860. Affordable Events February 16-28 in Multicultural Toronto – 2019

My first choices for this period are China’s Ai Weiwei’s new exhibition and France’s impressionist painters’ industrial landscapes – beauty even in coal smoke. If I had a 20 year old friend, I would urge him or her to experience a Japanese Coming of Age ceremony, costumes and all.

Did you know where the term “faggot” came from? You probably know a lot about Inuit arts but you can learn more from an upcoming afternoon’s talk and film. How about enjoying a genuine Jewish home-cooked dinner – if you’ve never had one before? Or gasping at the amazing acrobatics of hip-hop from around the world? Less physically-demanding but equally foot-stomping is a session of Quebec maple sugar music.

Most of these events are free or almost-free. They all express Toronto’s ties to the cultures of the world and in some cases, how Toronto has affected them. We are so fortunate.

China. Ai Weiwei: Unbroken. Thursday, Feb 28 to June 09. Included with general admission $9-$15. Youth and children aged 18 and under are always free. Half-price admission every Friday from 4 to 9 pm but not Friday, February 22 when the Museum will be closed; otherwise, it’s open daily at 2pm; Fridays at 2pm & 7pm; Sundays at 2pm & 3pm. Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park.

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing) is among the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists and one of China’s most formidable critics. His sculptures, photographs, installations, and public artworks often repurpose traditional Chinese forms and materials to address today’s most pressing social concerns…”


Image of Ai Weiwei from Gardiner website.


Chinese-Canada. A Culinary Journey Through Toronto Chinatowns. Feb. 26. 2-4pm. East-Asian Library, 8/f Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street.  Torontochinatownsculinaryjourney.ca.

France. A Portrait of Changing Cityscapes. Impressionism in the Age of Industry. February 16-May 5. General admission and hours: https://ago.ca/visit. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West.

Impressionist painters Monet, Degas, Pissarro – glimpse into the grittier side of impressionism – railroads, factories and commerce…” https://ago.ca/events/exclusive-impressionism-age-industry-monet-pissarro-and-more.

Image: Claude Monet, Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877. Oil on canvas, 60.3 x 80.2 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. And Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1158. Image Copyright © Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY. Image from AGO website.


Germany. Theatre. Tobias Herzberg’s “Geygele” @ Rhubarb Festival. February 23. 6pm. Evening pass $20 via Buddies in Bad Times; rush tickets Pay What You Can. Language: English. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre / In the Chamber, 12 Alexander Street.

“The English term “faggot” is connected to the Yiddish “feygele” which originally meant ‘little bird’. From the Yiddish bird came the English insult, later a proud battle cry of gay subculture. In this solo performance, Tobias Herzberg digs beneath the labels he’s been assigned – gay, Jewish, German, romantic, nymphomaniac, and uncircumcised – to create a militant hymn for the perverted and marginalized of this world.” For more information: tel. 416-975-8555. https://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/en/sta/tor/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21464940

Image from Goethe-Institut website.

Double Film & Panel. Kinngait: Riding Light Into the World and Ghost Noise. Saturday, February 23. 2pm. Free with RSVP. Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West.

“This program will begin with an introduction by Dr. Nancy Campbell, guest curator of Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds, speaking about the Inuit contemporary artist whose work has found broad appeal around the globe. Kinngait: Riding Light Into the World (dir. Annette Mangaard, 2010, colour, 64 min.) brings the audience to the community of Cape Dorset and the acclaimed Kinngait Studios. Ghost Noise (dir. Marcia Connolly, 2010, colour, 23 min.) leads the viewer into the world of third generation Inuit artist, Shuvinai Ashoona. The film mirrors the poetry found within Ashoona’s meticulously detailed drawings that deftly reflect personal experience, psychological perception, Inuit mythology and the arctic landscape.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kinngait-riding-light-into-the-world-and-ghost-noise-film-screening-panel-tickets-53961865392.

Image from Harbourfront website.


Japan. Seeijin Shiki 2019. February 24. 2pm. For prices see poster. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court.

Coming-of-Age ceremony. “Everyone welcome to participate in the very first Japanese Coming-of-Age Ceremony in Toronto. …Anyone, regardless of nationality, interested in Japanese culture, who will become 20 years of age in 2019, or anyone in their twenties who has never participated in Seijin Shiki ….” https://jftor.org/seijin-shiki-2019-toronto/

Jewish. Shabbat Dinners. February 22. “This program is designed to give participants the opportunity to experience the special and sacred observances of other faiths. These dinners take place in an intimate family setting with a home-cooked meal which provides the best setting for learning about other faiths and cultures firsthand.”  https://www.facebook.com/events/364551810767081/.

Multicultural. Africa. Dance Immersion 25th Anniversary Celebration presenting BBOYIZM. February 22. 8pm; February 23. 1 and 8pm. $15-$40. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West. “Toronto premiere will take audiences on a journey through the intersections between rhythm, expression and community.

“The show features traditional street dances including Rocking and B-boying, as well as newer forms such as House Dancing, Hustle, and – rarely seen on North American stages – Pantsula, a street dance from Soweto, South Africa. It also introduces the innovative concept of Rhythmic Contact as Crazy Smooth and his dancers mix traditional forms of dance contact with music and rhythmic patterns, much like tap dancers, always within the context of street dance.” https://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?id=10300&festival_id=0

There’s also a Bboyizm African Street Dance Workshop on February 24 at the National Ballet School at 400 Jarvis Street.

Multicultural. Multicultural Canadian Fair B2B & Trade Show 2019. February 24. 11am-4pm. Free. Woodbine Mall, 500 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke. Tel. 647-831-2139. www.AssociationCanada.org

Quebec. Maple Sugar Music. February 24. 3pm. $12.50-$25. Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Avenue.

Featuring the popular Messe Quebecois by Pierick Houdy, along with music celebrating the Spring thaw. Written in 1973 by Canadian composer Pierick Houdy for fiddle, piano and spoons, this original composition draws on the two strong musical traditions in French Canadian culture of church music and folk fiddling…” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/maple-sugar-music-tickets-50878820923.

Sikh. Exhibition. Medicine for a Nightmare (they called, we responded). February 9 to March 23. Open 11am–6pm, Tuesday – Saturday (Closed Sunday & Monday). Mercer Union, 1286 Bloor Street West. (One block east of Lansdowne TTC Station)

Curated by cheyanne turions, this exhibition “will be the first solo exhibition in the city for interdisciplinary artist Nep Sidhu. Recognized for his elaborate textile works, his fashion design and his collaboration with Shabazz Palaces, Sidhu here will take the 1984 massacre of Sikh people in India as a point of departure for new sculpture and tapestry, as well as an artist’s publication. In particular, he will foreground the kitchen space and the spiritual role it plays in community. The exhibition will also be restaged at the Esker Foundation in Calgary this fall.” http://www.mercerunion.org/exhibitions/nep-sidhu-medicine-for-a-nightmare-they-called-we-responded/.

Image from Mercer Union website.


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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