806. January 20-25 Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2018.

Tea and music in a yurt. A charming video starring the Toronto Tabla Youth Ensemble. Two Robbie Burns Day celebrations. Escaping slavery on the Underground Railroad. An insight into today’s headlines about Iran. Decolonizing our community. Cuban jazz. A showing of a 1963 Jean-Luc Godard film. An understanding of the mechanisms behind the Holocaust.

These are among the many affordable events that bring the world to us in Toronto. Most are free. All are open to the public. Descriptions follow.

Black History Month. Underground Railroad. Thursday, January 25. 1-2pm. Free. Davenport Branch, Toronto Public Library, 1246 Shaw Street. (Also January 29 at the Danforth/Coxwell Branch).

…Traveling along the secret network of routes, students will assume the role of a freedom seeker. They will learn about life on a plantation; unique methods of escape; and the life and times of Harriet Tubman and others.” This program is aimed at students Grade 3-6 but can be of interest for others. Please contact Amy in branch or telephone 416-393-7783.

For this and Black History Month (February) events at Toronto Public Library branches: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?N=4288155001+4293412646&No=0

Picture from Uncle Tom’s Cabin Museum, Dresden, Ontario.

Cuba. Humber College’s Latin Jazz Ensemble (led by Grammy and Juno Award-winner Hilario Durán). January 24. 5:30pm. Free. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West. 416-363-8231. https://www.coc.ca/plan-your-visit/free-concert-series.

Image from COC website

France. Italy. Mississauga Movie Club. Le mépris, Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1963. January 25. 7pm. Free. Alliance française Toronto – Campus de Mississauga, 4261 Sherwoodtowne Blvd., Mississauga. Adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel, the movie shows the slow disintegration of a couple in Italy. https://www.alliance-francaise.ca/en/culture/mississauga-events/mississauga-movie-club/mississauga-le-mepris-en.

Still from Le mépris.

Human Rights. First Nations. Multicultural. York University’s 9th Annual Inclusion Day events focusing on Decolonizing Community and Curriculum. Thursday, January 25. 11am-2pm. Free. Speakers: Phil Fontaine, Kathleen Mahoney, Ixchel Maria Bennett, Kate Cornell, Joseph Pitawanakwat, and Spiros Pagiatakis. Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, Main Floor, 83 York Blvd., North York. A short walk from the newly-opened York University subway station. http://rights.info.yorku.ca/id2018 

Iran. Author Marina Nemat Discusses Her Memoir “Prisoner of Tehran”. Thursday, January 25. 6:30pm-8pm. Free. Lillian H. Smith Branch, 239 College Street.

In 1982, 16-year-old Marina Nemat was arrested on false charges by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and tortured in the notorious Evin Prison of Tehran… An extraordinary tale of faith and survival, Prisoner of Tehran is a testament to the power of love in the face of evil and injustice”. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?%20Entt=RDMEVT325796&R=EVT325796

Note from Ruth: This book and “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi are among the books that should help you understand the current demonstrations in Iran.

Jewish. Holocaust. Multicultural. Symposium. The Evidence Room – The Holocaust in Context. Sunday, January 21. 10am-4pm. Free. RSVP Required. ROM Admission ($14-$20) is not included. “A multidisciplinary look at the installation The Evidence Room, its historic context, and its significance in understanding the mechanisms behind the Holocaust.” http://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/the-evidence-room-the-holocaust-in-context 

Image from ROM Website.


Middle East. Central Asia. Europe. Listening to Art, Seeing Music. January 20-April 22. General admission $12-$20. (See next item for special free entry January 20 and 21). Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive.

Immersive musical soundscapes and video installations featuring music from the Mediterranean, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia combine with intimate displays of Middle Eastern instruments and related artifacts from the Museum’s Permanent Collection… Spaces throughout the Museum… will come alive through and with music.

…engage directly with musicians and musical traditions. At the heart of it all, in the Museum’s central courtyard, a Mongolian yurt … We have regularly scheduled pop-up performances in the yurt weather permitting on Wednesdays at 5, 6, and 7pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 12, 1 and 3pm. You can certainly drop in any time as the yurt is open during our regular opening hours weather permitting.” https://www.agakhanmuseum.org/listening-to-art-seeing-music.

Note from Ruth. I have been to Mongolia three times and we always called a “yurt” a “ger” there. 

Image from Aga Khan Museum website.


Middle East. Central Asia. Welcome Weekend at the Aga Khan Museum presented by RBC. Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21. 10am-6pm. Free. Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive.

…gallery admission, storytelling sessions, film screenings, giveaways, and family fun… Plus, be the first to experience the one-of-a-kind interactive installations of Listening to Art, Seeing Music, opening on January 20…”

You can certainly drop in any time as the yurt is open during our regular opening hours. Due to extreme weather conditions, we may have to close the yurt periodically until it is safe to re-open… “


Image from Aga Khan Museum website.


Multicultural. Women March On: Defining Our Future. Saturday, January 20. 12pm. Free. Nathan Phillips Square. Hosted on behalf of the Women’s March Toronto Committee. You are encouraged to join the group.

Because we’re not done yet. Across Turtle Island (North America) we continue to see a rise in acts of hate… join us for a women’s march – Defining Our Future – to unite our communities in Toronto and discuss the future of our city, as imagined by young, local activists.

Speakers and performers are not listed in order of appearance. Dawn Maracle, Zanana Akande, Jessica Bolduc, Stella Skinner, Whitney French, Kassandra Neranjan, Zainab and Tasneem (Rohingya refugees), Rana Nasrazadani, Janelle Hinds, Indigenous hand drummers, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Sing for Joy choir, GRRRL Justice.

We come together to recognize the steps that have been taken to make our city more inclusive but continue to resist the hate that threatens, demonizes and insults so many of us – Muslims, Jews, racialized people, Indigenous people, migrants and those with precarious or no legal status, members of the LGBTTQQ2SI communities, disabled people and women…” https://www.facebook.com/events/312043389274448.

Scotland. Robert Burns Day. Thursday, January 25. 11:30am-4pm. Free. Robert Burns Statue, Sherbourne and Carlton, Allan Gardens. Bagpipes, haggis, and other traditional Scotch foods. http://www.standrews-society.ca/event/burns-statue-event/.

Note from Ruth: You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy this or any Robbie Burns event. They are fun for everyone.

Image from St. Andrews Society website.


Scotland. Robbie Burns’ Day Celebration. “Celebrate the birthday of the beloved Scottish poet (1759-1796) with toe-tapping live music, shortbread and a taste of haggis! Hear some comical stories about that oft’ misunderstood concoction. January 21. 2-4pm. $3.76 – $7.08. Mackenzie House, 82 Bond Street. Tel. 416-392-6915.” Website: http://www.toronto.ca/mackenziehouse

Addressing the Haggis. Image Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy.

More Notes from Ruth:

Syria. It was great to read in the New York Times recently that Toronto Suddenly Has a New Craving for Syrian Food. If you want to read this article, click on: http://nyti.ms/2ETfJKd .

Star Talks at the Reference Library. It’s hard to tell you about very popular events before they are booked out. We will when we can. Upcoming are free events at the Toronto Reference Library that you should book now.

For example: Britain: Andrew Morton on Wallis Simpson. February 15. 7-8pm. Free. “Bestselling author Andrew Morton wrote the seminal biography of Princess Diana. His latest book is Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy. Morton discusses the life of Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII so infamously abdicated his throne and birthright. Ticketing begins January 25 at 9am. Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon.” https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT322170&R=EVT322170

For other literary events in this series: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/appel-salon/

South India. I came across this charming Toronto Tabla Youth Ensemble video recently. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfS7Tt7JyZI&feature=youtu.be


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