The world is as usual in Toronto: African music, a Buddhist retreat, and a couple world-encompassing conferences. It’s Orthodox Easter with its sadness and joy, and we’ve got lots of live Indian and African music. If you can get up early enough, there’s English folk music too as we celebrate May Day with our Morris Dancers.
Want to work on improving your Spanish? or hearing stories from a Japanese-Canadian internment camp survivor? A First Nations artist discusses a Black women’s art. Our Muslims get ready for Ramadan. Some of our refugees have an art show and others start an interactive theatre group. Our Vietnamese and Sierra Leone neighbours each raise flags at Toronto’s city hall, a chance for the rest of us to meet people from these countries. And we grieve with our Sri Lankan friends.
Some of these opportunities are even free of charge.
Buddhist. Day-long Buddhist Retreat. Sunday April 28. 7am-4pm. Free. Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery and Buddha Meditation Centre of Greater Toronto, 11175 Kennedy Road, Markham. (One kilometer north of Elgin Mills Road). No need to register.
“Join us for a day of learning and practicing the Buddha’s teachings. This event includes Dhamma talks, meditation and observing Eight Precepts… We are happy to provide participants with the lunch time-meal (11am to 12:30pm). It will be mostly vegetarian. If you are a strict vegetarian or have other dietary limitations, we suggest that you bring food that you are comfortable eating. For more information: https://www.mahamevnawa.ca/activities.html.
Christian. Ecumenical. Voices for Peace. April 27. 10am-4:30pm. $15-$25. Henri Nouwen Society, 95 Saint Joseph Street.
“Steeped in the spirituality of Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton, speakers will present on the foundations and lived experience of peacemaking from the front lines of social justice… Drawing from seasoned activists and peaceful leaders, artists of spoken word and music, this conference will feed your spirit, ignite your conscience, and inspire you to become a voice for peace!
“Presented by Church of the Redeemer, Basilian Centre for Peace and Justice, and the Henri Nouwen Society.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/voices-for-peace-tickets-54653345628.
Christian. Orthodox. Easter. Sunday, April 28. Commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Christian tradition. This is the most important event in the Orthodox Christian year. By donation.
Easter schedules of a couple of our Orthodox churches follow. There are many others.
St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church, 41 Glendinning Avenue and St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, 455 Ferrier Street, Markham. For schedule of Easter services: http://stmarkstoronto.ca/schedules/holy-pascha-schedule/.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Demitrius, 3333 Lakeshore Boulevard West. For schedule of Easter Services: https://www.stdemetriusuoc.ca/news_170413_1
England. May Day in High Park. UPDATE FROM Leo <firstname.lastname@example.org> received April 30.
Morris dancers and their friends usually start dancing at dawn on May 1. They usually continue to about 8:30 or 9am. Lots of fun, though this year, the road into High Park might be closed if the height of the Cherry Blossom season falls on May Day too. Dancers are usually to the south and east of the restaurant. https://www.facebook.com/Toronto-Morris-Men-194529260616821/
For cherry blossom dates, see: https://highparknaturecentre.com/2/cherryblossom
First Nations. Black Artists. U.S.: Sunday Scene | Sage Paul discusses Alicia Henry’s exhibition “Witnessing”. April 28. 2pm. Free. The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West.
“Sage Paul is an urban Denesuliné woman based in Toronto and a member of English River First Nation. Sage is an artist, designer and recognized leader of Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles, championing family, sovereignty and resistance for balance. Sage is also founding collective member and Artistic Director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto.” http://www.thepowerplant.org/ProgramsEvents/Programs/Sunday-Scene/Sage-Paul.aspx?mc_cid=32169fa3a0&mc_eid=5293fc6995
About Alicia Henry and Witnessing: http://www.thepowerplant.org/Exhibitions/2019/Winter-2019/Witnessing.aspx
Hispanic. Spanish-English Language Exchange Toronto. Mondays. 7-8:30pm. Free. Scallywags Bar, 11 St Clair Avenue West.
India. Toronto Tabla Ensemble presents Classical to Contemporary. April 27. 7:30pm. $25-$35. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West.
“…guest Kathak dancer Labonee Mohanta and Odissi dancer Anindita Nanda… will present solos in their respective pure formats before joining the Ensemble with new choreography in an energetic meeting of rhythm, footwork, and movement…” http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?id=10385&festival_id=0
Interfaith. Conference: Our Whole Society. April 28-30. Registration fee: $125 includes two-day conference and lunches. Student fee: $45 includes two-day conference and lunches; One day registration: $70 includes one-day conference and lunch.
The Sunday evening event is a free public lecture. Please order a ‘ticket’ for this event.
