If you are proud of the cultural diversity in Toronto, please send this blog to your friends abroad. It’s our usual sampling of what’s happening here in just one short period.
Look for Toronto’s festival of 28 feature film screenings from 28 European countries available for free, and an event attracting over 10,000 persons of different faiths from 80 nations for a week. A concert by one of our talented Inuk singers, and festivals of Arabic, Jamaican and Icelandic music and culture. The Arabic festival expects audiences totaling 14,000.
Discussions of activism in our Asia-Canadian community, a book launch featuring a Black Muslim Canadian author and a talk about Palestine, Israel and global governance should give us some food for thought. Some British and Italian Christians are honouring their saints and the spirits of their dead. Hindus are celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
Our First Nations people launch an Indigenous Portal, and the Ojibwe director of Canada’s new Indigenous Screen Office tries to predict the future of Aboriginals in our country. Immigrant authors and artists talk about adapting to a new country; in this case, Afghanis in Germany and Canada. Iranian composers in Canada produce an opera. Our Polish residents raise their flag at our City Hall. Some Christians celebrate a holy day in English and Italian.
Among reminders of the past are stories of what is considered the world’s worst genocide, its perpetrators, heroes and survivors. World history includes such accounts of humans trying to eliminate their neighbors. Alas, we are still doing this. Why can’t we live peacefully together?
I hesitated about including events that cost over $30 but some of these expensive ones are so important, I couldn’t ignore these feathers in Toronto’s multicultural cap.
Most of the following are free or by donation. And this is just a few of Toronto’s events. Ruth.
Arabic. Festival of Arabic Music and Art. October 28-November 12. Various times and venues. Concerts $50 to $226. Its children’s concert is free. http://canadianarabicorchestra.ca/fama/; sample music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1SgNsHsZXE
Asian-Canada. Literary Activism. November 1. 3-6:30pm. Free. East Asian Library, 8th Floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street. An examination of the “history, cultural influence and the outcomes of Asian Canadian writers involved in changing society as a whole with their work.
“The event features two panels with three writers on each panel discussing the past, present, and future of literary activism, along with two catered receptions. Honoured guests for our first annual event in 2018 include Joy Kogawa, Cheuk Kwan, Lynne Kutsukake, Kai Cheng Thom and Shani Mootoo. We look forward to their lively discussions and sharing of ideas.” https://literasian.com/toronto/
Black Author. Muslim. Book Launch: Ibtihaj Muhammad: Proud. November 5. 6:30pm. A Different Booklist, 777 Bathurst Street.Christian. England. Feast of All Saints. November 1. 6pm. Followed by light supper; Remembrance Week: November 4. 4pm; Choral Evensong for All Souls. And Sunday, November 11, 10:30am. Remembrance Day service. St. Olaves Anglican Church, 360 Windermere Avenue. 416-769-5686. http://stolaves.ca/special-services/.
Christian. England. Italy. Annual All Souls’ Day Mass. All Souls’ Day is a Catholic feast commemorating those who have died and are now in Purgatory. November 2 or 3 in Anglican and Catholic churches. Some liturgy in Italian and English. Mass will also be held at the following cemeteries in English: Assumption, Christ the King, Holy Cross, Queen of Heaven and Resurrection. Liturgy at Holy Cross and Queen of Heaven will be in English and Italian. Tel. 416-733-8544; http://www.catholic-cemeteries.com/news/all-souls-day-mass. https://twitter.com/euffto?lang=en
First Nations. 13th Annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture. Towards 2067: Tracing an Indigenous Future in Canada. Tuesday, November 6. 7-8pm. Reception to follow. $20. Royal Ontario Museum, Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery Level 1. Doors open: 6:30pm; Lecture: 7-8pm. Reception to follow. Michael Lee Chin Bloor Street Entrance.
“What kind of place will Canada be in 2067? In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, and as Canada and Canadians struggle to understand our past and foster a greater Indigenous presence in cultural leadership, what will life look like for Indigenous, Métis and Inuit peoples in 2067? What will future generations see when they look back, and how will they judge us? Join Jesse Wente (Ojibwe from Toronto, member of the Serpent River First Nation), Director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, as he unpacks the current landscape and charts a way forward”: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/13th-annual-eva-holtby-lecture-on-contemporary-culture.
First Nations. Launch of the Tkaronto Indigenous Peoples Portal. Thursday, November 8. 6:30–8:30pm. Free. Courtyard by Marriott, 475 Yonge Street. Along with the unveiling of the Portal, there will be performances, a photo-booth, networking opportunities, food and prizes. Please RSVP by clicking “Register” or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For this and other Indigenous events in Toronto: https://www.eventbrite.ca/d/canada—toronto/indigenous/. Nia:wen, Miigwetch, Marsee and Qujannamiik:” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tkaronto-indigenous-peoples-portal-launch-party-tickets-51460851793?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Germany. Afghanistan. Canada. Culture talks @ Goethe: “Remember me”. Friday, November 9. 6:30pm. Free. “Authors from conflict areas on second chances and publishing in new home countries, Germany and Canada. “ Mariam Meetra (Afghanistan/Germany), Antje Rávik Strubel (Germany) and Afghan-Canadian director, actress, journalist and author Nelofer Pazira. Goethe-Institut Toronto, 100 University Ave, North Tower, 2nd Floor. https://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/en/sta/tor/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21168639
Iceland. Taste of Iceland. November 1-5. Various venues, times and prices. Some free. Cuisine, music, culture, design, films. https://www.icelandnaturally.com/article/taste-iceland-toronto-2018
India. Diwali or Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. November 7. Like Christmas, this favourite event is celebrated in many locations across the GTA during a period of over a month. For a list, see: http://www.deepavali.net/canada.php
Events range from free to expensive gala banquets that you book by the table.
