How many cities can claim contact with the living cultures of Asia, Bavaria, China, Britain, England, Ethiopia, Iran, Japan, Philippines, and Ukraine, plus a dozen other countries, a Jewish festival, and a First Nations pow wow — available for all to experience in these ten days? At official flag raisings at our City Hall, you can meet people whose origin is from Cyprus, or Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. And then there are those other countries and regions I haven’t time or space to list here.
Most of the following events are free.
Asia. China. Dragon Lion Dance Festival. September 22. 3-9pm. Free. Performances, Kung-fu, Tai-chi, drumming, dancing, singing, family fun. Celebration Square, Mississauga. https://www.mississauga.com/events/8866396–dragon-lion-dance-festival
Asia. China. Moon, Lantern, or Mid-Autumn Festivals. The full moon this month is on Monday, September 24 (CBC says 25th) and is considered the most beautiful moon of the year. For many Asians, it is celebrated with feasts, lanterns, picnics in parks, and nostalgia. (You share the same moon as your beloved even though he, she or they might be kilometers away.) High-calorie moon-cakes have been on sale in Chinese restaurants and grocery stores since early September and these are given to friends (some of whom might re-gift them because they are too filling). The Chinese Canadian Cultural Centre has a gala. See also Philippines below. Free event at Woodside Square: https://www.toronto.com/events/8856690–2018-woodside-square-mid-autumn-food-and-music-festival/
Britain. Home Children Day of Remembrance and Plaque Presentation. Friday, September 28. 12-1pm. Free but must register. (The plaque will be installed later at 538 Jarvis Street, the site of the Dr. Barnardo’s Home.) Metro Hall Rotunda, 55 John Street . http://www.heritagetoronto.org. This is the first national commemoration of British Home Child Day. From 1869 to the 1940s, child aid organizations brought more than 100,000 impoverished British and Irish children to Canada to work on farms or as domestic helpers. On arrival in Toronto, they were brought to receiving homes before being placed with households where many children were denied the comforts of family life. Short speeches from local dignitaries and maybe descendants of these children. All are welcome. http://heritagetoronto.org/event/the-home-children-day-of-remembrance-and-plaque-presentation/
Cyprus. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. September Flag Raisings. Toronto City Hall: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. September 29 (no time listed); Flag of the Republic of Cyprus. September 30. 12 pm. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/2018-flag-raising-listing/
England. English Country Dance. Weekly indoor season starts Saturday, September 22. 7:30-10pm. Season opener special: $5 per person, families please enquire. Trinity St Paul’s, 427 Bloor St West, in the Annex.
“Live music, all dances taught, walked through and cued during the music by professional callers. We’re a friendly and welcoming group, and we all invite newcomers to dance with us, so no partner or experience is needed!” http://www.torontoenglishdance.
Ethiopia. Meskel Celebration of the Founding of the True Cross. Sunday, September 30. 5am with hymnal songs and prayer by priests and the Mass service at 8am. After the brief sermon inside the Church, the outside celebration and the lighting of the bonfire will start at 12:30pm. The gathering will be slowly diminished by 2:30pm. Times are approximate. Free. St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral, 80 & 84 Tycos Drive near Dufferin and Lawrence. For more information, telephone 416-781-4802.
