782. September 6-11 Affordable Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2017

A charming Celtic festival in a park and Chinese dragon boat races with multi-racial crews; Ethiopian-Canadians showcasing their world and food; a launch of three books set in Finland  and a celebration of 50 years of Irish culture in Toronto; a Macedonian Cultural Festival in Markham and an exhibition of girls skateboarding in today’s Kabul. During this period, you can also choose to find yourself immersed in the cultures of Thailand, Vietnam, Ukraine and several others. These are among the many opportunities to experience the world in Toronto, mostly for free. And there’s much more we haven’t been able to mention.

Afghanistan. Skate Girls of Kabul. Tuesday, September 5, 7-8 pm. Free. North American premier of a month-long outdoor photography installation… portraits of the fierce and feisty young girls who are participants of Skateistan, a non-profit organization empowering youth and children through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. Ismaili Centre Toronto, Social Hall, 77 Wynford Drive.

The exhibit will be available for viewing from September 5-October 8, 2017 in the adjacent Aga Khan Park. http://iicanada.org/ict/skate-girls .

Image courtesy of Aga Khan Museum website.


Celtic. The Beach Celtic Festival. September 9-10. 9am-7pm. Free. Performances and vendors. Kew Gardens, 2075 Queen Street East.  www.thecelticfestival.com

China. Multicultural. GWN Dragon Boat Challenge. September 9-10. 8:30am–6pm. Free for spectators. Marilyn Bell Park, 1059 Lake Shore Boulevard West, just south of Exhibition Place. “… interactive Kids Zone…entertainment on the main stage will feature DJ sets and live bands. The Health and Wellness Zone features vendors providing products and services to assist in leading a healthy lifestyle.” Beer garden. http://www.gwndragonboat.com/Default.asp?id=challenge&l=1

Note: This event always warms my heart as teams of racers from different racial and cultural backgrounds and sexes paddle together in the same boat in a sport that originated in China a couple thousand years ago. I hope the races will inspire this year’s spectators to take part next year. Training usually starts early spring.

China. Far and Near: the Distance(s) between Us. September 6. Opening Reception, 6-8pm, Hart House Quad. “… brings together several generations of Canadian artists of Chinese descent, offering perspectives onto the Chinese Canadian community’s historical and cultural evolutions and developments. The works included in the exhibition investigate overlooked narratives by exploring notions of distancing and being distanced in relation to race, identity, sexuality and their intertwining with Chinese Canadian history.“ Exhibition continues to October 29. Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, 7 Hart House Circle. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15e1013d5cbc8f3f .

See related future events: http://artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/far-near-distances-us/

Image of Wong Kung Har Wun Association, by Morris Lum courtesy of: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15e1013d5cbc8f3f.


Egypt. Coptic Canadian Festival.  September 8-10.  St. Mark Cathedral, 455 Ferrier Street, (Steele and Warden).

Ethiopia. Ethiopian Canadian Day.  Saturday, September 9. 11am-11pm. Free.  Christie Pit Park, 750 Bloor Street West. West of the Christie subway station. For information,  telephone Bishu Mamo 416-781-4802. Dances, cultural show, skits, poetry, Ethiopian cuisine, images, kids fun zone, etc. More info: http://ethiocommun.org/ethiocommunn

Finland. Suomi 100 Book Launch. Three WWII-themed Books. September 9. 2-4pm. Agricola Finnish Lutheran Church, 25 Old York Mills Road. Music, book signing, author readings, snacks. More information: 705-435-2786. brooks.kaarina@gmail.com.

Ireland. 50th Anniversary of the Irish Cultural Society of Toronto. September 10. 1-5pm. $10 each (which includes sandwiches, tea and coffee). A table is available for $100. “We want to commemorate this milestone by honouring Irish organizations who have contributed so much to promoting and fostering Irish culture in the GTA over the years… It promises to be a great day, celebrating everything Irish… A cash bar will be available… We would very much like to see all counties represented… Irish entertainment including dance, drama and ceili music. Pat Foran, an award winning journalist from CTV… to emcee the event.”

