It must be the cold weather and the need for lots of food. Not many free events have come to my attention during this period, but there are some. I mention some expensive ones because attendance there can tell you much about our different communities, their origins and growing affluence. I hope you can afford to go and meet some of your neighbours there too.
Our Chinese speaker can enlighten you about archaeology in China and how it relates to our ROM — for free. All writers matter; here you can learn about our Black writers. You will also find an opportunity to enjoy music with members of our Bulgarian community, and the experience of different delicious Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras customs at a couple churches. Our Russian Orthodox Church is hosting a Maslenitsa. Neither do I want to miss our annual live Mardi Gras concert that gives me a cheaper New Orleans fix than flying to that lively city.
Our neighbours of Irish and Japanese origin are busy this season and if you join them, you might be able to learn why a part of Japan has “the highest proportion of people over 100 years old…”
You might be surprised to discover the not-so-gentle Indian origins of our popular yoga practices. There’s also still time to see the multicultural light show at the Distillery District, and to find out about MYSEUM’s new programs. I like to browse the Muslim Womenprenure’s Bazaar to see what creative ideas these new entrepreneurs are coming up with. Maybe Toronto and not just Antigonish will be making its own version of Peace by Chocolate.
Readers have been asking about lessons in whirling dervish-ing. They can talk with some dancers at the Sufi event mentioned here.
Black Writers. Black Writers Matter. February 27. 6-7pm. Free but you must register to attend. Toronto Reference Library, Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, 2/f, 789 Yonge Street.
“Black Writers Matter is a powerful new anthology of African-Canadian writing, edited by Whitney French. The stories in this collection offer a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose…
“…Participants: Whitney French: writer, storyteller, and multidisciplinary arts; Angela Walcott: multidisciplinary artist and writer; Sapphire Woods: queer nerd with a passion for Black education.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/black-writers-matter-tickets-55663113872?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Bulgaria. Concert and Cocktail Occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Bulgaria with the support of the Consulate General in Toronto. March 3. 6:30pm. $15-$25. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue.
“Zhivko Petrov – one of the most influential contemporary Bulgarian musicians. Solo Concert – presentation of artist album ‘After 4’”: https://www.facebook.com/189315911103515/photos/rpp.189315911103515/2235972063104546/?type=3&theater
China. Dr. Chen Shen: Navigating Cross-cultural Collaborations: Cultural Exchange via Museum Exhibition between China and Canada. Sunday, March 3. 2pm. Free. Rm 5150, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), 252 Bloor Street West, at the St. George Subway Station. Canada-China Friendship Association. http://federation.tripod.com/tccfa.html
Christian. Shrove Tuesday. March 5. Also known as Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before the long fast for Lent. Because of our cold weather, some Torontonians celebrate it as the Caribbean Carnival in July and August.
Christian. Russia. Maslenitsa. March 3. 12 noon. $15 and $30. Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, 23 Henry Street. Tel. 416-979-2990 or Kaleria 647-345-3929. Choir. Blinis (pancakes). Beginning of meatless fasting.
Christian. Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Tuesday, March 5. 5-8pm. Donations to cover the cost of the meal are welcome. Church of Mary Magdalene, 477 Manning Avenue.
“Take a night off cooking and come out and join us on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, (French for Fat Tuesday). It is the last day before the season of Lent begins, and we will share a meal of pancakes, sausages, and fruit. At 5pm, there will be a short Said Mass (for those who wish to receive communion). At 5.30, a feast! At 6.45 children are invited to join us outside as we burn the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday for Ash Wednesday”: https://www.stmarymagdalene.ca/e
India. Yoga as the Art of War. March 1. 4-6pm. Free. Munk School of Global Affairs, 208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place.
Speaker: Christian Novetzke, Professor of Indian Religions, History, and Culture at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Chair: Christoph Emmrich,Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto: https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/events/?keyword=&start=01-03-2019&end=
“…This year we celebrate the legacy of Chris Langan through music, dance, and community spirit. Our featured guests this year include world-renowned Uilleann Piper Mick O’Brien, on Fiddle Andrew O’Brien and Patrick Ourceau, Caroline Keane – Concertina, Pat O’Gorman – Flute / Whistle, Brian Kavanagh – Uilleann Pipes, Banjo player Shane Mulchrone who will lead an all-instruments class, and Uilleann pipe reed-maker Olivier Craig-Dupont.” Schedule: http://www.chrislangan.ca/weekend-schedule-2019//.
For this and other Irish events: http://canadiancelticarts.ca/index.html
Ireland. Irish Person of the Year. Luncheon. March 3. 12:30pm. $70. Toronto Hilton Hotel. https://www.icccto.com/news/irish-person-of-the-year-2019.html
Japan. Haru Matsuri – Spring Festival. March 2-3. 12-5pm. Each day: Family $16 (Max. 2 adults/2 youth), Adults $7, Children (5–16 yrs) and Seniors (over 65) $5. Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court.
