797. November 28-December 4 Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2017

Christmas dominates this period. A Danish church has a Santa Lucia pageant and Christians observe Advent. A European book club studies Sophie Divry’s Madame Bovary of the Suburbs. A trade show about another cultural group centers on metaphysics with shamans, chakras, and paranormal investigations. Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday; a United Nations special rapporteur discusses one state in IsraelPalestine. Old memories return for seniors with Benny Goodman’s and Artie Shaw’s music. But you can also enjoy a Sri Lankan open Mic event with music from a modern era.

We hope you enjoy the inspiration of the world in Multicultural Toronto. 

Christian. Advent. December 3-24. Sacred period among some western Christians leading to Christmas, the birth of Jesus, on December 25. You will see advent calendars in stores. Each day a new page is opened with a treat (like a chocolate or toy). Unfortunately, the commercial sector has now exploited this tradition too by offering a daily beer, cosmetic, and even some illegal substances. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/marijuana-advent-calendar-sales-soar-despite-health-warnings-1.3694448

Christian. Advent.  An Advent Procession of Lessons & Carols. Sunday, December 3. 4:30pm. Freewill offering.

“One of the most beautiful liturgies in the Anglican tradition sung by the Choir of St. James Cathedral. … dates from the late 19th century. In the service, readings from scripture are interspersed with carols sung by the choir and hymns sung by the congregation. The appointed lessons from scripture recount God’s act of creation, humanity’s fall, and God’s promise of a Messiah… Held the evening of the first Sunday in Advent, this service is a wonderful way to begin the season of preparation for Christmas.” The Cathedral Church of St James, 65 Church Street. 416-364-7865. info@stjamescathedral.ca. https://stjamescathedral.ca/worship/

Image from St. James Cathedral website.

Christmas. Lots of free or nearly-free seasonal theatre, Christmas parties, and music (and I don’t mean free, canned music in shopping malls): For example:

Christmas Carol. December 2. 7:30-10pm. Free. Music at St. Andrew’s presents its second annual free dramatic reading of Charles Dickens’ classic story of the conversion of Scrooge from a miserly old employer to a generous boss. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 73 Simcoe Street. http://standrewstoronto.org/

High Park Christmas Celebrations, Sunday, December 3. 1-5pm. Grenadier Restaurant Patio. Fun for children and families! Sing along, hot chocolate, marshmallow roast and more.  http://files.constantcontact.com/9d78729e001/6f0ca267-a2ca-4592-9a14-bd08dc8af15c.pdf

Noonday Organ Recital, November 29. 12:30pm. Patrick Dewell. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street (2 blocks north of St. Clair Avenue. N/E corner of Yonge and Heath). Tel: 416-922-1167. http://www.yorkminsterpark.com/gather/news-events.php

A Community Christmas. Saturday, December 2. 7:30pm. $5-$10. Salvation Army Yorkminster Citadel, 1 Lord Seaton Road, North York. Community Christmas concert featuring guest tenor vocal soloist, Bobby Irvine from Ayr, Scotland, and Songsters. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Tel. 416-222-9110. yorkminstercitadel.org/contact

Richard Birney-Smith, organist. Tuesday, November 28. 1pm. Free. Donations welcome. St. James Cathedral, 65 Church Street. Tel. 416-364-7865. https://stjamescathedral.ca/richardbirneysmith/. Email: info@stjamescathedral.ca

Soulpepper Family Festival performance. December 1–31. 20% off tickets using promotion code: FAMILY20. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District. This year, performances include Peter Pan, A Very Soulpepper Christmas concert, and Toronto’s original timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. Visit the Soulpepper website to purchase tickets.

Note: Young at Heart: Free Family Concerts. After select performances of Peter Pan, join Soulpepper Artists as they share music and stories of the season, led by Soulpepper Artistic Director Albert Schultz. Young at Heart concerts will be free – no tickets required.

Picture of Peter Pan from Soulpepper website.


Denmark. 1st Sunday of Advent and Lucia Pageant. December 3. 4:30pm Service. Frikadelle supper after the service. The Danish Lutheran Church of Toronto, 72 Finch Avenue West, North York. 416-222-2494. http://www.dlctoronto.on.ca/DLC-2017-Coming-Events.pdf

Image from Danish Lutheran Church website.


