I was sorry to miss the amazing million-plus multi-racial crowds at the recent Toronto Rapters Parade and rally but I saw them on television while I was in Victoria, B.C. I was also very pleased at the multicultural backgrounds of our prize-winning basketball team: Cameroon, Greece, Spain, Congo, U.S., etc., talented people from other parts of the world who had been working together to bring victory to Toronto.
Here are more examples of our lively multicultural scene this coming week. Many of these are outdoors and free but with limited seating and shade. So bring your own, and also your adventurous taste buds. Here are some of the many places in our city where we can learn to appreciate each other.
Africa. Afrofest. Saturday, July 6. 12-11pm. Sunday, July 7. 12-8pm. Free. Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East.
This African music festival “celebrates the beauty and diversity of African music and culture… a mix of local and international performers along with African food to sample.” Website: http://www.afrofest.ca . For other African themed events: www.Afrosocialcentric.com.
Africa. Tales By Moonlight Drumming and Story Telling Workshop. Thursday, July 11. 2-3pm. Free. Downsview Library, 2793 Keele Street.
“The ‘tales by moonlight’ is presented through story telling, but encompasses singing, chanting and drumming which are preformed using traditional African story-telling styles. Children and their accompanying adult will have the opportunity to play their own drum and enjoy learning about exotic animals and characters in African folklore.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/tales-by-moonlight-drumming-and-story-telling-workshop-tickets-61651764086?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.
For other Toronto Public Library events from different cultures, get a copy of the July-August print edition of its What’s On Program Guide from any library branch.
Armenia. Concert. Old New Armenia. July 5. 8pm. Prices start at $45. Mazzoleni Concert Hall, Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor Street West. Chamber, classical, piano: https://www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/old-new-armenia.
Belgium. Garden Party. July 6. 6-9pm. $45 for Non Members. Tickets include Belgian food stations and drinks! 5 Ridout Street.
“BCBC is happy to invite you to an amazing Belgian party to celebrate summer in company of good old and new friends. Joining us for a toast with only the best beer in the world (Belgian beer) will be our dear friend H.E. Johan Verkammen, Belgian Ambassador to Canada.
“Note: we will have our AGM just before.” Belgian Canadian Business Chamber. http://www.belgiumconnect.com/events/bcbc-garden-party/ https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07egdpv3ra3dec791c&oseq=&c=&ch=.
Buddhist. Tibet. Hayagriva Initiation and Longlife Prayer Ceremony. July 7. 10am. Free. Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, 40 Titan Road, Etobicoke.
Caribbean. 50th Anniversary Caribbean Carnival. July 7– August 11. Various dates, times and venues. As you can see, this event continues for a period of over a month. The Official Launch this year is on Tuesday, July 9. 12-2pm at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West. This kickoff event gives Toronto a taste of what’s to come in the weeks ahead.
Venues for the Carnival are varied. Events include: Church services, Junior Carnival, Carnival Run, King and Queen Band Show, Pan Alive (a steel band competition), and Grand Parade. Prices range from free to a three-day party package for $265. A total of over a million people are expected to attend.
Among my personal favourites is the free Junior Carnival where children prance in flamboyant costumes and crowds are small. Then there’s the Carnival Run in support of The Simunye Foundation which is raising money “to create a cultural centre that is Canada’s premier source of African-Canadian history, knowledge, business development, arts/entertainment support, health and wellness support and preservation of the legacy of Canadians from African descent.” https://www.simunyefoundation.org/about.
The most popular event is the Grand Parade which is on Saturday, August 3 from 8:30am-6pm. This is a long time to stand along a parade route if you want to see it all for free… masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place along Lake Shore Boulevard… most of the parade is held on Lakeshore Boulevard. Parade route map at: https://torontocarnival.ca/2019-parade-route-map.
Admission costs $10 – $25 to enter Exhibition Place where you can get bleacher seats to see the parade. VIP Admission is available from $115-195 which includes a shady shelter and Caribbean food.
