800. December 14-20 Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2017

Yes, mentioning only free or nearly-free events, has been the aim of this blog, but we couldn’t find many free ones during this  upcoming pre-Christmas period. There’s a lot happening at $30 or less though. And we do list the free or almost free events that we’ve found.

We hope you can visit something that interests you here so you can experience the world in our city.

The events below can give you a personal glimpse of the Jewish Hanukkah festival if you go to learn more about that important event. You can sample African or Caribbean food or enjoy Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian or Welsh Christmas music in person.

You can shop at a Caribbean pop-up market, and you and your kids can take part in a Sunday School Christmas program or holiday party. And you can see the tragically-beautiful film Human Flow if you missed it before, or want to be enveloped in it a second time.

The McMichael gallery is exhibiting the works of Alex Janvier, one of our best First Nations artists, not to be missed. We wish we could tell you about more expressions of the many diverse cultures we have here. 

Africa. Caribbean. Black Foodie’s Holiday Social. December 14. 6-9pm. $10 in advance, or more at the door. Kiza Restaurant & Lounge, 366 Queen Street East. Complimentary African Canapes, Caribbean snacks and Black cake. “Best Holiday jamz ( FYI BOYZ 11 MEN and Mariah Carey).” Email: info@blackfoodie.co if you have any questions! https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/black-foodies-holiday-social-tickets-40143935592?aff=es2.

Africa. Latin. Polyphonic Ground Presents: Slim Flex and Success K, Evolution, Los Poetas, and Deejay Mkay. Co-Presented by Lula Music & Arts Centre and Music Africa. Thursday, December 14. 8pm. $15-$20. Revival Bar, 783 College Street. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/160325216df2f747.

Image from: https://www.picatic.com/136235


Christian. Macedonia. Bulgaria. Rejoice! Joy to the World.  Concert. Wednesday, December 20. 7pm. $15-$20. Also Children’s Christmas Party, December 17. Macedonian-Bulgarian Orthodox Cathedral “St. Cyril and St. Methodius,” 237 Sackville Street.

“Every year we prepare our Christmas concert with excitement. As usual keeping the tradition alive, we have new ideas for the program and a few surprises during the script.” http://www.scmcathedral.com/events_E.html

Christian. Awana Christmas Party. Sunday, December 17. 3:30-5:30pm. Sir John A. McDonald Public School, 45 Murison Drive, Markham. Welcome all parents with kids 4-12 years. https://www.awanacanada.ca/en/about-us/.

Christian. Italy. Toronto. Christmas in San Marco with the Continuo Collective. Saturday, December 16. 8pm. $12.50-$30. “They will celebrate the 450th year of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth by exploring his glorious late sacred works. Psalm settings, hymns, and a Magnificat will complete the musical elements of a Christmas Vespers sung from the balconies of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Pre-concert talk at 7:15pm.”  For tickets and more information: www.torontochamberchoir.ca. Telephone: 416-763-1695.

Image from http://www.continuo.ca/


Christmas. Caribbean. Pop-Up Caribbean Christmas Market. Treasure Hunt plus win door prizes. December 16. 1-6pm. Free admission. Everyone welcome. Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen Street East (east of Broadview). https://www.facebook.com/events/1916524625278572

Christmas. Hungary. Kodály Téli Táncház 2017 – Kodály Emlék. December 16. 13 years and up – $15, 12 to 6 – $5, 0 to 5 – Free. “Come celebrate the Holiday Season with the Kodaly Ensemble with a fantastic Kodály Téli Táncház 2017 – Kodály Emlék! Celebrate both the winter season and the Year of Kodaly! HCCC / Magyar Haz Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre, 141 Sunrise Avenue.

