Don’t let the cold and ice storms stop you from exploring the world in Toronto. Just be aware that some events could get cancelled. Be sure to telephone ahead if the weather is bad.
This list of free or almost-free events in our culturally-diverse city is big on Black History and Pan-Africanism. It includes a seminar about the war in Afghanistan and sessions on French folk dancing. You can enjoy traditional Irish theatre, Korean K-Pop dance classes, and Tibetan New Year celebrations. You might want to join a First Nations Rally or take your children to a play. I’ve found something for all ages and interests in different parts of the city this, but especially downtown. And there’s much more going on.
Afghanistan. Canada. Special Heritage Talk. Simcoe Seminar – Conflict in Afghanistan; Will it Ever End? February 12. 7pm. “A free-will donation will be greatly appreciated.” Lambton House, 4066 Old Dundas Street. Tel. 416-767-5472.
“Come join us as we present the Queen’s York Rangers’ Simcoe Seminar at the Lambton House for the first time. Join panelists Colonel Dwayne Hobbs, LCol Phil Halton, author of This Shall be a House of Peace and Captain Chris Wattie, author of Contact Charlie, as they discuss this important topic.”
Africa. Two events on Pan-Africanism at the Different Book List, 777 Bathurst Street.
Black History Month.
Ruth’s Note: We have lots of Black History and Contemporary Black events. It’s good to learn about the past but I like the perspective also of the title of N.K. Jemisin’s book How long ‘til Black Future Month? Among the many happenings involving our Black Community during this period:
Music Africa presents Black History Month Concert Series: February 9 and 16, and 23. 9-11pm. Free music. Mamaland Restaurant, 685 Lansdowne Avenue. Tel. 416-469-5336. https://www.facebook.com/MamaLand2014/
Black Opera: Symposium. Uncovering Music History. February 16. 11am-5pm. Free but sold out. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/black-opera-uncovering-music-history-tickets-546688224927?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.
Ruth Note: Why do I tell you about a sold-out event? If you don’t want to keep missing out on important events like this one, please sign up to “Follow” Toronto Public Library on its website.
Black Music for Black History Month Celebrations Afro-Central. Friday, February 15. 2-3pm. Free. Malvern Library, 30 Sewells Road, Scarborough. Tel. 416-396-8969.
“The D’Lyfe duo delivers high energy dance workshops, drawing from the cross-cultural experiences that have influenced their creative approach. This inter-generational workshop will have both young and seasoned participants grooving as we fuse traditional and contemporary West African movement to the rhythms of Afro-beat and Afro-soca.” https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/malvern/
Raising Our Voices; Sharing Black Canadian Stories. February 12. 6-9pm. Free. Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West.
Speaker lineup includes Former NBA All-Star and Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach and Community Ambassador Jamaal D, Magloire, Chemist and CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning Eugenia Duodu, Host of NBATV Canada’s “The Hangout” Akil Augustine, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad Kimahli Powell and Spoken Word Artist, Author and Activist MayaSpoken. http://www.celebrateblackhistory.ca/2019-event.html.
“Historica Canada is thrilled to welcome back City News Anchor Tammie Sutherland as a host… joined by Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Editor News Curation for Buzzfeed News and Social Media Editor for Buzzfeed Canada.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/raising-our-voices-sharing-black-canadian-stories-tickets-5471060791aff=ebdssbdestsearch. Tickets: http://www.celebrateblackhistory.ca/
Recognize Black History Month, Documentary & Discussion: Journey to Justice. February 12. 6:30-9pm. Free. Markham Public Library, Aaniin Library, 5665 14th Avenue, Markham. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/recognize-black-history-month-documentary-discussion-journey-to-justice-tickets-55532289573?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.
Ruth’s Note: I hope this documentary makes you aware that other groups beside Blacks were involved in the history of the civil rights movement in Ontario. We have to work at these problems, all of us together. This film Journey to Justice is available from the Toronto Public Library and on-line from the National Film Board.
