Big during this period are Halloween, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and Diwali celebrations in Hindu temples. A host of other events also give you an opportunity to glimpse in person or on-line into the lives of your GTA neighbours. Most but not all of the following are free or nearly free.
Canada. Toronto. Halloween. October 31. Originally an ancient Celtic festival which precedes the Christian All Saints Day. From dusk on Thursday to about 9pm, children dress up in costumes like ladybugs, princesses, Harry Potter, zombies, vampires, politicians, etc. They go door-to-door “trick or treating.” House-dwellers usually oblige by giving them candy or apples.
Many schools, bars and community groups also celebrate with costumes and parties. Many houses, stores and neighbourhoods are enlivened with pumpkins and harvest themes for weeks before. Houses are decorated with scary themes like grave stones, skeletons, cob-webs, and ghosts. Trying to frighten children is part of the fun. Halloween street parties and pumpkin fests take place in many of our neighbourhoods and museums.
Toronto goes all out for Halloween in many different ways. In addition to “trick or treating”; among them:
1. Toronto’s Museums and Cultural Centres. Now to November 1. Various venues. Check these out now for very affordable spooky family events. Some of which are already sold out. https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/exhibits-events/?themes=Halloween.
2. Toronto’s Gay Village. Annual Halloween Street Party in The Church-Wellesley Village. October 31. 6–11pm. Free. On three blocks of Church Street north of Carlton. The costumes are amazing and photo-ops are everywhere. Music and dance. https://www.churchwellesleyvillage.ca/copy-of-events-1 and https://www.churchwellesleyvillage.ca/
3. Sorry, no Annual Halloween Bed Race and Pumpkinfest in support of Dorothy Ley Hospice this year.
For other Halloween events with various prices and venues, search on Google.
Chinese-Canada. The Frederick Lee Story and the Hill 70 Memorial Project. October 28. 4-6:30pm. Free. Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, 8th floor, Robarts Library, 130 St George Street, University of Toronto.
“While featuring Frederick Lee, the symposium will present a larger Chinese Canadian story. Based on historical research by experts on Chinese Canadian studies and WWI, along with invaluable insights from key figures involved in various Frederick Lee projects, the event will shine new light on Chinese Canadians’ contributions to Canadian history.” https://hongkong.library.utoronto.ca/event/frederick-lee-story-and-hill-70-memorial-project
Christian. England. Italy. All Souls Day Mass. November 2. Donations appreciated. Roman Catholic Churches and some cemeteries.
All Souls’ Day is a Catholic feast commemorating those who have died and are now in Purgatory. Some liturgy in Italian and English. Mass will also be held at the following cemeteries in English: Assumption, Christ the King, and Resurrection. Liturgy at Holy Cross and Queen of Heaven will be in English and Italian. Tel. 416-733-8544; http://www.catholic-cemeteries.com/news/all-souls-day-mass
Egypt. The Nile Association of Ontario’s 32nd Annual Celebration. Saturday, November 2. 6:30pm. Dinner served at 7:30pm. Ceremony 9pm. $30-$65. Grand Victorian Center Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, 175 Derry Road East, Mississauga.
“Presentation of 10 Young Pillars of the Nile Awards and 2019 Scholarship Award winners. Event under the Patronage of H.E. Ambassador of Egypt in Ottawa. Family and friends of The Nile Association of Ontario are encouraged to attend as well as sponsors, supporters and non-members.” For registration online: http://www.nileclub.org/eventdetail.aspx?id=102
Estonia. Lectures by Estonian scholars at the University of Toronto. October 24.
11am-1pm: Dr Aigi Rahi-Tamm: “Bringing war into everyday: re-education of society in postwar Soviet Estonia”, Sidney Smith Hall 2098, 100 St. George Street.
2-4pm: Dr Mihkel Solvak: “Internet Voting in Estonia“, Munk School, 1 Devonshire Place, Room 108N.
4-6pm: Prof. Margit Sutrop: “Should we trust artificial intelligence?“, Centre for Ethics, 15 Devonshire Place, 2nd floor.
Many of our cultural groups are interested in the same issues the rest of us are. Estonians and other international authors are also participating in the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. October 24 – Nov. 3. https://festivalofauthors.ca/festival
First Nations. Inuit. Jeremy Dutcher. October 12. 7pm. $22-$54. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Avenue.
