789. October 22-November 1, etc – Multicultural Events in Toronto 2017

The richness of our cultural diversity is attracting outsiders to visit and to live in Toronto. But have people who have called Toronto home for decades taken advantage of the cultural wealth we have? Even though much of it is free of charge?

This week, we have music and arts from Arab countries, and a British segment of a seniors’ show. We have an opportunity to learn from an authority on China about what’s happening there and a chance to see pictures of Canadian missionaries in China in the last century.

France has sent us an expert on trends in its architecture and organized a discussion on female authors (in French). Our Japanese friends have a flower and bonsai exhibit – and our Jewish friends have a Yiddish song and dance party as well as a musical Shabbat. Among the Sobey Art Award’s finalists are an indigenous artist of Haida descent and a performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. We don’t have to go to British Columbia or Nova Scotia to see their work.

A Muslim speaker is sharing her knowledge of Muslim engagement with Canada 150 and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.  And a Muslim panel will enlighten us about the different denominations of Islam.

And among the others, there’s an event on Toronto’s influence on the development of reggae? Arab. Festival of Arabic Music & Arts. October 28-November 12. 100 Artists, 4 Cities, 10 Venues. Some events free or pay-what-you-can. Others $30-$65. For the cheaper ones:

     Syria. For a Pay-what-you-can event (all proceeds for charity), there’s concert soloist Waed Bouhassoun (Syria). November 1, Wednesday 7:30pm. Revenue Cinema. http://canadianarabicorchestra.ca/waed-bouhassoun


    Syria. For a free art exhibition, there’s Rana Hatmal. Reminiscing Damascus/Syrian Artist Gallery. November 10. 6:30pm. Isabel Bader Theatre, Victoria University. 93 Charles Street West. http://www.ranahatmal.com/hatrana

For full schedule: http://www.flip-publicity.com/press/festival-arabic-music-arts-begins-ten-days

Britain. British Isles Zone, 2017 Toronto Zoomershow.  October 28. 10am to 5pm; October 29 11am to 5pm. $8-$12. Halls A, Enercare Centre, 100 Princes' Blvd.:http://www.zoomershow.com/toronto. For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/zoomershow-toronto-2017-featuring-the-british-isles-zone-tickets-33338343884

Canada Hart House Art Tour.  Tuesday, October 31. 3pm. Free and open to the public. Meet at Information Hub, Main Level, Hart House, Hart House Building, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto - St. George Campus. Contact: 416-978-2452. http://harthouse.ca/justina-m-barnicke-gallery/

Since 1922, the Hart House Art Committee has sought out emerging names in Canadian art and have purchased works to build what is now an extensive collection. Tours of the Permanent Collection are offered every last Tuesday of the month at 3pm. Open to the public. Over 650 works of art. The Collection is on view throughout Hart House and is in constant demand for exhibitions at major museums throughout the world. Led by a professionallytrained student docent.

China. Dr. Victor Falkenheim Presents: Changing Leadership Patterns in the Xi Jinping Era. Sunday, October 22. 2pm. Free. OISE Room 5150, 252 Bloor Street West. http://federation.tripod.com/events.html.  

Image from Victor Falkenheim website.

China. Official Opening Reception of the Canadians in China: Old Photographs from Sichuan 1892-1952. October 23. 2-3pm. Free. Exhibition to continue to November 24, 2017. Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street. RSVP for reception and more information: http://bit.ly/2wxnbXz    

Image from Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library website.

France. Architecture as a Non-Oppressive Design. October 26. 6:30pm. Ryerson University, 325 Church Street. Lecture by architect and urban planner Jacques Ferrier introducing his work and his vision for tomorrow’s architecture.


For some other French cultural events in Toronto see: https://toronto.consulfrance.org/spip.php?article4276 and October 31-November 1. 2nd edition of Enterprising Culture: http://francecanadaculture.org/en/node/13439

Image credit Rouen Métropole from francecanadaculture.org website.


