808. February 1-11 Events in Multicultural Toronto – 2018

An early Chinese New Year event where you make and gobble down traditional dumplings that look like ancient silver ingots. A World Interfaith Harmony Week celebration with First Nations, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives. Coming up also is a chance to see and hear the 2017 Juno-winning Okavango African Orchestra. Black History Month also includes jazz, poetry, stories of the world’s richest man and Black slaves in Canada. Look for an exhibit by award-winning photographer Michael Chambers, and a film about author James Baldwin.

This week also, you can enjoy the comedy of an old, new culture. Sample a variety of international teas and watch demonstrations of formal Korean, Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. Mingle with Viking reenactors. Explore Vietnamese-Canadian culture with your Vietnamese neighbours as they celebrate Tet, their lunar new year.

Here’s this week’s culturally diverse menu in Toronto:

Africa. Africa Without Borders. February 3. 9pm. $10-$15. Alliance Française, Spadina Centre, 24 Spadina Road. Okavango African Orchestra – Batuki Music Society’s event. 12 instruments, 10 languages, 7 countries… one special concert. “Bringing together the traditional music and instruments of several major African cultures that historically have had little or no interaction… a new music, harmonizing different tuning systems, rhythms and timbres. Okavango African Orchestra looks ahead on its continuing journey to an Africa without borders… before the borders were created”. https://www.bemusednetwork.com/events/detail/398

image from Okavango African Orchestra website.


Black History Month is an annual observance in February in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Keep your eye open for Black History Month events in Toronto all this month!

Black History Month. Jazz Valentines. Thursday, February 1. 7-8:30pm. Free. Atrium, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. Featuring Canada’s Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke. “Accompanied by the sweet grooves of jazz, 2010 World Poetry Slam Champion Ian Keteku and Honey Novick and Giovanna Riccio perform their poetry and spoken word.”

Other Black History programs are at library branches across the city; for example, a film screening of I Am Not Your Negro, a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript; a talk by “hip-hop artist and actor, a.k.a. SUBLIMINAL about what black people were doing before slavery – black saints such as Saint Maurice and stories of the world’s richest man King Mansa Musa of Mali…”; a candid discussion on the complicated relationship between Canada’s Black communities and the police with Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives, civil rights lawyer Anthony Morgan and Toronto Star’s Shree Paradkar; Mystic Drumz showcasing African instruments in “The Legend of Marshmallow Island”. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?N=4293412646&No=10&Ns=p_pub_date_sort.

Image of Robyn Maynard from https://robynmaynard.com/press-kit

Black History Month. Exhibition: Black Enslavement in Upper Canada and The Black Community in Peel in the Late 19th Century. On now until Apr. 15, 2018. 10am-4:30pm. $4-$5. Peel Art Gallery Museum (PAMA), Second Level. 9 Wellington Street East, Brampton.

Most people don’t realize that Black enslavement existed here in Canada, but it did from the 1600s until it was abolished in 1834. This exhibition, presented in partnership with the Archives of Ontario, explores some untold stories that are important to our understanding not just of the past, but also of today. (Family Day, Monday, February 19. Admission free.)

The small exhibition on the Black Community in Peel in the 1800s shares some of the results of our ongoing research into the history of Black residents of Peel… To date our research has tended to raise more questions than answers. But they are essential questions to ask, to better understand our history and our communities.”  http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/exhibitions/changingmuseumexhibitions.asp

Images from the PAMA website.

Black-Canadian Artists. Opening Reception: Michael Chambers and Pamela Edmonds’ Shadows to Silver – A 25 Year Retrospective.  February 1. 6-8pm. Band Gallery and Cultural Centre, 19 Brock Street. “This most comprehensive compilation of Michael Chambers’ photographic works demonstrates the artist’s masterful representations of the nude Black body. Inclusive of both the iconic black-and-white photography that the artist is known for and his confrontational vibrant images, Chambers’ artwork addresses themes of sexuality, desire, diaspora, cross-culturism and belonging…” http://band-rand.com/site/current-exhibitions/

Featured Image by Michael Chambers from the BAND website.