A ceremony at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec on September 30, recently honoured the 4000 plus Residential School children who died attending the schools. It was part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and was broadcast on October 6 in a very solemn but beautiful one-hour telecast on APTN.
I was very favourably impressed by the moving performances of three indigenous artists or groups; Jeremy Dutcher, PIQSIQ and Red Sky. Their tributes were so wonderful that I looked them up on the Web to see if they would be performing in Toronto soon.
Tenor-composer-pianist Juno award winner Jeremy Dutcher will be singing in Toronto on October 12. He is from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, and performs in the Wolastoq language. You can find his videos on: https://jeremydutcher.com/videos/.
I will inform you when I learn where and when the others will be appearing here.
Goa. G.O.A Friends & Family Halloween Nite. October 25. 7:30pm- October 26, 12am. $10-$15. Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre (KCCC), 5225 Orbitor Drive Suite #3, Mississauga. This is one of our many cultural groups who are celebrating Halloween too: https://goatoronto.com/events/fridaynite-friends-family/
Greece. Torch Relay & Marathon Flame Celebration!. October 17. 6:30pm – 8pm. Starts at Alexander the Great Parkette (Logan and Danforth) with arrival of Marathon Flame at 7:15pm.
The Flame Lighting Ceremony will also feature ‘live’ Greek music and entertainment!
“The Marathon Flame, a symbol for world peace, fair competition, and participation in sports as a way of life, will be carried by runners from local Toronto Running Clubs.” https://www.facebook.com/events/511249669728328/
Hindu. India. Diwali. Festival of Lights. Grand Fire Works and Chopda Pujan. Sunday, October 27. 3-6:30 pm. Donations appreciated. Maha Arti and Grand Fireworks will take place at 7:30pm. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple), 61 Claireville Drive, Etobicoke.
“Diwali, one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar, will be celebrated with great devotion and splendour.” Pathways to homes and temples will be lit with lights. On this day, business-owners close existing account books and open new ones in preparation for the year ahead. Devotees also take stock of their spiritual relationship with Bhagwan. https://www.baps.org/Global-Network/North-America/Toronto/Upcoming-Events.aspx
Hindu. India. Grand Annakut Darshan. Monday, October 28. 11:30am-6:30pm. Donations appreciated. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple), 61 Claireville Drive, Etobicoke.
“The day following Diwali is the beginning of the Hindu New Year with a mountain of food. Every year over 1,000 unique thalis (vegetarian delicacies) are offered in devotional gratitude for the past year and to seek blessings for the New Year ahead…. We cordially invite you for darshan of the Grand Annakut with family and friends.” https://www.baps.org/Global-Network/North-America/Toronto/Upcoming-Events.aspx
India. Diwali Celebration: Bollywood Live. October 27. 8:30-11pm. $15. Station Bar and Kitchen, 866 Bloor Street West. ttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/diwali-celebration-bollywood-live-tickets-72459246557
India. Gujarat. Hindu. The City of Brampton’s Garba. October 18. Doors Open at 6pm. Event starts at 7:30pm and ends 11pm. Free Admission – Non-perishable food items will be collected for Knights Table, Seva Food Bank and Ste. Louise Outreach. CAA Centre, 7575 Kennedy Road South, Brampton.
“Mayor Brown and Members of Council invite everyone to take part in the City of Brampton’s first ever Garba!
“Garba celebrations feature traditional dance, music and Gujarati food, as part of the nine-day Navratri festival… Bring your friends and family to enjoy amazing live music, dancing, speeches and aarti (prayer ceremony). Food and beverage is available for purchase. Space is limited to 4,000 attendees in the building, and only 1,200 guests are permitted on the dance floor. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
“This event is part of Brampton’s Community Recognition Program, a series of cultural celebrations… to honour Brampton’s diversity.” http://www.brampton.ca/EN/Online-Services/Events/Pages/Event.aspx/8280/ed=20191018/st=1900/et=2300
International. A group called XR Rebel started civil disobedience activities in Toronto on October 7 in an attempt to point out the seriousness of Climate Change. They closed off the Prince Edward Viaduct System/Bloor Viaduct. For a news report on the event: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/10/07/climate-change-protest-expected-to-block-bloor-street-viaduct.