Not mentioned in the list is the Razzmatazz, November 9 and 10. CAA Centre, 7575 Kennedy Road South, Brampton. ttps://www.facebook.com/diwalirazzmatazz/; https://www.facebook.com/icacouncil/.
Our favourite Diwali event has been a visit to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir: Diwali & Annakut. Wednesday, November 07. Chopda Pujan – 6pm – 8pm; Grand Fireworks – 8:15pm. Annakut Darshan – November 8. 11am-6pm. In the past, this, the most beautiful of Toronto’s temples, has organized guided tours for visitors but it doesn’t seem that this is happening this year. Group tours can be arranged any time of year: https://www.baps.org/Global-Network/North-America/Toronto/Tour-Reservations.aspx. 61 Claireville Drive, Etobicoke. Website: toronto.baps.org.
Interfaith. 2018 Parliament of World Religions. Theme: The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change. November 1-7. One day pass $5 (for child). $110 (for adult). Full and weekend passes available. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), 222 Bremner Blvd. “Expected attendance will exceed 10,000 persons of faith and conscience from 80 nations and more than 200 unique spiritual backgrounds.” https://parliamentofreligions.org/
For a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivCbt5RUYcs
Inuk. Susan Aglukark. Reading and Musical Performance. November 3. 2-3pm. Free. Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street. “Susan Aglukark is Canada’s first Inuk artist to win a Juno. She has also won a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement… During a career that has spanned more than twenty-five years, Susan’s journey as a singer-songwriter has led her to reflect on who she is, where she comes from and the importance of discovery–discovery of history, culture, and self…
“Join us for a reading and a special musical performance. Everyone is welcome! Drop in. No registration required.” https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT365024&R=EVT365024. Hear her sing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=susan+aglukark+hina+na+ho
Image from Toronto Public Library website.
Iran. The Journey: Notes of Hope. November 2 and 3. $20-$30. Agricola Lutheran Church, 25 York Mills Road. “An operatic production that tells the story of displacement, diaspora and migration.” Video and more information at: http://www.icot.ca/site/
Presented by the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT), which was founded by five Toronto-based composers and musicians in 2011 with the mission of creating new works that bridge Canadian and Iranian culture through music and art. https://journey.brownpapertickets.comhttps://journey.brownpapertickets.com. Ireland. For Irish events in Toronto, subscribe to: Maureen Oleary <email@example.com> .
Jamaica. A Celebration of Freedom featuring the Jamaican Performing Arts Company ASHE. November 3. 7:30pm (doors open at 6:45pm). $40. Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square (behind The Eaton Centre). “The ASHE Company is one of the leading, professional Caribbean performing arts groups, specializing in edutainment and traditional dances, songs, drumming and culture.” https://veritycentre_ashe.eventbrite.com
Jamaica. Caribbean. Rastafest – the Best of the Caribbean. November 2. 1-11pm. Donation: Children 12 and under free; youth – $10; online – $15, and $20 at the door. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street.
“Rock and sway to the sounds of Reggae’s finest artists/bands while enjoying children/youth entertainment in the amusement park, drumming and chanting with Nyah Binghi drummers, a unique one-of-a-kind Kijiji market place with authentic arts and crafts, exotic Caribbean food and a health and wellness community fair. http://rastafest.com
Jewish. Multinational. Holocaust Education Week. November 1-8. Most events free. Various venues and times. Stories and books by survivors, Sigmund Freud as survivor, art by Alex Colville, Hebrew songs and dances, film about the Namibian genocide, children of Holocaust survivors, heroes who saved Jews, Holocaust denials, How to Talk to Your Children about the Holocaust, How Japan Saved Thousands of Jews, The Jews in Islamic Lands; Stolen Childhood, Stolen Identity: The Lasting Shadow of Jewish and Indigenous Traumas; Canadian Jews, the Military and World War II, etc. Program calendar: https://www.holocaustcentre.com/hew-2018/month/grid/2018/11/25
Middle East. Arabic. Festival of Arabic Music and Arts. October 28 – Nov. 12. $40 and up. Various venues including the Aga Khan Museum. http://canadianarabicorchestra.ca/fama-2018; https://www.toronto.com/events/festival-of-arabic-music-arts/.
Trailer and sample music at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1SgNsHsZXEPalestine. Israel. How A Just Peace Can Save our Planet. Thursday, November 8. 7-9pm. $5. “… Friends House, 60 Lowther at Bedford/Bloor. “The only way to save human life on the planet is to rescue international law and global governance from near irrelevance. The best place to begin is a true and just peace in Israel-Palestine…” Talk by Robert Massoud, founder of Zatoun and Beit Zatoun. http://beitzatoun.org/event/how-a-just-peace-can-save-our-planet/?mc_cid=4ce63039b9&mc_eid=6a381d88e4Poland. Flag raising ceremony of the Republic of Poland Independence Day. November 4. 12pm. Free. Toronto City Hall. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/2018-flag-raising-listing/
Ukraine. Remembrance Day. November 4. 2pm. Ukrainian Canadian Memorial Park, Scarlett Road north of Eglinton Avenue West, Etobicoke. 1:30pm march from St. Demetrius Church.
- 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 as 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.
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