Local 183 LIUNA hall, located off Wilson Avenue and west of Keele (close to the 401). Tickets from Pat Canavan at 416-206-8670. Thanks to: Maureen Mulvey-O’Leary for telling us about this event. To get on her mailing list of Irish events, register at moleary2001@rogers.com or phone 416-446-6993.

Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy

Jewish. From Latkes to Laffas Exhibit Opening. Jewish Toronto’s Favourite Eateries, 1900-2017. September 6. 7:30pm-10pm. Restaurant consultant Marvin Greenberg will reflect on the choices made over the generations by Jews in Toronto, recalling memories of former restaurants and the stories that nourished us in their Jewish flavour. Refreshments will be served. RSVPs appreciated. 416-781-3514X232. For information about the exhibit or to arrange a guided group tour of the exhibition, please contact Museum curator Dorion Liebgott at 416-781-3514 ext. 232. Beth Tzedec Congregation, 1700 Bathurst Street. 

Exhibit continues through December 2017. https://www.beth-tzedec.org/page/families/a/display/s/1/hm/1/hc/1/item/hold-from-latkes-to-laffas-exhibit-opening-4.

Macedonia. Cultural Festival. September 8 (6pm-12pm), September 9 (12-12am), and September 10 (12pm-8pm). Free. Tel. 905-471-5555. St. Dimitrija Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church, 201 Main St. North, Markham.

Note: While you are there enjoying the food and fun, do take a look at the interior of the church with its wonderful wall-to-wall-to ceiling paintings. Ruth.

Macedonian Orthodox Church in Markham. Image©Ruth Lor Malloy 2011


Multicultural. Global Food Fest 2017. September 9. 11am-10pm. Free entry. “Cuisines from across the globe will be featured and available to try for all people who come.  Global Food Fest along with the T.U. Jazz Fest 2017 will bring the world, music and people together.” Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street. North York Centre Station. https://www.ccuevent.com/

Note: I have never been to an event by this group but it sounds interesting, and Mel Lastman Square is easy to get to. Ruth.

Multicultural. Toronto International Film Festival. September 7 to 17. Films from 75 different countries. Various times and venues. Ticket prices: $10-$52. http://www.tiff.net/tickets.

Free showing of Dunkirk will take you to France during WWII. “Christopher Nolan joins us for an exclusive screening of his harrowing war epic, presented in IMAX at Ontario Place’s historic Cinesphere.” http://www.tiff.net/tiff.

Image of “A Season in France” from TIFF’s website


Multicultural. Cross-cultural. Interfaith. ‘Hearts & Minds Living Library – Compassion Catalogue’. September 9. 10am-4pm. Toronto City Hall.  Institute of Canadian Archives, Canada’s only faith-based storytelling initiative. Partners: the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, Olive Tree Foundation, University of Toronto Multi Faith Centre, and the University of Toronto Hart House. <contact@canadianarchives.ca> .


Multicultural. Canada 150 Festival Event by Mississauga Mps. September 10. http://www.torontomuslims.com/event/canada-150-festival-event-mississauga-mps/

Thailand. Destination Thailand. September 9. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square. Tel. 613-722-4444. http://thaiembassy.ca/en/about-embassy/news/invitation-to-the-4th-destination-thailand-festival-sat-9-september-2017

Vietnam. Viet Summer Fest. September 9. 3-8pm. Free. “Viet Summer Fest is an annual festival, a showcase of Vietnamese culture through Vietnamese folk music, dance, live performances, art and crafts. Viet Summer Fest highlights the ethnic and cultural diversity in the city of Mississauga.” Mississauga Celebration Square. https://culture.mississauga.ca/event/celebration-square/viet-summer-fest-0

Vietnamese musician. 2010. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy


Ukraine. Annual Ukrainian Heritage Day. September 7. 5-10pm. St. Vladimir Institute, 620 Spadina Avenue.

Note: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that express a peaceful world in our city. Mention doesn’t mean endorsement but we try to include events we think readers will find interesting and stimulating in the cultures of other groups. We hope you will discover something to do near your neighbourhood so you can avoid Toronto’s horrible traffic jams.

Please continue to send us posters and pictures about other upcoming affordable events that give the rest of us a chance to experience 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 for newsletters above. Follow us on www.twitter.com/torontomulticul . Leave a Reply below or email us: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com .Ruth.

















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