Day. Saturday, May 6.1-2pm. Free. Trinity Square Park. The Labyrinth Society has declared the First Saturday in May as World Labyrinth Day. For a labyrinth where you can take part in this worldwide movement on this day or at other times: http://www.labyrinthnetwork.ca or email: email@example.com
Multicultural. Family Camera. May 6 to October 29, 2017. The Family Camera. “For Canadians, family photographs are often linked to stories of migration. Whether recent or in the distant past, over short or long distances, international or even within Canada, photographs play an important role in these experiences. From departures and arrivals to everyday moments and milestones, they capture these journeys and keep us connected; even the family photos that are lost or destroyed along the way can still linger in our imaginations…”
Two venues: 1. the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM), May 4 to August 27. Entry by donation. http://artgalleryofmississauga.com/exhibitions.htm l and http://artgalleryofmississauga.com
2. Royal Ontario Museum. Included with regular museum entry fee. http://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/the-family-camera
Multicultural. Small World Asian Music Series. May concerts. Various dates, venues, and prices. http://smallworldmusic.com.
Friday, May 5 – Monsoon (Canada/India) – Small World Music Centre. http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/monsoon
Saturday, May 6 – Globetrotter – Retro Bollywood (Canada) – Round. http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/globetrotter-retro-bollywood
Saturday, May 13 – Hidayat Husain Khan & Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil (India) – Macleod Auditorium. $25-$35. http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/hidayat-husain-khan-manjusha-kulkarni-pati
Sunday, May 14 – Kayhan Kalhor & Alireza Ghorbani (Iran) – Toronto Centre For The Arts. $30-$60. http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/kayhan-kalhor-alireza-ghorbani
Saturday, May 20 – World Fiddle Day Concert W/ Kousha Nakhaei & Amely Zhou (Canada/Iran/China) – Aga Khan Museum. https://worldfiddledaytoronto.ca
Myanmar. Burma.: “Horror and Hate: Persecution of the Rohingya”. Friday, May 5. (Program: 7 pm-9 pm | Photo Exhibit 6 pm-9 pm) .Free. Noel Ryan Auditorium, Mississauga Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Mississauga. Speakers: Jean-Nicolas Beuze – Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada; Anwar Arkani – Founder Rohingya Association of Canada (RAC); Ahmed Ramadan – Outreach Coordinator Burma Task Force and Andrew Day & Liz MYS – world renowned photographers who also work as aid developers and coordinators for Rohingya in South Asia providing health care, education, and living support for refugees. They are authors of “GYA Arakan” a book telling the struggle of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Russia. Demonstration. May 6. 1pm. “To celebrate and commemorate Victory Day. To remember heroes of World War Two. Demonstration of IMMORTAL REGIMENT (heroes of World War Two). To stop demonizing Russia. To stop sanctions against Russia. We will start the demonstration at the south west corner of Yonge and Dundas. Meet: South west corner of Yonge St. and Dundas St. West (Dundas subway station). 1) Walk north on Yonge St. 2) At College St. turn west. 3) Walk west on College St. 4) At University Ave. turn south. 5) Walk south on University Ave. 6) At Queen St. West turn east. 7) Walk east on Queen St. West. till front of Old City Hall on the north east corner of the intersection of Queen St. West and Bay St.” Thanks to Leon Mitsner. AllEvents.in <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sikh. Khalsa Day Parade. Mississauga. Parade route and road closures on: http://www.sikhspiritualcentrerexdale.com
This is the Mississauga version of the parade and festival the previous week at Toronto City Hall. See: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2017/04/21/753-april-22-30-in-multicultural-toronto-2017/.
Please keep sending information and posters about free or almost-free affordable events that reflect Toronto’s cultural diversity to: email@example.com. Go and enjoy them yourself. Learn about Toronto’s rich heritage. Talk with your neighbours who are involved in current world conflicts. Ruth.