799. December 5-13 Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2017

A First Nations 101, a scandal in France caused by Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser, a European art collection at the AGO, and Palestine and Israel. You can also learn where to celebrate International Human Rights Day and the Jewish Hanukkah. Christmas dominates this period, but the cultures of other countries and religions are listed here also as examples of our city’s diversity:

For Christmas there’s an exhibition of creches from the countries of origin of our refugees; Europe’s St. Nicholas shows up at the Distillery District and a Belgium fund-raiser. Toronto’s Heritage Museums takes us back to Victorian times. Dickens’ Christmas Carol is performed as it used to be by the author. Music is everywhere. Look for a church near your home to avoid our congested traffic problems.

Most of the following are free, donations appreciated, or almost-free.

Belgium. St. Nicholas Fund Raiser. Wednesday December 6. 6-9pm. Tickets or donation: $20 online, $30 at the door. Alliance Française (24 Spadina Road).

“We cordially invite you to our annual Saint-Nicolas Fundraiser. Once again, proceeds from the evening will go to the Labatt Family Heart Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Last year we donated more than $1,600! Live Music, Belgian Food & Drinks, BCBC Grand Raffle!: Win 2 Brussels Airlines tickets Toronto – Brussels ! Plus restaurant gift certificates, gourmet imports, gift baskets, and many more amazing prizes!.”


Christmas. Please be aware that Orthodox Christians do not celebrate “Christmas” as such, though some individuals now celebrate both “Christmases.” Their “Feast of the Nativity” is on or near January 7.

If you want to find out what’s going on in your neighbourhood, look for signs outside churches, or subscribe to the newsletter mailing list of your city councillor:  https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/council/members-of-council/

Christian. Multicultural. Crèches from Across the World. St. James Cathedral, 65 Church Street. Open Dec. 11 to 22, 12:30-4pm, Sundays to Thursdays. Miniatures of the birth of Jesus Christ from Poland, Turkey, China, Vietnam, Hungary, Chile, and Palestine. For more information: Contact Nancy Mallett, 415-364-7865, ext. *233; archives@stjamescathedral.on.ca.

Christmas. In the Stillness. If you are tired of Christmas music but still want to worship with other people, try the Kilbourne United Church’s December 13 event. http://www.kpuc.org/

Christmas. The Story by Martha Ross. Theatrical performance outdoors at Christie Pits Park. December 11-30. Opening Night: Wednesday December 13. Monday-Saturday at 7:30pm (no performances December 17, 24, 25, 26). Admission by donation. Christie Pits Park (Christie Station on the Bloor Line). Meet up at the south-east corner of the Park at Christie and Bloor.

The Story imagines the Nativity as a parable for modern times. The audience follows three wise men as they navigate a complicated world of existential shepherds, imperial soldiers, charming thieves, a bumbling angel, a deranged tyrant, and a lost choir. They are all in search of a headstrong young woman, whose baby — the poorest of the poor — will be born in a trash heap, but is honoured by Kings and will become a symbol of transformation and renewal. Regardless of faith, The Story is a balm in a storm of ennui and confusion.”

http://www.flip-publicity.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Common-Boots-presents-THE-STORY-rel.pdf ; http://www.commonbootstheatre.ca/story-martha-ross

Christmas. Flowers.

England. A Christmas Carol. Friday, December 8. 7:30pm and Saturday, December 9. 1pm. Per Person $20. Historic Zion Schoolhouse, 1091 Finch Avenue East, North York. 

“Written in 1843, a Christmas Carol may be the best loved fictional work in the English language. Few people know that Dickens wrote and performed a thrilling and hilarious solo theatrical version of this famous story for many years, playing all the characters and providing the narration.  Now you can experience the laughter, tears and joy of the original with John D. Huston as “Charles Dickens” in this rare and enchanting holiday must see!  (Not recommended for children under 8.)” http://bit.ly/2ApXydW

Performance also: Thursday Dec. 14th, 7:30 pm. $20 in advance,
$25 at the door. $15 Students & those dressed in Victorian Garb
(Children 12 and under $5). College Street United Church, 454 College St.
(NW corner of College & Bathurst).  www.collegestreetunited.com

Image from http://www.dickensperformer.com/code/listings.html


Europe. Christmas. Netherlands. December 5. 6pm. Free. St. Nicholas arrives on his white horse at Christmas Market distillery. http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/activities.html .