What to expect: 6pm – Dance showcase from all 4 groups of the Kodaly Ensemble; 6:30pm – Gyermek Tanchaz; Felnott Tanchaz to follow! Music by Gyanta Ensemble and Csángó Unchained; Hungarian Foods will be available for purchase all night long; Fine Hungarian spirits and appetite-wetting drinks will also be available.“ https://allevents.in/north%20york/kod%C3%A1ly-t%C3%A9li-t%C3%A1nch%C3%A1z-2017-kod%C3%A1ly-eml%C3%A9k/1655635987834854

Christmas. Markham. Singing Stars of Christmas Concert. December 15. 7-9pm. Free. Steinway Piano Gallery Toronto, 2651 John Street #8, Markham. For this and other musical opportunities: http://www.steinwaytoronto.ca/news/2017/Singing-stars-of-Christmas-Concert..

Christmas. Italy. Christmas in Southern Italy. December 17. 8pm. $20-$25. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue.

There is no more moving way to celebrate the Messiah’s miraculous birth than through traditional folk songs accompanied by instruments typical of the Italian countryside.  This magical evening will be made complete with a pastorale played on the zampogne, special bagpipes traditionally played by shepherds on Christmas Eve. Special Guests: Tommaso Sollazzo, Zampogne from Italy; Romina Di Gasbarro. https://www.bemusednetwork.com/events/detail/411.

Image from: https://www.bemusednetwork.com/events/detail/411


First Nations. Inuit. Exhibitions. Alex Janvier. October 7 to January 21, 2018. Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice. September 2-February 11, 2018. Included in General Admission: Adult – $18, Student/Senior – $15, Family $36. (Special Prices Tuesday). McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg. http://mcmichael.com. Featured image of Alex Janvier’s Circle of Life from McMichael website. Javier is one of Canada’s top artists.

Jewish. Hanukkah/Chanukah. This Celebration of Light commemorates the victory of a band of Jews against the Greeks in the Second Century B.C. After reclaiming their temple in Jerusalem and rededicating it to the service of God, the Jews tried to light the temple’s menorah or candelabrum, but discovered that they only had enough purified oil to do so for one day; however, the oil lasted eight days until a new supply could be prepared, a miracle.

This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset the evening of December 12. It ends the evening of December 20. Hanukkah is primarily a family celebration where members light one additional candle each evening of the holiday, Jews eat traditional foods like potato pancakes (latkes) because of the oil, exchange gifts, and throw parties. Many Hanukkah and other Jewish events are listed on: https://jewishtoronto.com/calendar.

Here are three that sounded particularly interesting or different:

     Chanukah Celebration of Light. Tuesday, December 12. 6pm. Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. JRCC hosts a giant menorah lighting to celebrate Chanukah.  “Enjoy an amazing fire show, hot latkes and doughnuts, and live music in the Square.” jrcc.org/chanukah; http://www.jrcc.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/334163/jewish/Public-Menorah-Lighting.htm.

Other events organized by the Jewish Russian Community Centre of Ontario: http://www.jrcc.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/65175/jewish/Chanukah.htm

     Chanukah Wonderland. December 17. 12:30-5pm. $5. Schwartz/Reisman Centre-Lebovic campus – 9600 Bathurst Street. http://www.jrcc.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/334166/jewish/Chanukah-Wonderland.htm.

     Chanukah by the Pool. Sunday, December 17. 3:30-5pm. Free. Splash Party in the Pool. Light the Menorah, sing songs and enjoy refreshments.  No registration necessary. Bring your bathing suit and your menorah! Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue (at Bloor). http://mnjcc.org/featured-events/2-ttsting/uncategorised/986-chanukah-by-the-pool 

Image from MNJCC website


Mixed in the Six. Holiday Social and Karaoke Jam. December 17. 5pm. Bring toiletries as gifts for indigenous women’s program. 1030 King Street West. RSVP@mamaflos.com.

Mixed in the Six has started a book club, also on December 17 but at 4pm. Their first book is Incorrigible by Velma Demerson, who in 1939 Toronto, was stripped of her Canadian Citizenship for marrying Harry Yip, her Chinese husband and father of their son. The book is about the events surrounding her incarceration and beyond.