France. A Room of their Own: Writing the Feminine. October 31. 7pm. Free. 4th Floor, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.

Is there such a thing as feminine writing in contemporary novels? Nearly 100 years after the publication of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, a new literary conversation will be held… around 8 books and their French-speaking women authors, to discuss where women stand in today’s literature, and to address women writers’ position in our society.

The conversation will be in French. Tel. 416-393-7049. http://francecanadaculture.org/en/node/13666

Image of Virginia Woolf from francecanadaculture.org website


Ireland. Poetry Walk with Ireland Park Poets. October 28. 11-12:30pm. Free. SORRY SOLD OUT. To get on the mailing list for future Island Park Foundation events: http://irelandparkfoundation.com/contact/

For what you missed: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/poetry-walk-with-ireland-park-poets-tickets-38609350607

Jamaica. Toronto. MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto is a six-part, live-music series celebrating Toronto’s influence on Canadian music. Saturday, October 28. 9pm. Free. Program Curator & Host: Dalton Higgins, with special guests Donisha Prendergast (Bob Marley’s granddaughter), Jah Chozen (TreaJah Isle). Sankofa Restaurant & Bar, 1653 Eglinton Ave. W.

Advance tickets available online through NOW Tickets. Limited tickets available at the door. Featuring Jay Douglas (Jamaica to Toronto), Canada’s Queen of reggae Nana McLean, Otis Gayle (Studio One), rising dance hall phenom Eyesus, backed by Hardcore Band. With DJ Lindo P.

“Toronto has been ground zero for reggae music in Canada dating back to the late 1960s, thanks to the influx of Caribbean immigrants largely from Jamaica. Whether reggae has been presented in its ska, roots reggae or dancehall form, Toronto has also quietly been home to numerous global reggae icons with direct ties to Jamaica’s premier ska band, Skatalites, all the way to one of reggae’s most legendary recording studios and record labels Studio One. Join us in the vibrant Toronto neighborhood of Eglinton West – affectionately referred to as Little Jamaica and where the first reggae record shops in Toronto resided – as we celebrate world-class, Toronto based reggae vibes with an eye to the future.” www.facebook.com/SankofaEats

Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob & Rita Marley. Image copyright 2017 Ruth Lor Malloy.


Japan. Fall Flowers and Bonsai Exhibition. October 29. 12-4:30pm. $5. Kobayashi Hall, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court. Toronto Japanese Garden Club.

Jewish. Celebrating Shabbat in Song. Friday. October 27. $5 each program. Cantor Charles Osbourne Accompanied by Susan Piltch on keyboard. Note also events on November 24; February 23; March 23. Refreshments: 12:30pm, Concert and Shabbat Ceremony 1-2:30pm.

We invite you to celebrate Shabbat with us at our new Friday afternoon program. Enjoy a Jewish-themed concert, a participatory Shabbat ceremony, as well as traditional treats. Musical guest performers will include Lenka Lichtenberg, Yitzhak Argaman, Cantor Aaron Bensoussan… and more. Shabbat Shalom and Gut Shabbes! To register, please call 416924-6211×0. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue (at Bloor)… Phone:416924-6211. E-mail: info@mnjcc.org”: http://mnjcc.org/browse-by-age/active-55/jewish-holidays/902-shabbat-

shabbat-shalom-leon-zernitsky. Image from MJJCC website.


Jewish. The Yiddish Song and Dance Party. October 28. 7:30-10:30pm. $10-$15. Darchel Noam, 864 Sheppard Avenue West.

Multicultural. Sobey Art Award Opening Reception. Tuesday, October 24. 6pm. ​University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 Kings College Circle).

Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, Barbara Fischer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Harriet E. Walker, Interim Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, and Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, cordially invite you to the public opening of the 2017 Sobey Art Award Exhibition…” http://artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/2017-sobey-art-award/.

Among the finalists are: Raymond Boisjoly, an Indigenous artist of Haida descent based in Vancouver; Ursula Johnson a performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry; Winnipeg, Delhi and New Yorkbased artist Divya Mehra.

image of Raymond Boisjoly. Photo credit: Jody Rogac


Muslim. Your Home on Native Land: Canada 150. Lecture by Zainab Amadahy on Muslim engagement with Canada 150 and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.  Sunday October 29. 3pm. Free. Lower Social Room, Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive.

Zainab Amadahy is a researcher, organizational development consultant, author and educator, of African American, Cherokee, Seminole, Polynesian and European heritage.  Among her publications is ‘Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples in Canada: Settlers or Allies?‘ (2009), co-authored with Dr. Bonita Lawrence.


Muslim. Exploring Faith Series: The Denominations of Islam. October 25. $15. U. of T. students free. Includes lunch. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/exploring-faith-series-denominations-of-islam-tickets-38099114477?aff=erelpanelorg

Exploring Faith is a program where IDI aims to educate our society about the diverse faith traditions present in Canada. These series of events aims to increase religious literacy, break down the myths about religious traditions, create a positive engaging learning environment with the participation of adherents from faith or no-faith background.”

Opening Remarks: Dr. Nevin Reda, Assistant Professor of Muslim Studies, Emmanuel College

Moderator: Muneeb Nasir, President, Olive Tree Foundation

Speakers: Dr. Katherine Bullock, President, Tessellate Institute and Dr. Liyakat Takim, Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, McMaster University.

Multi-Faith Centre, Main Activity Hall, 569 Spadina Avenue. For tickets and more information: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/exploring-faith-series-denominations-of-islam-tickets-38099114477

Toronto. Halloween. October 31. For newcomers to Toronto’s culture, Halloween was originally an ancient Celtic festival, the eve of the Christian All Saints’ Day. From dusk to about 8pm, many children dress up in costumes like ladybugs, princesses, Harry Potter, zombies, vampires, etc. They go door-to-door “trick or treating.” House-dwellers usually oblige by giving them candy or apples.

Many parents find themselves embroiled this year in the controversy about the appropriation of the costumes and regalia of other cultural groups. Is a child dressed up as Disney’s Pocahontas respecting First Nations culture? What should our children be wearing at our many Halloween activities?

Most schools, bars and community groups, adults and children, celebrate with costume parties. Many houses, stores and neighbourhoods have been decorated for weeks before with real or fake pumpkins and harvest themes. Many have scary objects like grave stones, skeletons, cob-webs, and ghosts. Being frightened is part of the fun.

Most of the parties and events have already begun. Some examples of parties open to the public:

Toronto West Halloween Fest. October 29. 11am-4pm. Free. Bloor West Village between Windermere and Runnymede. Money raiser for St. Joseph’s Health Centre. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/toronto-west-halloween-fest-tickets-38813128111

Costume parade starting at 11:00 in front of the main stage at north side of Durie. Splash’N Boots at 1:00pm & 3:00pm on the main stage.  Scotiabank Hockey Zone!; Life-size Operation Game; Haunted House ; Trick or Treat booth; Bouncy castle; Entertainment.

Toronto. Halloween on Church Street. October 31. 6:30-2am. Free. Halloween street party in Toronto’s Gay district. Music, dances and photo ops. Three blocks of Church St. north of Carlton. Toronto’s most spectacular costumes.  Mainly adults.  http://www.blogto.com/events/halloween-church-street-2017/


Toronto. Tibet. Halloween Dance Party at the Tibetan Canadian Community Centre.  $20.

Turkey. Annual Turkish Flag Raising at Queen’s Park.October 23, 2017. 12-12:30pm. Free.

Note: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that encourage a peaceful world in our diverse city. Mention doesn’t mean endorsement but we try to include events we think readers will find stimulating in the cultures of other groups. Please let us know what interests you in cultures other than your own.

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 that fit our criteria.

Tell us about your adventures in multicultural Toronto. Subscribe to our mailing list for newsletters above. Follow us on www.twitter.com/torontomulticul and enjoy what your city has to offer. Ruth.













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