“Canadian Interfaith Conversation is sponsoring the fourth conference called Our Whole Society, which aims to foster a new dialogue about the changing role of religion in a pluralistic Canadian society. Muslim, Bahai, United Church, Indigenous, Jewish, Christian, atheist, and Hindu speakers. Also Bob Rae, Special envoy to Myanmar, and Mary Jo Leddy, founder of Romero House.
“If you find yourself in need of financial assistance to participate in the conference, please contact email@example.com, detailing your situation and your contribution to the conference. Special consideration will be given by a committee member. For more information: https://www.interfaithconversation.ca/2019/program
Japanese-Canadian. Forgiveness. April 28. Doors Open: 1:30pm; Talk: 2-3pm. Free. RSVP Required. ROM admission is not included. Royal Ontario Museum, Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Level. President’s Choice School Entrance.
“Explore the uniquely Canadian story of Japanese internment through the family stories of celebrated author Mark Sakamoto. Forgiveness intertwines these compelling stories about Sakamoto’s grandparents, whose lives and humanity were taken from them during the Second World War. In conversation with Katherine Yamashita, Sakamoto looks at the process of reconciling one’s family histories in a uniquely Canadian way.” https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/on-forgiveness?
Muslim. Ramadan Festival. April 28. 12-8pm. Free admission. Woodbine Banquet Hall, 30 Vice Regent Blvd.
“Halal entertainment! Activities for the kids! Dozens of vendors!… Registering your ticket gets you: Free entrance…; Free children’s activities like face painting, balloon animals and Arabic & English storytimes; Access to clothing vendors from the Arab, Chinese, South Asian and African world; Access to international food vendors from around the world; Access to vendors selling unique crafts, jewelry, art and gifts from around the world; door prizes!..”
Muslim Womenpreneurs Network… https://bit.ly/2XE4KgU.
Refugee. Breaking Down the Walls. Refugee Rights Month. April 26. 6-9pm. Free. Matter Gallery, 344 Westmoreland Ave. N #104a.
“…an evening of visual art, music and stories in celebration of Refugee Rights Month. Through this event we are going to honour the contributions made by refugees, inviting them to showcase their works and artistic talents. Also it will be an opportunity to raise funds in support of the work that the FCJ Refugee Centre does.
“For 28 years the FCJ Refugee Centre has been championing the rights and protection of refugees, immigrants and precarious migrant populations. With a client-centered, community-driven approach we provide holistic services to vulnerable migrants.” RSVP: https://artshow.eventbrite.ca.
For more information please contact Marianna Tzabiras, Research and Resource Development by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Leone. Independence Day Flag Raising. April 27. Ceremony at 11:30am. Free. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/.
Sikh. India. April 28. Parade participants usually gather for food and prayers from 9am to 1pm at the CNE grounds. About 1pm, they head along Lakeshore, north on University Avenue to Toronto City Hall, arriving there about 3pm. This is another one of my favourite annual Toronto festivals because the city blossoms out in many colours and we non-Sikhs have an opportunity to find out about Sikh culture and our Sikh neighbours. Just come prepared to ask a lot of questions. Okay, I admit it. It’s a chance to enjoy wonderful Sikh hospitality too. The food is great. It’s abundant and it’s free. Just be prepared for long queues so try to get to City Hall before the parade arrives there. Tens of thousands of hungry people will soon be there too. https://osgc.ca/
The following week there’s usually a parade in Mississauga too. This one, Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan, goes from Malton Gurughar to Rexdale Gurughar on May 5. For more information, please contact Gurughar office 905-671-1662.
Sri Lanka. The terrible April 21 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka killed over 300 people in churches and tourist hotels. We’ve heard that vigils have already been held in several Toronto churches and schools.
For information about any future events, please contact Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree, who represents the riding of Scarborough-Rouge Park, 416-283-1414. Contact also: Sivan Ilangko, President, Canadian Tamil Congress: 416-707-9104 or email: president@canadiantamilcongress. The Sri Lankan Consulate is at 36 Eglinton Avenue West. Sri Lankans Without Borders is at 1200 Bay Street, Suite 202: https://www.facebook.com/slwbcanada/.
Toronto is home to about 157,000 Tamils. We share your grief.
Syria. Home Away from Home. Saturday April 27. 3–5pm. Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue.
The Quaker Committee for Refugees celebrates Refugee Rights Month with a play and live music by Sebastian Camelo. Syeatre; A group of Syrian newcomer theater enthusiasts, using theater as a tool for storytelling, expression, sharing experiences and challenges building a life in the new home, is proud to present its first public performance sharing two sketches with the community on challenges of integration and acceptance in the new environment. The entertainment begins at 3pm and the play starts at 4. For more information contact Eusebio Garcia (416-964-9669).
Vietnam. Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag Raising. April 30. Ceremony at 11am. Free. Journey to Freedom Day. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/.
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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