“Our mission is to build community for people of mixed-race backgrounds in The Six.” https://www.facebook.com/MixedintheSix/. Contact: mixedinthesix@gmail.com.

Multicultural. Human Flow. Film. Daily. December 13-17. $11.50. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West.

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s film about refugee movements around the world is being shown again daily. While our blog tries to avoid mentioning film events because we don’t have the time or space, this one is too important to ignore. It is tragic, powerful and beautiful like a tsunami. Like climate change and nuclear armaments, it tells us that something has to be done about forced human migrations before they destroy us.

After amazing images of the movement of thousands of people and the destruction of human habitats, the film ends with a warning about the people who have grown up in refugee camps or communities with no future.

For times and trailer: https://boxoffice.hotdocs.ca/WebSales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=68697~fff311b7-cdad-4e14-9ae4-a9905e1b9cb0&epguid=a1a41036-cbe1-4f35-bc34-1ed13d4bd525&=&utm_source=eBulletin&utm_medium=HDC&utm_campaign=HDCFilms&utm_content=HumanFlow or http://bit.ly/2BS0uzE .

Multicultural. Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night) LVIII. Featured poets: Lisa Richter & George Elliott Clarke; Host: Bänoo Zan. Tuesday, December 19. Doors open 6:15pm; Open-mic sign-up: 6:30pm; Show 7pm. Admission: $5. Church of St. Stephen in-the-Fields, 365 College Street.

 Lisa Richter long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize, winner of CV2 Magazine’s 2 Day Poem Contest, poetry collection: Closer to Where We Began.

George Elliott Clarke 4th Toronto Poet Laureate, 7th Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry.

Shab-e She’r is Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series.”

Twitter: @BanooZan & @ShabeSherTO; Instagram: @banoo.zan; https://www.facebook.com/events/1608449665913883/.”

George Elliott Clarke. Image Copyright ©2013 Ruth Lor Malloy


Multicultural. Holiday Party. Friday, December 15. 8-11pm. Pot luck snacks, finger foods only. Everyone is welcome. University of Toronto Schools, 371 Bloor Street West. (at Bloor and Spadina). International Folk Dance Club: http://ofda.ca/wp/ifdc/

Image from OFDA website:


Netherlands. DUCA/DCA Children’s St. Nicholas Party. November 18. From 12 noon. $4. Entertainment, treats and a drink, plus of course a visit by Sint. Thornhill Community Centre, 7755 Bayview Avenue.

Tamil. Sri Lanka. India.  Christmas Carol Service. December 17. 3:45pm. Tamil Christian Church of Canada, 3 Clayton Drive, Markham .http://www.tamilchristianchurch.com/

Wales. Holiday Concert. Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir. Thursday December 14. 7:30pm. $25-$30. Calvin Presbyterian Church, 26 Delisle St. (Yonge and St. Clair). http://welshchoir.ca/toronto-concerts/holiday-concert-14dec17-calvin-presbyterian-church-toronto-on-730pm.

(This is one of my favourite chorale groups–Ruth.)

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.

1 Comment

  1. China. I forgot to mention this January 14, 3pm event. My own Chinese ancestry has taught me about China’s long history against homosexuality in China. Men who refused to produce children were ostracized because they left no one to worship the ancestors nor continue the family line.

    Yuen Chun Chan and The I/We Project and Playback Theatre present Yuen Chun Chan, who narrates her journey from homophobia to accepting gay marriage and diversity. In the second part of the production, the audience gives feedback on which the troupe improvises. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite ($15) or at the door ($20). Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue.

    I just remembered to add this event
    China. Yuen Chun Chan and The I/We Project and Playback Theatre present Yuen Chun Chan, who narrates her journey from homophobia to accepting gay marriage and
    diversity. In the second part of the production, the audience gives feedback on
    which the troupe improvises. Tickets are available online at
    Eventbrite ($15) or at the door ($20). Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue.

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