First Nations. 14th Annual February Strawberry Ceremony for mmiwg2s. February 14. 12:30-1:30pm. Toronto Police Headquarters, 40 College Street. Elder Wanda Whitebird in attendance. More information: https://toronto.carpe-diem.events/calendar/8984993-14th-annual-february-14th-strawberry-ceremony-for-mmiwg2s-at-toronto-police-headquarters#m
First Nations. Young People’s Theatre: We Are All Treaty People. February 11-22; Family Day Weekend February 16-18 at 2:30pm. Recommended for Grades 1-7, ages 6 and up. Runs approximately 45 minutes. 165 Front Street East. Tel. 416-862-2222. Image from video: https://www.youngpeoplestheatre.ca/shows-tickets/we-are-all-treaty-people/
France. Europe. Balfolk Dancing. Every Monday. 7:30-10pm. “It’s a pay-what-you-can event! We suggest $5 to $10, but you are still welcome to join us if you can’t afford that. Drom Toberna, 458 Queen Street West.
“Balfolk dancing is popular social dancing from Western Europe, a recent revival of traditional, mostly French, folk dances, Bourrées, jigues, gavotte, mazurkas, waltzes, scottishes: some partner dance, some group dance, some snakey dances. They are all fun and easy to learn, you don’t need any partners or prior experience. We’ll show you how!
“We always dance to live music…” https://balfolktoronto.com. Tel. 416-937-6198.
Ireland. Toronto Irish Players Production “The Land Grabber”. February 14 to March 2. Thursday, February 14, 8pm. PWYC ($12 minimum). Friday, February 15. 8pm. Opening Night Reception $50; for all other performances, $25-$27. The Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street.
“A survivor of Ireland’s Famine, Johnny Foley is driven to expand his farm and risk the censure of his neighbours and the loss of his family. This original script… was submitted to the Abbey Theatre under the direction of William Butler Yeats.” https://torontoirishplayers.com/wp/current-production/
Japan. Valentine’s Day. February 14 celebrates love and romance. It includes the giving of cards, flowers or chocolates or other such tokens of affection to special friends and family members. School children in lower grades sometimes give out Valentine’s cards but only to all classmates. Restaurants are busy.
Many other cultures celebrate a day focused on romance too. The Japan Foundation has a Valentine’s Day Card Making Workshops where you can stamp and collage cards with Japanese papers. Workshops are February 11 from 4-6:30pm and February 14 from 2-4pm. Japan Foundation, 3/f, 2 Bloor Street East. Workshops will be first come first served. https://jftor.org/event/valentines-workshops/2019-02-11
Korea. K-Pop Dances Classes. Thursdays 4-5pm and 5-6pm. Saturdays 9-10pm (beginner). $19 each for drop-in individual classes. MBS Studios, 4500 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit #36, Scarborough. Classes starts in January but you can sign up now. They are open to all ages from eight years. Tel. 416-792-6697 for more information. For K-Pop video and other Korean events: http://atkmagazine.com/calendar-of-Korean-events-in-toronto/
Tibet. Losar (New Year) Celebration. February 9. 10am. $30 includes incense ceremony, prayers, lunch, performances, speeches. Dance Party 9pm to 2am (see poster). Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, 40 Titan Road, Etobicoke. https://www.tcccgc.org/events/losar-celebration-saturday-february-9-2019.
Tibet. Open Mic Night. Celebration of February 13 Tibet Independence Day. February 11. 7-10pm. $5. Station Cafe & Kitchen, 866 Bloor Street West. Cultural performances, poetry readings and more.
“In spite of the current political status, the 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibet’s independence to the world on February 13th, 1913. Join us as we celebrate Tibet’s once independent past and let’s together visualize a Free Tibet.”
Brought to you by Students for a Free Tibet chapters UofT St. George, Ryerson York and UTM”: https://toronto.carpe-diem.events/calendar/9462607-open-mic-night-feb-13th-tibetan-independce-day-at-station-care-kitchen/.
Ruth’s Note: 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 mention these events in future.
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