Europe: Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden. European Day of Languages Toronto 2018. Friday, September 28. 5-8:30pm. Spanish Centre, 46 Hayden Street. Free language classes: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanDayofLanguagesTorontoFirst Nations. Culture Days at PAMA (Free Admission Weekend). Saturday, September 29. Opening of Caring Across Boundaries exhibition with some special activities and feature performances throughout the day. 9 Wellington Street East, Brampton. Curated by Aboriginal child rights advocate Cindy Blackstock. Exhibition continues to February 3, 2019. https://www.pama.peelregion.ca/en/exhibitions/
First Nations. 17th Annual Community Pow Wow. Honouring Indigenous Leadership. September 29. Sunrise 6am. Grand entry 12pm. Free. Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street. http://www.nativechild.org/about-us/events
Germany. Bavaria. Toronto Oktoberfest 2018. September 27-29. General Admission $20-$28 includes entertainment. Food and drink for sale. “…Ontario Place parking lot … 30,000 sq. ft. tent! Increased taps, more servers and upgraded chillers for colder, faster beer! IMPROVED VIP! With access to the Bavarian Lodge and early entry.” For more details and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.torontooktoberfest.ca.“
Iran. The Iranian Music Collection at the University of Toronto, a lecture by Houman Behzadi and Blair Kuntz. Friday, September 21. 4–6pm. Initiative for Iranian Studies, University of Toronto, 4 Bancroft Avenue. “The University of Toronto Libraries acquired a sizable collection of Iranian music in 2015. The undertaking aimed to support the endeavours of the Iranian music scholars at the U of T Faculty of Music… Behzadi will discuss the process of selection and acquisition of the collection… which could potentially position the U of T Faculty of Music as a major hub for Iranian music research and performance.
Japan. Transcending Borders: Yoko Tawada and the Fluidity of Language. September 25. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Reading and conversation with the internationally-acclaimed writer Yoko Tawada on language, literature and crossing borders. The Japan Foundation, 2 Bloor Street East, 3/f. The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing. Yoko Tawada’s books will be available for purchase at the event. https://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/en/sta/tor/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21332581.
Jewish. Sukkot or Sukkah. September 23-30. This Jewish festival is celebrated in synagogues and Jewish homes with the building of a sukkot. This temporary shelter commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai desert during the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt about 3500 years ago. Look at: https://jewishtoronto.com/calendar.
Examples of events in synagogues or schools: September 23. $20-$70. The Kabbalah Centre, 3281 Yonge St. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sukkot-2018-tickets-49350092455;
Sukkot Family Festival. September 21. 10am-12:30pm. $4-$20. http://www.oraynu.org/school/event/family-sukkot-festival-2/?instance_id=713
Alas, the fascinating Sukkot Project of imaginative designs of sukkots which has been in Toronto for several years, is in Texas this year. In past years, there has been a sukkot in front of Old Toronto City Hall.
Multicultural. Culture Days. September 28, 29, 30. Free. Dance, paint and create with Culture Days programming all across the city (and the whole country). Various venues. Events in Toronto: https://bit.ly/2QNF6UA
Toronto Public Library Culture Day events: Ireland. Cuba. Dominican Republic. Africa. China. South Asia. Italy. Free. There’s something for every interest and age level down at the TPL; for example, the TPL has special programs like Irish ceilidh dancing and Bollywood hip-hop dance fusion, Cuba and Dominican Republic Salsa and Bachata dancing, African dance, Chinese calligraphy, South Asian henna lessons, Italian accordion music, etc. See: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/featured/culturedays.jsp Multicultural. 10th Anniversary Opening Festival. Koerner Hall Series. September 29. 12pm. Free. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West. Pop, roots, world, classical. https://www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/koerner-hall-free-all
Multicultural. Nuit Blanche 2018. Saturday 29, 7pm-Sunday 30, 7am. Events free. 75 projects created by 300 local, national and international artists all night. Various venues. https://nbto.com/
Among these are: Canada. Ancient Forest Alliance. Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario. To celebrate the launch of the AGO’s major fall exhibition, Anthropocene, visitors “will be invited to contemplate how all of us (individually and collectively) are leaving a profound human signature on the planet. In this video installation, Anthropocene artists Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier offer “visitors the opportunity to experience both old-growth forest and deforestation on Vancouver Island, and to consider pristine environments and our impact on them. https://ago.ca/events/nuit-blanche-2018
From our residents whose heritage is from Colombia, Finland, Jamaica, Poland, Tibet, there’s an International Dumpling Festival, a street-side public food court serving dumplings in multiple ethnic variations on James Street which you can eat. The proprietors will also be present at times throughout the evening to engage with audiences and share stories about their dumplings, their businesses and themselves. https://nbto.com/project.html?project_id=607.