Sinterklass Arriving at Christmas Market. Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy.


Europe. Curator’s Talk: Highlights of the AGO’s European Collection. Wednesday, December 6. 7 pm. $10-$17. Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario,  317 Dundas Street West. Sasha Suda, the AGO’s Curator, European Art & R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Print & Drawing Council, describes the new installation of the AGO’s European galleries. Her talk will focus on the 13th century sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel, Rubens’ Raising of the Cross oil sketch from 1638 (which will be displayed for the first time in 13 years), Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Corpus, Hendrick Ter Bruggen’s Melancholy, Francois Boucher’s Wooden Shoes, and Rodin’s Eve amongst others.

Image of painting from AGO website.


First Nations. Hope United Church presents We Acknowledge the Lands. December 9. 12-3pm. Agenda.  https://gallery.mailchimp.com/928324dba8f52b79a022086b9/files/131f3785-1d14-44bd-9ce9-23a0e7b710c2/Hope_Acknowledge_Agenda_Dec_9.pdf

France. Germany. Wagner, Paris, and the Tannhäuser Scandal at the Opéra. Lecture by Steven Vande Moortele, Belgian musicologist and professor at the University of Toronto. Followed by film Ludwig (1973). December 6. 7pm. Spadina Theatre, 24 Spadina Road. 416-922-2014 #37. culturel@alliance-francaise.ca.

“The scandal caused by Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser at the Paris Opéra in 1861 was the worst debacle of Wagner’s career. Nevertheless, it laid the foundation for his pervasive influence on art, music, and literature in fin-de-siècle France.” https://www.alliance-francaise.ca/en/culture/lectures/wagner-paris-and-the-tannhaeuser-scandal-at-the-opera

Ireland.  Christmas Céilí. December 7. 7-9pm. Free. Father Madden Hall, on the St. Michael’s College, U of T Campus. (Carr Hall) on 100 St. Joseph Street. No need to book tickets in advance. Refreshments – music by Jennifer, Daev and  dances called by Colleen Mulvey-Oleary.  

Irish Dance Workshop at Montgomery’s Inn. Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy


Jewish. Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Tuesday, December 12. 3:30pm. Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Drive (Multi-Purpose Room).

Multicultural. Human Rights Day. December 10.

—–Panel. Colonization and Systemic Racism: Pathways to Change. December 7. 7-9pm. Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Adel Sedra Auditorium, Room 1160, 40 St. George Street: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/urban-alliance-on-race-relations-2017-human-rights-forum-tickets-39749918075

—-Write for Rights. December 10. 1-4pm. Free. International Human Rights Day. The Mulla Asghar Resource Centre, Jaffari Islamic Centre, 9000 Bathurst Street, Thornhill. “… write for rights for the people and against the injustice around the world! In the current political climate, our words and voices are the biggest weapons we have against oppression. Let’s learn how to use them for maximum impact! The event is a partnership with Amnesty International.” https://muslimlink.ca/events/toronto/event/5718-write-for-rights-at-jaffari-community-centre

Sign up: https://www.facebook.com/events/282360285607090/

Multicultural. Palestine. Israel. Lecture. Is the World Becoming a Better Place: Developments in International Law. Friday, December 8. 7pm. $5. Auditorium, Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive, North York. Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian attorney and human rights activist from East Jerusalem who is currently a visiting scholar at Osgoode Law School at York University. http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/?p=16378

Image of justice gavel from Noor website.


Toronto Heritage Museums. Programs this month take you and your family back a hundred or so years. https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums/ and click on the individual museum and then Exhibitions & Events ; for example, 

Colbourne Lodge in High Park from Dec. 10-March 18, 2018. $2.65-$6.19. It has Innovation Circa 1867, an exhibit highlighting new and emerging Canadian inventions from the 19th Century. Did Detective Murdoch really invent them?

Fort York has a Frost Fair with goods, music and food in the style of 19th Century England. December 9. 10-5pm. Free entry.

Mackenzie House’s December 9 Christmas Baking Workshop is sold out. Don’t wait for the last minute before booking Scottish events: among the popular events later this month is the Hogamanny at Mackenzie House, 82 Bond Street. December 29-30. http://bit.ly/2AkmeXj . There’s also a haggis-making workshop in January: 2eUuj%24w&oindex=.

Image from Mackenzie House Hogmanay website.


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. 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 multiculturalism. 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. Email us at: ruthlormalloy@gmail.com.


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