Our PRIDE festival livens the city for 24 days with participants representing many of our diverse cultures. Our Yoga in the Square is every Monday from June 10 into September. The following lists some of our many cultural happenings, not just around June 6, but extending for weeks.
We also have one or two-day affairs in our free or nearly-free categories: two annual dragon boat races which come from traditions of Chinese origin, a concert by our Chinese orchestra, and our annual Taste of Guyana. India shares its many cultures with a festival, and a fun Sikh function, all at Yonge-Dundas Square but on different days.
Our Irish, Italian and Tibetan communities have organized money-raising events. A Tibetan-inspired meditation is in High Park. Our annual CHIN Picnic and Taste of Italy are combined and very popular. Luminato brings us amazing exhibits from around the world. The Philippines and Portugal have official flag raisings at our City Hall, giving us a chance to meet some of their local leaders.
Many of these are free or nearly-free and anyone can take part. All of these show how open to the world we are.
China. International. International Mississauga Dragon Boat Festival. June 9. Races 8:30am-3:30pm. Free for spectators. Mouth of the Credit River in Port Credit: www.mississaugacanoeclub.ca/dragon-boat-festival/
Ruth’s Note: Dragon-boating has become truly international with races all over the world. They were started in China to commemorate the upright poet-statesman Quyuan who drowned himself because the king of Chu did not heed Qu’s warnings about threats from the Kingdom of Qin. You might know that the king of Qin went on to become the first emperor of China in the third century B.C.
China. International. Living Realty Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. June 15 and 16. Free for spectators. Centre Island. http://www.gwndragonboat.com/default.asp?id=toronto-island&l=1
Because of possible flooding on Centre Island, please check the GWNdragonboat.com website before you go. These races are more fun for their thousand of participants than for spectators, but there’s usually lots to do on the island. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the island because of long queues. Buy your ticket on line to save time.
China. Butterfly Lovers. Toronto Chinese Orchestra. June 9. 7:30pm. $20-$25.
Arts exhibit 6pm. Pre-concert talk 7pm. Markham Peoples Community Church, 22 Esna Park Drive, Markham. http://www.torontochineseorchestra.com/wp/?pageo_id=2972.
Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto along with the Yellow River Piano Concerto, is one of the most famous orchestra works of contemporary Chinese music. The title is based on an old folk tale.
Guyana. Guyana’s 53rd Independence Anniversary. June 15. Noon – 8pm. L’Amoreaux Community Centre, 2000 McNicoll Avenue, Scarborough. Food for sale and cultural show.
India. Desi-fest. Saturday, June 8. 11am-11pm. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
Marketplace. Food. Live music. For more information: www.desifest.ca.
India. Multicultural. Yoga in the Square. June 10-September (no class Monday, July 1.) Mondays 12-1pm. Free. All ages. Yonge-Dundas Square.
“Yoga in the Square is a free, weekly, community yoga session where all are welcome to center themselves in the centre of the city. Diverse range of yoga styles. In association with Lululemon and presented by Chevrolet.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/yoga-in-the-square-2019-registration-62232445921/amp#amp-listing-organizer
Ireland. U.S. Solace Sunrise Walk – Toronto. June 8. 5-8am. $0-$35. “Our walk begins at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and we walk past the CN Tower to Ireland Park where we pause briefly to appreciate what we are achieving together as a Community and to take some stunning shots of the City.”
Annual 5k walk/run raises funds and awareness for suicide and self-harm prevention. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-solace-sunrise-walk-toronto-tickets-56197717887. Thanks to Maureen Oleary for telling us about this and other Irish events: write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Italy. Italian Heritage Street Festival. June 8. 12-8pm. Free. 195 Forum Drive, Mississauga. Organized by the Mississauga-Italian Canadian Benevolent Association for Forum Italia, a senior’s residence, day care, and long-term care home.
This is a small, intimate event with performers, food trucks, vendors and activities for kids. For more information, tel. 905-502-6003 http://www.micbaforumitalia.com.