Europe. European Book Club: Madame Bovary of the Suburbs, by Sophie Divry. November 30. 7-8:30pm. Full of Beans Coffee, 1348 Dundas Street West. Book Club will be in English. http://francecanadaculture.org/fr/node/12744.

France. Toronto History. The 3rd Toronto Purchase. November 29. 7pm. Free. Spadina Theatre, 24 Spadina Road. Lecture – Talk by Danièle Caloz, historian and founder of the Société d’histoire de Toronto. 416-922-2014 #37. Email: culturel@alliance-francaise.ca. Website: http://alliance-francaise.ca image from Alliance Francaise website.

Metaphysics. The Metaphysical & Spiritual Show. Trade show. December 2. 10am-8pm. Free. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court. 30 exhibitors. “Products, services and information regarding: gemstones, crystals, holistic health, essential oils, souvenirs, jewelry, arts & crafts, spirituality, natural supplements, naturopaths, incenses, sound healing, psychic readers, yoga, meditation, astrology, shamans, chakras, nutrition, green lifestyles, well-being, precious stones, metaphysics, alternative medicine, book writers, paranormal investigators, tarot readers, medicinal plants & much more.” Organized by Crystal Dreams. www.CrystalDreamsWorld.com



Muslim. In Honour of the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday. Saturday, December 2, 6:30pm. Free admission. Auditorium, Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive, North York.

“The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is marked between 12th and 17th Rabbi’ al-Awwal, corresponding to December 1 and December 6, 2017 for 1439 A.H. Please join us for a special program in honour of this occasion. Program includes: Naat (devotional songs in praise of the Prophet); Screening of The Life of Muhammad, Part Two – Holy Wars (BBC, 2011, 57 minutes); Potluck refreshments (if you would like to bring a nut-free dish to share, please email admin@noorculturalcentre.ca).” http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/?p=16387

Palestine. Israel. 50 Years and Counting: Legality of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. 2017 James Graff Memorial Lecture. Speaker: Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine. November 29. 7:30pm. Regular – $10 in advance, $15 at the door; Student/Unwaged – $5 in advance, $10 at the door Vic Chapel, Vic Chapel, 2nd Floor, Room 213, Victoria College Building, 91 Charles Street, This event is co-sponsored by Emmanuel College, a theological college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. https://necefsabeel.ca/michael-lynk/

Michael Lynk is also speaking on A Vision for One State In Israel Palestine. Thursday, November 30. 7:30– 9pm. $10. Winchevsky Centre,  585 Cranbrooke Ave. (near Bathurst/Lawrence). http://beitzatoun.org/event/a-vision-for-one-state-in-israel-palestine/?mc_cid=2ee6401b0c&mc_eid=5ea6ae1ea2.

Jewish. U.S. The Dueling Clarinets: Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, with live musician Jonno Lightstone . Thursday, November 30. Doors open: 1:00 pm, Program 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Drop-In: $5.00 (includes refreshments). Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue (at Bloor). “Enjoy this historical lecture complete with live clarinet music. Jonno Lightstone is regarded as one of Toronto’s finest klezmer musicians.” http://mnjcc.org/browse-by-age/active-55/thursday-drop-in/915-the-duelling-clarinetists-benny-goodman-artie-shaw

Image of Artie Shaw from MNJCC website.

Image of Bennyh Goodman from MNJCC website.


Quebec. Quebec’s Bill 62, Banning the Niqab. Panel Discussion.  December 2. 4-6pm. North York Civic Center, 5100 Yonge Street. Committee Room 3.

Sri Lanka. Mix in the 6ix. Open Mic Night @ hBar. Thursday, November 30. 7-10pm. $10 registration. 859 Queen St W. (Queen and Bathurst). “SLWB is hosting our second Mix in the 6ix social event. This time we are giving the community an opportunity to show their talent and shine with an Open Mic event. You’ll get a chance to mingle with some amazing people in our community both before and after the Open Mic…

This year SLWB is donating the proceeds of this event for leadership scholarships to students in need in Sri Lanka. We believe education is an important part of our community and integral to our mandate. All children should have access to education.” For more information visit: www.slwb.ca/scholarship.

Note also: 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 that show us how much we have in common with others. Please let us know what interests you. 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 try to post as many as we can that fit our criteria.

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