766. July 4 to 13. Events in Affordable Multicultural Toronto – 2017

Dancing is one of my favourite ice-breakers, a great opportunity for fans of Multicultural Toronto to meet other people. It’s healthy too. You can do it Japanese, African, Caribbean or big band style this week. Other affordable events include one which has given birth to Juno-award winners. And there’s another for those interested in how Chinese heritage has affected some Torontonians. Then there’s the Dalai Lama’s birthday.

Here are just a few events you can go to in our culturally-diverse city.

Africa. 29th Anniversary Afrofest. July 8. 12pm–11pm; July 9. 12pm–8pm. Free. This is “the largest free African Music Festival in North America. Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. East… This year’s festival includes 50+ artists, 70+ merchandise and food vendors, a Children’s Creative Village, and a Drumming Zone. Some of the featured international artists who will be performing include Bracket (Nigeria), X Maleya (Cameroon), Mi Casa (South Africa), Gabacho Maroc (Morocco), Dicko Fils (Burkina Faso), and Ammoye (Jamaica).” www.afrofest.ca.

Ruth writes: At an Afrofest in 2013, I heard a brand new group of musicians called the Okavango African Orchestra. Members were from several different African countries. This year they won a Juno for the World Music Album of the Year. Yes great music can come when dissimilar cultures get together.

Caribbean. Multicultural. 50th Anniversary. Toronto Caribbean Carnival. July 11-August 7. This is one of Toronto’s biggest festivals. Its parade attracts a million or so participants. Its official launch is July 11. Free events: https://torontocaribbeancarnival.com/collections/events-tickets/free-official-event-event . For all events: https://torontocaribbeancarnival.com/

Image of top 2016 steel band from: https://torontocaribbeancarnival.com/blogs/toronto-caribbean-carnival-blog/pan-fantasy-2016-top-steel-pan-orchestra

China. Where are you really from?  July 13. 7–8:30pm. The Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Ave., Think Tank Room, 4th floor. “…casual discussion where Chinese Canadian youth, adults and seniors are invited to drop in and share their experiences about how they identify with their Chinese heritage … Do you feel connected or disconnected from your ‘roots’? How much do you actually know about your ancestors, and what can you learn from genealogy (a.k.a. researching our family history)?

“Facilitator: This talk will be led by Clotilde Yap, project officer at pioneering genealogy start-up My China Roots.” (www.mychinaroots.com).


Latino. Italy. Salsa on St. Clair. July 8 and 9. Free. St. Clair West from Winona to Christie. Prepare to dance!!! http://www.salsaintoronto.com

Image: http://www.salsaintoronto.com/galleries/?gallery=highlights-td-salsa-st-clair-2016

Japan. 15th Annual Natsu Matsuri and Obon Festivals. Saturday July 8. Natsu Matsuri (3:30pm-7pm) and Obon (7pm-9:30pm). Free. http://jccc.on.ca/event/natsu-matsuri-obon-festival-3/

Dancers with Noh Masks. Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Multicultural. Beaches International Jazz Festival. July 7 to 30. Much of it free. Various times and venues. One of Toronto’s biggest music festivals. http://beachesjazz.com/

Multicultural. Dancing in the Park. Tuesday evenings. 7:30pm. July and part of August.  Free. Hillcrest Park, 950 Davenport Road. Weather permitting.  Open to all. Ontario Folk Dance Association. See: www.ofda.ca

For those who want to dance to Swing, big band and Jazz. “Sunday Serenades. Sunday nights from July 2 through August 13. 7 to 9pm. Free. Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street. Dance under the stars this summer. For detailed information and updates, visit the North York Arts website.”

Image by Photos@ofda. Ontario Folk Dance Association.


Multicultural. India. 11th Annual Fusion of Taste Festival. July 9. 12-10:30pm. Free Located in an Indian neighbourhood. Albion-Islington Square. “This event provides 10.5 hours of programming with over 100 artists performing covering all aspects of cultural performances.” http://www.fusionoftaste.com

This is one of our many neighbourhood street festivals. Look for posters near your home about other neighbourhood events if you want to avoid Toronto’s horrible road traffic.- Ruth

India. Dancing in the Park Celebrating Community. Free. Garba Haalo Re with Sanskriti Arts: Saturday, July 8, 7–10 pm; Chak de Bhangra with Sanskriti Arts: Friday, July 14, 7–10 pm. Aga Khan Museum 77 Wynford Dr, North York. https://www.agakhanmuseum.org/performing-arts/event/dancing-park-celebrating-community

Image Courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum.


Multicultural. Dancing on the Pier – Harbourfront. June 22-August 31. Thursdays. 7pm–10pm. Free. Boulevard Tent, 235 Queens Quay West. http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/activities/dancingonthepier/events/index.cfm?id=9098&festival_id=274

Dancing on the Pier. Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.


Tamil. Kuthookalam Music & Food Festival. July 7. 1pm to July 9. 11pm. Free. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard. Concert featuring prominent singers from India. Free carnival rides for kids. Food vendors. Presented by Vanna Thamil Radio in association with TEKNO Media.

Another Tamil event is at the July Brampton Multicultural Festival Carabram Eelam Pavilion, Fri Jul 14. 6pm.  More information about Carabram in a future blog. Ruth

Tatarstan. Sabantuy – 2017. July 9. 12noon. $5.00 for a lottery, $1.00 for each coupon which can be used for food, games, crafts, and others (minimum 10 coupons per person).  G Ross Lord ParkPicnic area 4.

10:00 – 12:00 – Registration, setting up tables, cooking national dishes, bake sale, hot tea from samovar
For children: crafts & arts,  national games, preparation for the performance
12:00 – 13:30 – Opening ceremony, greetings, concert and children’s show
13:30 – 14:30 – Pilaf, national dishes, tea from samovar
14:30 – 16:30 – National Tatar games, contests
16:30 – 17:00 – Lottery, and closing ceremony


About Sabantuy: http://www.maria-online.com/books/article.php?lg=en&q=Sabantuy

This is one of Toronto’s many small festivals with friendly people and unique summer customs. It is one of my favourites. Tatarstan is part of Russia but people at this event are from many other countries. If you arrive early, you can help them prepare the food. For our previous blogs about Toronto’s Sabantuy, see:  https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2012/06/29/282-tatar-festival-a-report/.

Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Turkey.  Anatolia Festival. 9 July, 11am-11pm. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square. https://www.facebook.com/events/424259894622305/ v

Tibet. Dalai Lama Birthday. July 8. 10am. Members $15. Non-Members $20. Night Dance Party. 9:30pm. Members $15. Non-Members $20. Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre,  40 Titan Road, Etobicoke.  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: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com.Ruth.















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