Lots of events are happening in the “Multicultural Department” in Toronto, many but not all free of charge. Here are a few that makes our city interesting and unique. Sorry we don’t have time to list them all.
Asia. China. Moon, Lantern, or Mid-Autumn Festival. The full harvest moon this month should appear on Saturday, September 14 at 12:35am. Free. It is considered the most beautiful moon of the year. For many Asians, it is celebrated with feasts, lanterns, picnics in parks, and nostalgia. (You share the same moon as your beloved even though he, she or they might be many kilometers away.) Chinese restaurants and grocery stores have been selling high-calorie moon-cakes since late August and friends give them as gifts, but be aware, they are very filling.
The Reference Library has a lecture on the subject. The Chinese Canadian Cultural Centre has a gala. The Philippine-Chinese have an event later this month. We have also listed a Vietnamese event and you can ask your Asian friends about other celebrations as well.
Azerbaijan. Folk Dancing in the Streets of Toronto as Part of Open Streets TO. September 15. 10am-2pm. Free. Bloor/Spadina intersection!
“We usually have Azerbaijani Group Dance (Yalli), lezgi, shalaxo and free-style dancing. We will teach you simple dance steps so that everybody can learn and dance! … Don’t be shy! Come and dance…- No prior experience in any type of dance is necessary!…
“Check out some of our videos at past events at 1- https://www.facebook.com/AzerbaijaniDanceToronto/videos/881204325318505/; 2- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYtDVUQRc78.
“Looking forward to seeing you all… “ https://www.facebook.com/AzerbaijaniDanceToronto.
For more about Open Streets Toronto: https://www.openstreetsto.org/
Celts. Celtic Island Music Festival. Half ½ way to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. September 14. 12-9pm. $20-$25. Centre Island. Directions: https://www.torontoislandferryfinder.com/about-the-toronto-islands/ferry-prices-schedule-and-directions/.
“Celebration of Celtic music and dance from traditional folk performances to modern…” https://stpatrickstoronto.com/celtic-island-2019/
Chile. Flag Raising of the Republic of Chile. Independence Day. September 13-14. Ceremony at 12pm. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Chinese-Canada. Mid-Autumn Festival. September 12. 6:30-8pm. Free. Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street at Bloor.
“Professor Chef Leo Chan and Ann Hui, author of Chop Suey Nation, talk about the stories and history surrounding the foods and traditions enjoyed by Chinese Canadians during this harvest celebration. The Mid-Autumn Festival, held when the moon is full, means family reunion, harmony and happiness.” https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT407036&R=EVT407036.
El Salvador. Flag Raising of the Republic of El Salvador. Independence Day. Sunday, September 15. Ceremony at 10:30am. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Estonia. ECU 65th Anniversary Community Fair. September 14. 11am. $15. Estonian House, 958 Broadview Avenue. https://estonianfoundation.ca/en/ecu-65th-anniversary-community-fair.
Hong Kong. Demonstrations in support of Hong Kong Human Rights have been active in Toronto for months. You can find out more about what’s going on from Torontonians Stand with Hong Kong: https://www.facebook.com/TFHKR/?eid=ARDanP8b1k_ql3NVRK6cXTD4psRm835RXaJphE_I0e-yiadZ_Z9MuH6vEtZQ1cfaeihyyj5AOR11B9LH or https://bit.ly/2kmItqd.
Indonesia. Indonesian Food Bazaar. September 14. 11am-2pm. The entry is free… Each menu is presented by a different vendor and has a different price ranging from $2-$15. St.Thomas More Parish Hall, 2234 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough.
“Come and enjoy Indonesian food and snacks, while you may win some prizes… a fund-raising event.” For more info: Christine 647-895-7089; www.uki.ca.
Inner Mongolia. China. Hanggai China. Thursday, September 19. 9pm. Revival Bar, 783 College Street. $20 Adv / $30 Door. http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/hanggai
Inuit. A Conversation with Isuma. A program of: Qaggiq: Gathering Place. September 17. 4-6pm. Free. Registration required. Room 140, University College, University of Toronto – downtown campus.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 17. 6-8pm. Registration required. University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle.
An exhibition of videos by the internationally renowned Isuma artists’ collective. September 18-November 30. “Officially founded in 1990 by Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik, and Norman Cohn in Igloolik, Nunavut, this first ever Inuit production company produces videos from an Inuit point of view, which includes language, story telling, and ways of thinking.” https://artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/qaggiq-gathering-place/
Ireland. Maureen Oleary has reminded us about some regular Irish events. From her newsletter: “Ceili and Set Dancing is back in September – so get out your dancing shoes and come and get a little exercise, craic, meet new and old friends.” Monday, September 16 at the Irish Club of Mississauga, 4120 Ridgeway Blvd. 7:30-9:30pm; Wednesday September 11 at the Emerald Isle Seniors Centre, 1190 Danforth Avenue. Children from 5:30–7:30pm; adults from 7:30–9:30pm. For more information and to get on her mailing list of Irish events in Toronto and area: email@example.com.