“The JCCC will be opening its doors to everyone as we celebrate a weekend filled with activities, entertainment and exhibits all associated with the many festivals celebrated across Japan in the Spring!!… Japanese arts and crafts demonstrations such as Ikebana (flower arranging), Bunka Shishu (embroidery), and Sumi-e (brush painting)… martial arts Aikido, Karate, Judo, Jodo, Iaido, Naginata, Kyudo and Kendo. Traditional Japanese dancing and drumming… Japanese cuisine will also be available for sale in the food court.” http://jccc.on.ca/event/haru-matsuri-spring-festival-3/
Japan. Southern Breeze from Okinawa. March 2. 3-5pm. Free (RSVP required). Japan Foundation, 2 Bloor Street East. https://jftor.org/event/katari-storytelling-2019/
“Join us for an afternoon of Japanese folk tales, songs, stories and dance performances at the 26th annual Katari Storytelling Festival. This family-friendly event is presented in cooperation with the Toronto Storytelling Festival. The Katari Japanese Storytellers programme includes traditional and contemporary storytelling for all ages, this year’s selection is inspired by the southern islands of Okinawa in Japan:” https://jftor.org/event/katari-storytelling-2019/
HuffPost says “People In Okinawa Live Longer Than Almost Anyone On Earth… This Japanese region has the highest proportion of people over 100 years old and they’re ridiculously healthy…” This event might help you understand why.
For Toronto Storytelling Festival, March 2-24, see: https://torontostorytellingfestival.ca/2019/
Multicultural. Myseum: Intersections. Opening Reception Launch Party: February 28. 7-9pm. Free. The Great Hall: Longboat Hall, 1087 Queen St West. http://www.myseumoftoronto.com/programming/revisionist-toronto-launch-party/.
Festival: February 28-March 31. “Our annual festival of art, culture, and intersectionality features 17 projects that cover a range of historic and contemporary issues. This year’s theme, Revisionist Toronto, revisits and re-imagines some of the dominant narratives that shape our understanding of the city. Projects featured in this year’s festival explore lost or hidden stories that have been paved over and forgotten, and seek to reclaim important perspectives from Toronto’s past:” http://www.myseumoftoronto.com/exhibition/revisionist-toronto/
Multicultural. Toronto Lightfest. Artists from Israel, Netherlands, Russia, U.S., etc. to March 3. From dusk until 9pm during the week, dusk to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Free. Distillery Historic District. Directions: https://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/contact; video on: https://torontolightfest.com/#!/artist.
Syria. Muslim. Multicultural. Milton Grand Bazaar. Saturday, March 2. 12-7pm. Free admission with optional donation to Milton Hospital! Former location of Teatro Convention Center, Milton Bible Church, 121 Chisholm Drive, Milton.
“A fascinated exhibition of over 60 businesses featuring diverse products and services. 100 swag bags for the first visitors! Win exciting lucky draw prizes every hour! There will be something for everyone! Free entertainment for Kids. Arabic and English story time. Magician show. Clown, face painting, prizes and more surprises! “ www.muslimwomenpreneurs.ca
Muslim. Sufi. WAJD – Songs of Separation with performance by Rumi Canada. March 2. 8pm. $20, $18 Friends, $12 students and seniors. (Includes same-day Museum admission (redeem at Ticket Desk)). Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, North York.
Film: WAJD – SONGS OF SEPARATION. Amar Chebib, 2018, 87 min. Followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, and a whirling dervish performance accompanied by live Sufi music… In 2010, filmmaker Amar Chebib was in Syria exploring sacred Sufi music when the civil war broke out, prompting him to focus instead on the lives of three musicians forced into exile. Five years later, when the musicians are living as refugees in Turkey and Holland, they turn to their love of Sufi music to help find meaning in the aftermath of atrocity.
“Featuring pre- and post-war footage of Syria, stirring musical performances, and extremely rare Sufi ceremonies, what unfolds is a testament to the life-affirming power of music and creative expression:” https://bit.ly/2Nu8fmv
U.S. Mardi Gras 2019: Goin’ Back to New Orleans. March 1. 7pm. $20-$25. St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe Street.
“Get set for a happy, spirited evening of traditional street-beat jazz, with colourful parades and beads. Goin’ Back to New Orleans will feature The Patrick Tevlin-Jordan Klapman All-Stars. This band of top-flight, veteran Toronto jazz musicians includes trumpeter & vocalist Patrick Tevlin, pianist & vocalist Jordan Klapman, reed man Tom Skublics, Sousaphone player Paul Neufeld, trombonist Dan Douglas, drummer Gary Scriven, and banjo player/guitarist Bill Bridges. Together, they’ll perform popular jazz and Gospel classics such as Just a Little While to Stay and When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.
“Stay on afterwards for a reception with delicious, New Orleans-inspired treats.” http://standrewstoronto.org/events/event-details/?action=evrplusegister&event_id=66
Ruth’s Note: 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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