Presented under the theme “You Are Here”, the event features three City of Toronto-produced exhibitions, one in Scarborough, one downtown and a third bridging the two neighbourhoods. For example, Toronto. France. Tunisia in Mirrors of Babel, Yonge-Dundas Square. And then there’s also free entry to the likes of the Bata Shoe Museum’s three installations as well as all current exhibitions, including Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes. (He was born Canary Islands, Spain but he belongs to the world.) http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/events. /
At the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, North York, there’s a lot going on too in a Mongolian ger: https://agakhanmuseum.org/programs/nuit-blanche-2018?utm_source=Aga+Khan+Museum+E-news&utm_campaign=fda6cb2bdd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_29_04_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_807e4cef3b-fda6cb2bdd-127547521 .
You can also take advantage of all-night service on a portion of the TTC.
Multicultural. Opening Concert of World Music Series, Canadian Opera Company. September 27. Many concerts from different parts of the world are on its 2018-2019 schedule. Free. 145 Queen Street West (at University Avenue). Music includes First Nations, Russian, Italian, etc. For its World Music series, see “W” on https://az184419.vo.msecnd.net/canadian-opera-company-v2/pdfs/free-concert-series/1819%20RBA%20Brochure_Final_For%20Web.pdf.
Multicultural. Taste of the Hill. September 22. 6-9pm; September 23. 12-6pm. Free admission. Celebrates Richmond Hill’s diverse multicultural community. Live entertainment, culture and food from around the world, fashion, arts and crafts, sports, family fun. Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill. https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/tastes-of-the-hill/
Performance schedule: https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/tastes-of-the-hill.aspx
Philippines. Annual Philippine-Chinese Mooncake Festival. September 29. 4:30-8pm. Adults (ages 11 and up): $20; Kids (ages 3-10): $10; Kids (ages 2 and under): Free. (Dinner at 5 followed by dice game at 6.) Fun and prizes. Milliken Mills Community Centre, Room A & B, 7600 Kennedy Road, Markham.
“Event includes catered dinner and our exciting traditional ‘Puah Tiong Chiu’ dice game! Kids table with kids prizes! Let’s keep our tradition alive by passing this unique celebration to our children and grandchildren!”
Note: Limited space available! Please RSVP on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/2195465467341771/
South Asia. Must be Kismet Wedding Show. September 30. 12-6pm; fashion shows at 2 and 4pm. General admission. $10; General admission with one fashion show $15. Universal Event Space, 6250 Highway 7, Vaughan (east of 427). https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/must-be-kismet-south-asian-we
This is one of several South Asian wedding shows in town, a wonderful way to learn about the ultimate in contemporary South Asian culture – and why many families go bankrupt marrying off their daughters.
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. We are putting in this item in September for its free Bram & Bluma Appel Salon series because it gets SOLD OUT very early. If you are interested, please sign up for its newsletter so you will have time to book future months: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/appel-salon/#event-tickets
Ukraine. Book Launch: Holodomor in Ukraine: The Genocidal Famine 1932-1933: Learning Materials for Teachers & Students by Valentina Kuryliw. September 27. 7:30 pm. Free. UNF Community Centre, 145 Evans Avenue. A reception will follow the presentation and book signing. http://www.ciuspress.com/catalogue/history/371/holodomor-in-ukraine%2C-the-genocidal-famine%2C-1932-1933 oterh web?
U.S. Peter, Paul and Mary Tribute. September 27. 1-3pm. $5 includes refreshments. Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Avenue: culture/lectures-education/1096-the-greatest-hits-of-peter,-paul-mary.html
Note from Ruth: TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com chooses to promote events that encourage a feeling of community 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. If you go to any of our mentioned events, please send us corrections or an account of your impressions so we will know whether or not to promote these events in future. Please continue to send us posters. We don’t charge to post them and we don’t accept paid advertising. Post comments on “Leave a Reply” below. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to our Newsletter above.