China. Year of the Dog New Year Jiaozi Party. February 3. 4-6:30pm. $10. Downsview United Church, 2822 Keele Street. “It is traditional to serve jiaozi (dumplings) at Chinese New Year because they resemble silver ingots of long ago.”

Participants come together at 4pm to share in chopping cabbage, mixing meat, and constructing dumplings. No prior knowledge necessary. Lessons available. Working together is part of the fun. Everyone is welcome to come and just dine at 6:30pm.

To reserve your ticket(s), call or e-mail Jeff Huber. 1-905-630-6333, or jefhuber@gmail.com. Reservations accepted until Friday, February 1. Organized by the Toronto Canada-China Friendship Association. Recipe at: http://federation.tripod.com/events.html.

Jiaozi dumplings Image Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy

Interfaith. Intercultural. First Nations. Jewish. Our Home, Our Stories: Indigenous, Muslim and Jewish Communities in Dialogue. Wednesday, February 7. 6:30-8:45pm. Adults – $10 each; children, students and for all as needed – Free. Congregation Darchei Noam, 864 Sheppard Avenue West, North York. An exploration of “our home” as we celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Presented in partnership by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA, the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, and Congregation Darchei Noam.


  Whabagoon, Lac Seul Nation – Loon Clan – Treaty 3, Traditional Elder, Sacred Pipe Carrier and multidisciplinary artist

  • Rabbi Tina Grimberg, spiritual leader of Congregation Darchei Noam, storyteller

  • Wali Shah, spoken word poet, musician and inspirational speaker, 2014 Canada’s Top 20 Under 20

  • Michael Etherington, Manager, Culture Department, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

  • Indigenize Our Minds Education Outreach Program: “Pow Wow Experience” with Memengwaanh Bell-Trudeau dancing and Tasunke Pejuta Sugar singing with hand drum

  • A tour of the sanctuary will be offered after the program for those who are interested.

Pre-registration is encouraged: https://www.darcheinoam.ca/event/ourhomeourstories.

This is but one of several events organized by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute. For others, see: http://toronto.interculturaldialog.com/category/upcomingevents/

Inuit. Inuit Dolls: From Past Traditions to New Expressions. Exhibition February 3 to March 18 with Opening Reception on February 11. 2-4pm. $4-$5. Children free. PAMA Art Gallery, 9 Wellington Street East, Brampton.

The Inuit have practised the art of making dolls for centuries… reflections of Inuit life, playthings, charms, tools of domestic training, and tourist souvenirs. This exhibition presents 27 Inuit dolls given to PAMA from the Museum of Inuit Art and will also contain a selection of prints depicting Inuit life, lent by Peel-based Canadian Arctic Producers.  http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/exhibitions/upcomingexhibitions.asp?_mid_=22964

Image of dolls from http://pama.peelregion.ca/en/exhibitions/upcomingexhibitions.asp?_mid_=22964

Mixed. A Night of Mixed-Race Comedians. February 3. 7:30pm. $30. The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. “Our mission is to build community for people of mixed-race backgrounds in The Six.”


Multicultural. Toronto Tea Festival. February 3-4. 10am-5pm. $15 (Single day)-$25 (Two-day pass). Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library. Tea tastings, lectures, Chinese, Korean and Japanese tea ceremonies, vendors. More info: http://teafestivaltoronto.com/tickets

image from Toronto tea festival website http://teafestivaltoronto.com/


Viking reenactment. 50th Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Viking Village 2018. February 3-4. 11am-4pm. Free to enter Carnival, but $2 for Carnival button to enter draw for prizes. North end of the Mill Pond. Mill Pond Park 9 (near the corner of Mill Street and Trench Street), Richmond Hill. http://www.torvik.org/announcement-richmond-hill-winter-carnival.

For information about the Winter Carnival: http://www.wintercarnival.net

Image from Torvik website

Vietnam. Tet. February 4. 10am-8pm. General Admission. $10-$30. International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga. This is a big event with performances, vendors, displays, food for sale. http://www.vatoronto.ca/en/

Note: Tet, the Vietnam New Year, is actually on February 16 but related events can be any time during the month. This year, it celebrates the Year of the Dog.

Note: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that encourage peaceful relationships in our culturally 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 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *