759. May 23 to the End of May and Beyond – 2017

A visit from one of Tibet’s main religious leaders. An opportunity to take selfies with GTA residents in heritage costumes from 20 different countries in one venue to show your U.S. friends. Here are some free or affordable, and a couple not so affordable upcoming events you might find interesting. Included are expressions of four different religions and at least 35 different cultural groups from various parts of the world. Their cultures are all very much alive in Toronto.

Barbados. Barbados on the Water, May 26-28. Some events free. Among the performers are Lil’ Rick and Rupee, DJ Puffy, Arturo Tappin Band, and Sonia Collymore, “Harbourfront Centre celebrates Barbados’ Salute to Canada’s 150th with the largest festival of Barbadian culture in Canada! Music, fashion, literary events and children’s activities. Don’t miss the rum tasting and plenty of music to dance the night away! Co-produced with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.” http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/festivals/barbadosonthewater/

Buddhist. Vesak. Buddha’s Birthday Celebration. May 28. 2pm. Free. Mississauga Celebration Square. Taking part will be about 30 Buddhist temples and Buddhist societies from Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Markham, North York, Richmond Hills, Oshawa, Brampton, Cambridge, Hamilton and Stoney Creek. For more information: https://www.vesakcelebration.com/ .

For our previous blog about this annual event: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2015/05/31/471-buddhas-birthday-bonnie-crombie-and-rohingya/ .

Canada. Sikh. Exhibition by distinguished Canadian painter Charles Pachter: http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/index.asp . Conversation with Charles Pachter: May 28. 3-4pm. General admission: $4-$5. Children under 5 free. Information about Charles Pachter: http://cpachter.com/

Sorry I didn’t discover this exhibition earlier but there’s still time to see it. Ruth

Imade of Komagata Maru and her passengers from Sikh Foundation of Canada.

There’s also time to see two Sikh exhibitions in the same building sponsored by the Sikh Foundation of Canada. One of the Sikh events has photographs of the shipload of Sikhs and other Indians who were turned away from Canada in 1914. This exhibit is part of PAMA’s Canada 150 program and “explores racism in a Canadian context.”

The other show is about Sikh art and artifacts in Canadian collections that interpret many elements of Sikh faith, poetry and spiritualism. Ruth

Charles Pachter, Komagata Maru, and Kings and Saints until June 11. Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives PAMA, 9 Wellington Street East, Brampton.http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/index.asp .

Copy of painting Promenade by Charles Pachter. Posted with permission from the artist. .


Ireland. God and Terror: an Unholy History? Tuesday May 30. 4pm. Free public lecture by Richard English, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast at the Chapel Auditorium, Victoria University in the University of Toronto, 91 Charles Street West, 2nd floor. Reception to follow. http://www.mqup.ca/lecture-by-professor-richard-english—god-and-terror–an-unholy-history–events-318.php .

Thanks to Maureen Oleary for this and information about other Irish related events in the GTA and area. For more Irish events including cèilidhs, join her newsletter at <moleary2001@rogers.com>.

Richard English, lecturer on God and Terrorism. Image from McGill/Queen’s University Press website.


Japan.  Road of Song and Dance. Lecture by Dr. Caitilin J. Griffiths. May 31. 6:30 pm. Free admission, RSVP required. This talk introduces the lives of female priests from the 14th and 15th century who belonged to a Pure Land Buddhist group known as Jishu. A prominent and popular Buddhist movement, the Jishu attracted a wide and diverse audience throughout the medieval period in Japan. The Japan Foundation, 2 Bloor Street East, #300 (above RBC) . http://www.japansocietycanada.com/event-2551174

Image from Japan Foundation website.


Jewish. Downtown Tikkun Leil Shavuot: All-Night Jewish Learning Festival. Tuesday, May 30- Wednesday May 31. 8pm- 8:30am. Doors open at 7:30pm. Free. Where Sinai meets Spadina: a full night of community, study, singing, snacking and more! Over 50 sessions reinterpret and re-imagine traditional Jewish texts and open up new community conversations. Special programs for kids and tweens/teens. All are welcome!

This myriad of learning opportunities includes a session by Eden Nameri: A Celebration of Foolishness: Tales from Chelm, 2am in Room 301. Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave at Bloor Street West. Pre-registration strongly encouraged online: www.mnjcc.org/tikkun .

Multicultural. Carassauga. Opening Ceremonies. Friday, May 26. 7:30pm. Free. A Parade of Nations, with a new Flag Dance showcasing the many countries represented and greetings from Special Guests. Outdoor Stage located at the Hershey Centre – south parking lot – 5500 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga. Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday.

Carassauga Festival of Cultures is the largest multicultural festival in Ontario. Since its inception in 1985, Carassauga has grown from 10 to 31 Pavilions that represent over 70 countries. This year Carassauga takes place on May 26, 27, and 28. The Festival is located at nine different cultural and recreational centres within the City of Mississauga. The largest group (20) is at or near the Hershey Centre, map: http://www.carassauga.com/visitorinformation/hershey-site-map .

