These are just a few of the many events this week expressing Toronto’s famous diversity. The problem will be choosing where you want to spend your time. Consider the location carefully because of traffic jams! The following free or almost-free events are scattered all over the GTA and downtown.
Africa. Afex Festival. June 11-17. Some events are free including June 16 Soccer Competition, 4pm. Ross Lord Park, 4801 Dufferin Street North, and Taste of Africa, June 17. 2–10pm. Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street. afexfestival.ca
Asia. Multicultural. Taste of Asia Festival. June 23-25. Free entry. “Festival-goers not only get a taste of Asia through its culinary traditions, but through its art, culture and sport. This high-energy event fills the streets with two days of non-stop multicultural performances, from Chinese folk dance to Kung Fu and hip hop. A strong promoter of Canada’s diversity, it is now one of the biggest street festivals in the GTA.” See poster for times. Milliken Mills, Steeles Avenue East and Kennedy Road, Markham. http://www.taste-of-asia.ca
First Nations. National Aboriginal Day and The Indigenous Arts Festival. Jun 21-Jun 25. Free. Includes: June 24. Fort York NaMeres Traditional Pow wow. “… will celebrate the very best in Indigenous and Metis culture. Plan to spend the days under the open skies in downtown Toronto enjoying traditional and contemporary music, educational programming, storytelling, dance, theatre, and food. The series of events will energize the grounds of this historic site with powerful ancient traditions and compelling contemporary creations by Indigenous artists.” Full schedules at: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=edcd86750adeb510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
First Nations. Aboriginal Day. June 28. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square. “This year we have an exciting line-up of entertainers, including Amanda Rheaume headlining! As well as, all day Kid’s Arts & Crafts Tent, craft vendors exhibiting and selling their wares and Indigenous agencies showcasing what they are doing in the community.” http://ncct.on.ca/aboriginal-history-month-celebration/
Francophone. Franco-Fête (French Festival). June 23-25. Free. Harbourfront Centre. http://www.franco-fete.ca/?lang=en . See also: St. Jean Baptiste Day (Que.). Sat. June 24. http://globalnews.ca/news/3481867/special-saint-jean-baptiste-events-celebrate-canadas-150th-anniversary/
India. Hindu. Rath Yatra The Chariot Festival. June 25. 11am parade from Jagannath Temple, 2107 Codlin Crescent, Etobicoke to Hindu Sabha Temple, Brampton. Free vegetarian lunch and dinner. Live music and dance.
Jewish. Poland. The Evidence Room. June 25-January 28, 2018. Royal Ontario Museum, Level 328. Included in ROM entry fee. $14-$20. “Reproductions of architectural elements and related documentation from the Auschwitz death camp, constructed by Nazi Germany to exterminate over one million people. Ninety percent of the victims were Jews.” https://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/the-evidence-room.
Model of Auschwitz gas column in The Evidence Room. Photo by Fred Hunsberger, University of Waterloo School of Architecture.
Muslim. MAC Eid Festival 2017 – Eid Al Fitr. Sunday, June 25. 9am-6pm. June 25. Free. Pay for Carnival and food. Explore vendors. Ask your Muslim friends to take you if you don’t want to go alone. Enercare Centre, 100 Princes Blvd #1. June 24 ends the fasting month of Ramadan: http://muslimlink.ca/events/toronto/event/4066-mac-eid-festival-2017-eid-al-fitr.
Multicultural. June 21 International Refugee Day. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, there are 67.7 million forcibly displaced people around the world. The civil war in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. More than 11 million Syrians are currently displaced. This amounts to 45% of the Syrian population.
I couldn’t find an event commemorating World Refugee Day in Toronto. But one of our Blogs has a list of some Toronto agencies helping refugees in Toronto. You might want to give a donation. https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2015/12/10/566-resources-for-those-helping-syrian-other-refugees-december-2015 /. The UNHCR can be reached at: . http://www.unhcr.ca/contact-us .– Ruth
Multicultural. Pride Weekend. June 23-25. Free. “During the Pride Weekend, there are marches/parades along with live entertainment, dance parties along Church between Wellesley & College, an artisan market with booths lining the streets and more!
- Trans March: Friday, June 23 [7:00 pm]
- Dyke March: Saturday, June 24 [2:00 pm]
“Rounding off the weekend is the biggest attraction
- Pride Parade – Sunday, June 25 [2:00 pm] – attracting crowds of over 1 million+.
“Church Street (between College and Bloor Streets) is blocked off to traffic for the whole weekend. It’s one of the most “funnest” festivals you could attend!
“There will also be FREE entertainment over the weekend at Yonge & Dundas Square:
- June 23 [5:30 – 11 pm]: Classic Disco
Headliners: Boney M. (10:00 pm)
- June 24 [2 – 11 pm]: Drag Ball
- June 25 [2 – 11 pm]: The Final Play
Headliners: KING (8:15 pm)”
For further information and schedules, visit http://www.pridetoronto.com/
Multicultural. TD Toronto Jazz Festival. “Whatever flavor of jazz you enjoy, find it at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival this summer, running from June 23 to July 2.” To see Aretha Franklin, it costs $55-$175. But lots of free concerts: http://torontojazz.com/sites/default/files/calendar.html . Different venues. http://torontojazz.com/festival
Multiculturalism Day. Mexico, First Nations, Kardinal Offishall. June 27. 7am-10:15pm. Free. Harbourfront Centre. http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/festivals/multiculturalismday/ and http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?discipline_id=&mode=day&&month=06&year=2017&day=27&week=26&searchvenue=
Multicultural. Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night) LII . “Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic. Host: Bänoo Zan. Tuesday, June 27. 7pm. $5. Church of St. Stephen in-the-Fields, 365 College Street. I.B. (Bunny) Iskov, founder of The Ontario Poetry Society, with several poetry collections, recipient of the Absolutely Fabulous Woman Award, Arts & Culture category, 2017; Takatsu, poet, novelist, publisher, multimedia designer, event coordinator, founder of Inspiritus Press, Bring the Noise Street Poetry Tour, Crossroads Literary Festival, the Literary Fiction Network, and the Cell Phone Novel movement.
@BanooZan; @ShabeSherTO; https://www.facebook.com/events/153601945180653/
Philippines. Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show. Saturday, June 24. 8am-10pm. $15. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Hall A, 255 Front Street West. http://www.philippinecanadianfoundation.com/pinoy-fiesta-toronto
Wicca. Summer Solstice Ceremony – T.O. June 21. 8-10pm. Energy Exchange: Register in advance: $25.00*; Pay at the door: $35.00*. *Plus tax. Modern Mystery School HQ, 41 International Blvd., Etobicoke. Seating is limited and magical items must be prepared in advance, so please send us an email to let us know you will be attending! You may reach us at: email@example.com. 416-625-3470.”
We don’t usually publish events with this high price, but we haven’t found anywhere else to celebrate the summer solstice.
We’re not trying to convert anybody to anything. We just want to deepen your understanding of where other people are coming from. We hope the encounter will enrich your life and theirs and give you a feeling of community in our huge city.
Please send us posters and pictures 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. – Ruth.