On July 1, most Canadians will celebrate a very special birthday called Canada 150. It’s been 150 years since the fathers of Canada’s confederation joined Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to form the Dominion of Canada. This was the beginning of today’s “Canada”.
Don’t worry. This is not a history lesson. I just want to point out to those new to our history that ours is not without controversy. With regard to our indigenous nations who have been here for at least 12,000 years, some people would even call our last 150 or so years a story of “cultural genocide”.
We have not always been an exemplary multicultural nation. The original treaties with the aboriginal peoples have not always been honoured or respected. The first peoples were not included in the official painting.
But some of us have been trying to make amends. For example, at many festivals now, organizers now acknowledge that the “land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation… ”
In Toronto, around July 1, are many Canada 150 events this year, most partially financed by one form of government or other. Most are free. They include celebrations of our First Nations.
This being Multicultural Toronto, every one of the festivals and events will probably have some multicultural component for others, too. Here are a few I thought were especially interesting to fans of our culturally diverse city. In addition to the birthday and Aboriginal History Month, we have listed ongoing museum, music and/or dance events. I’ve mentioned a sample of the neighbourhood happenings and those of religious institutions, to be enjoyed by all. – Ruth
First Nations: Aboriginal History Month Celebration. June 28. 12-8pm. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
First Nations: Anishinaabeg: Art & Power. June 17 – November 19, 2017. Included with ROM general admission fee $15.50-$20. On display in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Third Floor Centre Block from Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, November 19, 2017, the exhibition explores the history, traditions, and legends of the Anishinaabeg through several hundred years of their art. Norval Morrisseau is not the only amazing First Nations artist. Some of his work is included but there are other great works too, some by women. https://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/anishinaabeg-art-power.
Multicultural. Latin America. Chile. Canada’s Day & the Summer Solstice Inti Raymi Festival. July 1 (12pm-9pm) and July 2 (12pm-6pm). Free. 2999 Dufferin St. (Fieldstone Day School). At the soccer field behind the San Lorenzo Church. Latin American food and local artists. For more information: 416-782-2953. https://mobile.facebook.com/RadioVocesLatinas1610AM/photos/gm.985251531611014/1564735573568123/?type=3&__tn__=E
Multicultural. Ontario. Heritage Ontario Festival. June 30: 3pm–11pm; July 1: 10am–11:30pm; July 2: 10am –11pm; July 3: 10am–8pm. Free. Ontario Place. Celebrating the heritage, culture and traditions of Ontario through music, interactive exhibits and food. It’s Ontario’s 150th birthday too. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/heritage-ontario-festival-tickets-35237344847 and http://ontarioplace.com/en/events/ontario150-festivals/heritage-ontario-festival/
Multicultural. Fort York. Canada Day. Traditional English Folk Music, Hypnotic Intercultural Music, Afghanistan Memorial Vigil, Musket and Artillery Drills, USA Contemporary Jazz. July 1. 10am-5pm. Free. Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd. http://bit.ly/2stwRRx
Multicultural. Multicultural Canada Day at Yonge-Dundas Square. July 1. 10am-9pm. Free. Showcasing dance and music groups from around the world, a Parade of Nations at 10am, visual arts, crafts and foods. Yonge-Dundas Square. Community Folk Arts Council. http://cfactoronto.com/canada-150-parade/
Multicultural. Canada 150. The big Canada Days (June 30-July 3) free events will be at Nathan Phillips Square, Humber Bay Park West, Mel Lastman Square, and Scarborough Civic Centre. They will include the highly recommended (but little known) New Canadian Global Orchestra, Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), and performances inspired by the cultures of Iran, the Canadian Arctic, Afro-Brazil, Caribbean fire and limbo, Ireland, Ukraine, Morocco, etc. Fireworks will be at all four venues. See: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e59d4c788636b510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD.
I got very excited when I heard about the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra performing on June 2. It was composed of 11 musicians from 11 countries playing together with musical instruments from their own cultures in Koerner Hall. It was a concept that personified Multicultural Toronto. It was very much like Yo Yo Ma’s orchestra from the film Music of Strangers. Alas, the entry fee was above my limit for promoting in this blog.
But all is not lost. The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra will be performing for free on June 30. 5:15pm. Nathan Phillips Square. http://performance.rcmusic.ca/New-Canadian-Global-Music-Orchestra
Multicultural. Canada Day in High Park. July 1. 11am-1pm. Free. Party takes place at the Bloor Street entrance to High Park, 1873 Bloor Street West. Join community partners, including Colborne Lodge, High Park Nature Centre and Member of Parliament Arif Virani on July 1st to celebrate Canada 150 in High Park. Colborne Lodge will unveil their new John the Maker Activity Tent – a Canada 150 legacy. Tours of Colborne Lodge 12-5 pm. Meet MP Arif Virani, a multilingual Ismaili Muslim who came to Canada as a refugee from Uganda.
Multicultural. Neighbours Together on Canada Day. July 1. 12-4pm. Free. In a largely Chinese neighbourhood, organizers celebrate with a culturally diverse program and food. Riverdale Park East, Broadview north of Gerrard.
Multcultural. Our Home on Native Land. Both Indigenous and newcomer Canadian performers of South Asian, Filipino, African, and Irish backgrounds. June 30-July 3. Free. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West http://bit.ly/2tlvXql
Multicultural. Summer Music in the Garden. June 29-September 17. Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm. Free. Bring your own chair. Concerts proceed weather permitting. Please call info desk at 416-973-4000 for up-to-the-minute rain call. 479 Queen’s Quay West at Spadina. http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/summermusic
Multicultural. Summer Music Series. Each Thursday to August 31. Free. Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Ave. W at Leslie. Website: http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/gos-summer-music-series
India. Hindu. Voice of the Vedas Cultural Sabha & Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization Celebrate Canada’s 150 Anniversary. July 2. 11.20am. Parade; 11:50am. Flag Raising Ceremony; 12:15pm. Lunch on the premises; 9pm. Fireworks. Shanti Niketan Peace Park, 8640 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill.
Please continue to 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.