Italy. Photography Exhibition: “Striking Piazzas Of Sicily” by Armando Rotoletti. September 13 to November 6, 2019. Free. Columbus Centre – Villa Charities & Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 901 Lawrence Ave West.
“After 156 days of shooting; 7000km crossing Sicily coast to coast, east to west and north to south; 256 emails sent to municipalities requesting to free the squares of cars and catering equipment that would upset their appearance; Armando Rotoletti, renowned portrait and reportage photographer from Messina, offers to us in this book 82 Sicilian squares as we have never seen them. His squares lay empty in wait for the people to arrive, stirring our imagination, unnerving, bewitching, annihilating and surprising us.” https://iictoronto.esteri.it/iic_toronto/en/gli_eventi/calendario/2019/09/photography-striking-piazzas-of.html. For smaller versions of the images, see: http://armandorotoletti.com/sicilia-in-piazza.
Mexico. Viva Mexico. Independencia de Mexico. September 14. 11am-10pm. Free. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West.
Music, food, dance, contests, Mariachi, arts, community, etc. https://www.mexicanday.ca/
Muslim. Ashura. March for Hussain. Tuesday, September 10. March begins at 10am. Free. Lee Lifeson Art Park, North York. This is one of at least two Marches for Hussain in the GTA.
“After the incredible confluence of the past years, in Muharram 1441, we will once again witness the passionate gathering of the Ahlul-Bayt (PBUT) followers on the streets of Toronto.” https://www.ashura.ca/en-home.
Who is Hussain? For background about this event: https://whoishussain.org/who-is-hussain/the-day-of-ashura/.
Poland. Roncesvalles Polish Festival. September 14. 11am-11pm; September 15. 11am-7pm. Free. Roncesvalles Avenue.
Pierogi-making, performances on three stages, vendors, etc. September 13 for Polka Party. https://polishfestival.ca/.
Note: this festival and the Ukrainian festival are only four subway stops apart. It is possible to enjoy both in one day. The larger Ukrainian festival is only steps away from the Runnymede subway station; there’s a bit of a walk south from the Dundas West subway station for the Polish Festival. Both are fun. See below. Turkey. “Why a Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World: Fethullah Gulen: A Life Of Hizmet” by Dr. Jon Pahl. Public Lecture and Book Launch. September 18. 6pm-8.30pm. Free. The Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue.
“Dr. Jon Pahl explores the story of one of the most controversial figures of our time both as the personal biography of the person from Turkey to the United States and the public biography of the social movement he has inspired… how did a pious Muslim boy born in a tiny and remote Turkish village come to inspire a global movement of millions of individuals dedicated to literacy, social enterprise, and inter-religious dialogue”: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/why-a-muslim-scholar-in-pennsylvania-matters-to-the-world-tickets-69819926279
For more information on the Gulen Movement: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/turkeys-gulen-crackdown-hits-canada/article32191633/ and https://irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/country-information/rir/Pages/index.aspx?doc=456718
Ukraine. Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival. September 13-15. Bloor Street from Runnymede to Jane.
Highlight on September 14. 11am. Parade along Bloor Street West from High Park to Jane Street. Free entry to the festival all three days:
“Delicious food and beverages; Entertainment at the Jane and Runnymede Stages; Craft / artisan market and vendors; Children’s midway; Cultural pavilions; Sidewalk sale by BIA merchants; Buskers; Refreshment garden.” Schedule at: http://www.ukrainianfestival.com/2019-program.html
Ukraine. Lesia Ukrainka Commemoration. September 12. 5:30pm. Free. High Park just north-east of the Grenadier Restaurant. https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Lesya+Ukrainka+Monumentfirstname.lastname@example.org,-79.4643893,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xdde34ed7f6950f0a!8m2!3d43.6466393!4d-79.4643893
If you’ve ever wondered about this statue, here’s your chance to find out about it. Every culture seems to have poetry. Lesia Ukrainka (1871-1913) was a poet and playwright who believed in her country’s freedom and independence. For more information, contact the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Council, Toronto Branch. https://www.ucctoronto.ca/events/lesia-ukrainka-commemoration. Tel: 416-785-1746. Vietnam. Tet Trung Thu. Vietnamese Lantern Festival. September. 14. 1-6pm. Free. Oakdale Community Centre, 250 Grandravine Drive. Organized by the Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto (VWAT) Family Services. For information telephone 647-723-2165 or 416-837-0858.
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 and an opportunity to meet people from other cultures. If you go to any of our mentioned events, please send us corrections or an account of your impressions.
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