Multicultural. CHIN Picnic Showcase Stage along with the Taste of Little Italy Festival. June 14-16. Times vary. College and Markham Street. https://festivalstoronto.com/events/chin-picnic/
Multicultural entertainment including performers from our Italian, Portuguese and Spanish communities and at least one direct from Italy. Vendors with special dishes, clothing and wares. For more information: https://www.chinradio.com/italian-events/53rd-chin-picnic
Multicultural Luminato. June 6-23. Various venues, times and prices. For example:
Guinea. Africa. KIRA, The Path | La Voie. June 6-9. Four performances. From $35. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. https://luminatofestival.com/2019/Events/kira-the-path.
Australia. North American premiere of House of Mirrors. $10. Australia//Illusion. June 7-23. Harbourfront Centre. “An optical adventure for all ages, where nothing is quite what it seems and getting out is an art.” https://luminatofestival.com/2019/Events/house-of-mirrors
Multicultural (Ojibway, Arabic, Georgian, etc.). Maada’ookii Songlines. June 23. 8-9:45pm. Free. Harbourfront Centre.
“A massive choral event with 200 singers from 11 diverse choirs, four soloists, and an Indigenous ensemble braiding their songs, styles, voices and cultures, set against Toronto’s breathtaking waterfront.” http://luminatofestival.com/2019/Events/maadaookii-songlines.
For free events click on “free” at https://luminatofestival.com/2019/Events.
Multicultural. Toronto Pride. June 1-June 30. http://www.pridetoronto.com/prideguide
Our famous Pride Parade is on June 23 and starts at 2pm at the corner of Church and Bloor. It makes its way down Yonge Street to Dundas Square. If you want a front-row view, get there at least an hour ahead of time. Crowds can be six deep during the parade. For program: http://www.pridetoronto.com/prideguide/
Philippines. Independence Day. Flag Raising. June 12. 12pm. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Portugal. Flag Raising. National Day. June 9. Ceremony at 5pm. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Portugal. Portugal Day Parade. June 9. 11am-1pm. Dundas Street West from Lansdowne Avenue to Crawford Street. https://allevents.in/mobile/amp-event.php?event_id=200017301529909
This is one of Toronto’s longest parades with representatives from Portugal’s culturally-diverse provinces. Most of the participants will be in their colourful regional costumes.
The Dundas West Fest takes place June 7 (6pm to midnight) and June 8 (10am-midnight) in the largely Portuguese neighbourhood of Dundas West.
The booths and performers are in 12 city blocks along Dundas Street West from Ossington Street to Lansdowne Avenue. https://festivalstoronto.com/events/dundas-west-fest/
Sikh. India. Turban Up. June 9. 10am-7pm. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square. Performances, food for sale. https://nowtoronto.com/events/turban-up-19/
This is a fun festival where you can learn the length of a Sikh turban, or if you so desire, try one on for a selfie.
Tibet. Choe Khang Renovation Concert. June 8. 6pm. $20-$30. Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, 40 Titan Road, Etobicoke.
An evening of contemporary and traditional music. For more information, Tel. 416-410-4506 or https://www.tcccgc.org/events/choekhang-renovation-concert-6-saturday-june-8-2019
Tibet. Buddhist. Meditation in High Park (in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition). June 9. 10-11:30am. Free. All welcome. On Hawk Hill between High Park Labyrinth and restaurant parking lot. https://www.buddhistmeditationtoronto.org.
Uyghur/Uighur. China. Endangered Culture: an Evening of Uyghur Dance and Music. June 8. 6:30. $25-$30. Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive, North York.
“The Uyghurs – a Turkic people who predominantly live in East Turkistan/Xinjiang province in China – have unique music and dance traditions dating back thousands of years. As documented by recent media and human rights reports, the Uyghurs are experiencing large-scale persecution that threatens the people and this rich cultural legacy.
“Please join us for this concert-organized by East Turkistan Association of Canada – to experience and celebrate Uyghur performance arts, and to fund-raise for schooling/other necessities for displaced Uyghur children.” https://noorculturalcentre.ca/endangered-culture-an-evening-of-uyghur-dance-music/
Ruth’s note: With our own island community in danger of flooding, some of you might know of people who could help fill sand bags. It’s a lovely way of showing you belong to Multicultural Toronto. Some restaurants there should be open but take your own food and water. For information, please email me at email@example.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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