Festival Hours – Friday May 26. 7:30pm to midnight; Saturday May 27 1pm to midnight, and Sunday May 28 1-7pm.

During the Festival weekend, guests will be able to visit multiple pavilions for only the cost of a Carassauga Passport. Passports are $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door. Free for kids 12 and younger (when accompanied by an adult Carassauga passport holder). Visitors will experience entertainment, food samples for sale at $2 each, and a wide variety of cultural adventures. For a list of pavilions, hours of entertainment, and descriptions, see: http://www.carassauga.com/our-pavilions/ .

The Pavilions this year are: Africa, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Latin America, Lebanon, Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. New Pavilions: Bulgaria, Korea, Nepal, Spain and Sri Lanka. Top pavilions in 2016 for compliance: 1st: Portugal, 2nd: Italy, 3rd Poland, 4th: Serbia, 5th: Egypt.

Multicultural. Doors Open. May 27 and 28. Hours vary. Most are open 10am-5pm. Free. This is an opportunity to explore any of 150 buildings in Toronto. Guides inside can answer questions. It’s impossible to visit more than four or five a day so one has to plan carefully. Among those of interest to fans of multicultural Toronto are the Aga Khan Museum, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Congregation Knesseth Israel, First Narayever Congregation, Hare Krishna Temple (ISKCON Toronto), Ismaili Centre, Munk School of Global Affairs (Observatory Site), Native Child and Family Services, Noor Cultural Centre, Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church and the Taric Islamic Centre. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=42eafa2cd4a64410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD .

For more information about each building including picture-taking policies, tours, maps, directions, etc., click on the photos at: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=0d0bfa2cd4a64410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=defaultkeep .

Ismaili Centre – Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Muslim. Ramadan. The month of fasting (during the day) and heightened praying starts around May 26-27 depending on differing calendars. The month celebrates the time when Allah revealed the first verses of the holy Quran to the prophet Mohammed. It ends on June 24-25. Ramadan is the holiest time of the year for Muslims around the world, and is the month of sharing. The greeting is not “Happy Ramadan”. It is ” Ramadan mubarak” which roughly means May Ramadan bring us blessings“.

Every year Intercultural Dialogues (IDI) facilitates family iftar (fast-breaking) dinners for those who wish to experience an iftar dinner at the home of a Muslim family, and make new friends.“This year Ramadan will begin on May 27th and will continue until June 25th. If you and your family members would like to attend such a dinner please register yourself at http://www.meetyourneighbour.ca  indicating your preferred location and date(s). IDI will do its best to find a host family closest to your location.

“Please note that sunset (time for breaking the fast) will be sometime around 9pm. So you will be asked to arrive for the dinner sometime after 8pm.”

I attended such a meal several years ago and highly recommend the experience. I would love to attend more if I had the time. See our blog: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2012/06/07/273-intercultural-home-visiting-in-multicultural-toronto . – Ruth

Images from Intercultural Dialogues website.


Portugal. Portuguese Walk of Fame. May 27. 5:30pm. Free. (Note: Gala Dinner is not free). Luis de Camões Way, 722 College Street. http://acapo.ca/event/pcwof .

For other Portuguese events of varying prices in May and June: http://acapo.ca/events. For our previous blog about Portugal Week: https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2014/06/13/485-a-report-on-portuguese-week-2014 .

Tibet. Karmapa. May 31. 3-4:30pm. Sorry, tickets no longer available for this free event at Convocation Hall, U. Of Toronto. Check availability for other lecture dates at this and other venues for $50-$100: karmapacanada.org .

‘The name “Karmapa” means “the one who carries out Buddha-activity,” and for seventeen lifetimes, a karmapa has embodied the teachings of Buddha in Tibet. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born a nomad in Tibet in 1985 and recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1992 as the 17th Karmapa. The young boy was brought to the Tsurphu monastery in Tibet to live and study for his life as a spiritual teacher and activist.

‘At age 14, the Karmapa made a daring flight from Tibet, and now works from a temporary camp in Dharamsala, India, near his friend the Dalai Lama. (After the Dalai Lama, he’s seen as Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest-ranking spiritual leader, though the two men lead different schools within the faith.)’ For more information about his Toronto visit: http://www.ksdl.org/blog .

You might be interested in the Karmapa’s 2009 TED talk about his life: https://www.ted.com/speakers/his_holiness_the_17th_karmapa .

Please send us posters about other upcoming affordable events that express Toronto’s exemplary cultural diversity. We don’t charge to post them and we don’t accept paid advertising. We will try to post as many as we can. Tell us about your adventures in multicultural Toronto. Subscribe to our mailing list above. Follow us on www.twitter.torontomulticul. Leave a Reply below or email us: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com. — Ruth











1 Comment

  1. Note from Muslim friend: Ramadan will be starting this week, which means that we will be fasting (no food or water) from around 3:50 am until around 9:00 pm… we will be really tired.

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