Tickets and directions by public transit: https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/grande-parade-toronto-caribbean-carnival/. Contact: 416-391-5608. More information at: https://www.caribanatoronto.com/event/caribanaparade.
China. Inner Mongolia. Namgar. Tuesday, July 9. 8pm. $25-$36. Small World, 180 Shaw Street.
“… We’ve been trying to get Namgar, the arresting Mongolian fusion band here for some years, and now we’ve got ‘em.” Video also on: http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/namgar./
First Nations. Exhibit. Wigwam Chi-Chemung. June to October. 3-6pm on select dates. Ontario Place Marina, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West. “This is a place for people to engage with, ask question of, and learn from the perspectives of indigenous elders and explore the heritage and achievements of Toronto’s indigenous communities.” https://www.wigwamchichemung.com/about.
Francophone. Africa. Franco-Fête de Toronto. July 6. 12-10:30pm, and July 7. 12-5pm. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
“This year, Franco-Fête is exploring various parts of the global Francophonie by devoting a full day, Saturday, July 6th, to Francophone Africa. In addition to performances by Canadian artists from different African countries, this day will include a host of activities that will allow the public to interact with members of various African communities living in Toronto… tastings of African dishes and demonstrations of traditional dance and attire.
Launch on July 5. Show at 6:30pm. Wenona Lodge, 1069 Bloor Street West. For more information in French: www.franco-fete.ca; in English: http://www.franco-fete.ca/?lang=en.
India. Student Recital. Toronto Tabla Ensemble. July 6. 6–8pm. $20. Westedge Community Church, 157 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga. https://torontotabla.com/event/student-recital-2019/
Latin America. Salsa on St. Clair. July 6 and 7. Free. St. Clair Ave West between Winona Drive and Christie Street.
Latin music, non-stop dancing in the streets, Latin foods and fun for the entire family! For more information about this and free Salsa and Bachata dance classes: http://www.salsaintoronto.com/lineup/salsa-on-st-clair/?page_id=436.
Latvia. Latvian Song Festival in Canada presents: A Concert of Chamber and Orchestral Music. July 5 at 4pm, and The State Choir LATVIJA at 7:30pm. $45-$55 each. Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor Street West. https://www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/the-xv-latvian-song-festival-in-canada-presents-a.
Multicultural. Beaches International Jazz Festival. July 5-28. Various venues and times. Free. One of our biggest festivals with calypso, new age, jazz, R&B, fusion, Latin, blues, Cajun, etc. https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/BeachesInternationalJazzFestival/ Multicultural.
Multicultural. Fusion of Tastes. July 7. 12-9:30pm. Free. Albion-Islington Square. Largely Indian neighbourhood.
“9.5 hours of programming, 60 vendors, Kidz Zone, competitions, buskers, etc.” Website: fusionoftaste.com.
Multicultural. Taste of Lawrence. July 5-7. Free. Wexford Heights community. Lawrence Avenue East from Warden to Birchmount Street.
International food and cultural street festival. 130 street vendors, midway rides and performers. For times: https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/taste-of-lawrence/
Philippines. Fringe Festival. Through the Bamboo. July 3–14. Various times. $13. Factory Theatre Mainstage, 125 Bathurst Street.
“Through the Bamboo is a Filipinx-Canadian tale suitable for the whole family 7 years+, told in the style of The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Alice in Wonderland while rooted in Philippine mythology.” https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/plan-your-festival/tickets-pass-info. For more information, please visit: throughthebamboo.ca
This is one of many plays in this festival with themes representative of our diverse cultures. For other plays, see: https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/schedule
Philippines. Second PhilCan Mosaic Festival. July 6. 12-9:30pm. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West.
“Come and join us for another full day of festivities! For more info: 416-889-1746; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org… The PhilCan Mosaic is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious, civic and cultural organization… Our main goal is to promote friendship, understanding and camaraderie among the Multi Cultural groups of fellow Canadians. We organize activities that promote and celebrate traditional Cultures and Traditions.” https://www.facebook.com/philcanmosaic/posts.
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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