In order for you to anticipate their future events, please refer to the organizers: http://tcan.ca/event/global-rebellion. ————————————————————————————–
Japan. Tickets are on sale now for Cinema Kabuki. November 9 and 10. Per screening, each program $24.80, including tax and handling charge. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West. Tickets get sold out quickly so if you are interested in this popular film series featuring Japan’s classic theatre, book now. https://jftor.org/event/cinema-kabuki-2019-nov-10/. Thanks to P. Anne Winter for telling us about this.
Mexico. Day of the Dead is the yearly occasion when the living prepare to welcome departed friends and relatives. It is not a sad occasion. At least two celebrations occur in Toronto with altars, performances, special foods, pictures, etc.
1. Evergreen’s 9th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration. October 27. 10am-3pm. Free. 550 Bayview Avenue. Food, music, live performances and family fun activities. https://www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event/annual-day-of-the-dead-celebration/
2. Day of the Dead Celebration – Día de los Muertos. October 26. 4-10pm. Free. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. Mexican (Aztec) dancers, culinary creators, artisans, visual artists and performers. https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/day-dead-celebration-dia-de-los-muertos/.
Moldova. Chinese-Canada. The Jungle. October 10–November 3. $29-$65. Extraspace, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue.
“…she’s from Moldova, he’s the son of Chinese immigrants. She’s a factory worker by day and a waitress by night. He’s a cab driver. One night he picks her up running from job to job and their whirlwind relationship begins.
“A typical Toronto love story, stolen in the moments between shifts. But can their love survive a city in late capitalism?“ http://www.tarragontheatre.com/show/the-jungle/. Our thanks to Pamela Lock for recommending this play.
Multicultural. Indigenous Artists. imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts 20th Anniversary Festival. October 22-27. $6-$10.50-$15. Some events free. TIFF Bell Lightbox and off-site venues.
This festival includes film, video, audio, digital media, and exhibitions each created by Indigenous artists from Canada and around the world, in addition to a series of panels and workshops. The Festival is the largest event of its kind in the world and is a leader in supporting and developing Indigenous media arts and in building relationships between communities.
Among the settings of films: Easter Island, Chile, Tonga, New Zealand, First Nations and Canadian Arctic, Columbia, Afghanistan (Pushtun), U.S. (Navajo), etc.: http://www.imaginenative.org/in20-festival-menu and http://www.imaginenative.org/film-categories.
Multicultural. Black History. Social Justice Week Ryerson University. October 28 to November 1. Different venues at Ryerson University.
Program includes: The Dish with One Spoon: Exploring the Meanings. October 28. 3-5pm. Thomas Lounge, 55 Gould Street; :“Why We Should All be Activists”: What Haudenosaunee philosophy can teach us about our responsibility to the Earth Ft. Alicia Elliott: October 28. 6:30-9pm. LIB0-72; ECI Mandela Lecture explores the long history of Canadian slavery. October 29. 6:30-9pm. LIB072. https://www.ryerson.ca/socialjustice/social-justice-week/. —————————————————————————————————————–
Multicultural. Toronto. The Toronto Biennial of Art. September 21-December 1. 72 Days of Free Arts from innumerable countries and regions including Brazil, France, New Zealand, Nunavut, Turkey, U.K. and Canada’s First Nations.
“Toronto and surrounding areas will be transformed by exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflect our local context while engaging with the most pressing issues of our time. In an effort to make contemporary art available to everyone, the Biennial’s free, citywide programs aim to inspire individuals, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations from a variety of perspectives… new international contemporary visual arts event as culturally connected and diverse as the city itself…” https://torontobiennial.org/
Muslim. U.S. Pakistan. Contemporary Muslim Writers (in English) Book Club: ‘Reluctant Fundamentalist’ by Mohsin Hamid. October19. 2-5 pm. $5. Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive. A film based on this book was released in 2013 with Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and international actors. It’s the story of a young, Princeton-educated Pakistani who goes on to work at a prestigious financial analysis firm in New York City and falls in love with a woman from the upper echelons of New York society. He seems to have achieved the American dream–until 9/11 devastates the city. https://noorculturalcentre.ca/event/contemporary-muslim-writers-book-club-reluctant-fundamentalist-by-mohsin-hamid/.
Toronto. Fall Foliage. Most of us enjoy leaf viewing as our trees turn from green to reds, oranges and yellows. Many of the following places can be reached by public transportation. https://www.blogto.com/city/2014/10/the_top_10_places_to_see_fall_foliage_in_toronto.
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 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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