Do we really have a multicultural city? Okay. So you’ve eaten Ethiopian, Korean and Italian food. But did you know that Estonia is a “fully digitized” society from whose experience we can learn as we digitize our own? Have you talked with any Estonian-Torontonians about it? Do they know anything about it?
As we watch our Santa Claus parade, have you noticed any black-skinned or Asian-looking elves? Do our teenagers know anything about our Norman Bethune and his place in Chinese history?
With the current controversy over the Chinese October First national day flag raising, Hong Kong and imprisoned Canadians, should we abolish our courtesy flag raisings entirely? Do you know what’s going on in your city? Is anyone interested in working together with our Muslims on the world’s water crisis?
Here’s our latest list of cultural events – by no means a collection worthy of a doctorate study. This is just the tip of an exciting iceberg. — Ruth
China. Yan Li. November 10. 2pm. Free. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Rm 5150, 252 Bloor Street West, at the St. George Subway Station.
Yan Li is Coordinator of the Chinese program at the Dept. of Culture & Language Studies. She has been the Director of the Confucius Institute in Waterloo since 2007. She has written several books. She will talk about her recent book, Faith Fears No Distance which is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Norman Bethune’s Medical Team to China. Norman Bethune is a graduate of the University of Toronto. http://federation.tripod.com/events.html
Estonia. Latitude44 and Estonian Music Week. Thursday, November 14. 9am-4pm. $20-$230. WE Global Learning Centre, 339 Queen Street East.
“Latitude44 is a tech conference featuring Estonian tech, e-Governance and start-ups. Latitude44 is taking place in conjunction with Estonian Music Week (EMW) both organized by the Estonian Studies Centre/Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU).
“The conference introduces Estonia as the world’s first fully digital society. EMW tickets are sold separately. You need a separate ticket to attend the Ensemble U: Opening gala dinner at Archeo restaurant at Distillery District to celebrate the opening of the Estonian Music Week 2019.
“The concert is November 14. 5–7pm. $20. “This limited capacity event offers a rare opportunity to encounter a possibly new art form where music and virtual reality are united into an unusual audiovisual experience, and create an environment for very personal perceptions of sounds and space.”
Ensemble U will have “Three shows (each show capacity 20 people): 5pm, 5:30pm, and 6pm. Limited tickets!”
About Estonia’s digitized society: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/08/how-estonia-became-a-digital-society.html.
Europe. Germany. Toronto Christmas Market. Thursday November 14 – Sunday December 22. Closed on Mondays. Tuesdays-Thursdays: 12pm to 9pm; Fridays-Saturdays: 12pm to 10pm. Sundays: 12pm to 9pm. $8 to $30 admission fee on weekends, starting at 6pm on Fridays. Children 5 and under are free. Admission is free of charge on weekdays until Friday at 6pm. Historic Distillery District, Mill Street. http://tochristmasmarket.com/tickets/
This is our largest, very popular, annual holiday market with its European sounds, sights and scents, Europe-inspired craftspeople, musicians and artisanal food-makers. http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/
Please note that the German International School Choir will be performing on November 23rd. 1-2:30pm. http://tochristmasmarket.com/stage-schedule/
Finland. Toronto Finnish Male Singers Concert. Saturday November 16. 3pm. Agricola Lutheran Church, 25 Old York Mills Road. Phone 416-489-7600.
“The programme for the concert will include Finnish and English selections. Pieter Sigmundt will be directing, soloists include Eric Nuppola, Martti Hyhkö and Maarit Tuomikoski.” https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=cb2b02a82c17dd7895d1f1b9e&id=954ceffa64.
First Nations. Indigenous and Indigenious Show & Sale. November 16 and 17. 11am-6pm. Admission $5. Performances by Shandra Spears Bombay: 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm. Ralph Thornton Centre, 2/F, 765 Queen Street East. Information: 416-949-1263.
First Nations. Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival. November 13-23. Ticket: $15; Festival pass $60. Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East #250.
“Native Earth welcomes you to its annual performing arts festival fostering the development of Indigenous work from across Turtle Island the world.” https://www.nativeearth.ca/1920season/w32/
France. An Evening Celebrating French Composers with Trio Teneramente. November 18. 7:30-9pm. $26. Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue.
France. Music at St. Andrew’s – Friday Noontime Recitals. “A Breath of French Air”. November 15. 12-12:40pm. Free admission. St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe Street.
Songs by Faure, Debussy, Hahn, Duparc and Delibes: Allison Angelo, soprano and Ariana Chris, mezzo soprano; Marketa Ornova, piano. NOTE: “We welcome clothes donations for our Out of the Cold program, especially coats, scarves, hats, gloves and socks.” https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/music-at-st-andrews-friday-noontime-recitals-tickets-79653753521
France. Germany. Dangerous Liaisons: The Forbidden Love Affairs of French Prisoners of War and German Women in the Second World War. November 15. 3-5pm. Free. 108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place. U. of T. Downtown.
Speaker: Raffael Scheck, Colby College. https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/28675/
Italy. Eataly Toronto Grand Opening. November 13. 5-11pm. Window-shopping is free. 55 Bloor St. West.
This is the opening of Canada’s first branch of the “international Italian marketplace-meets-eatery. ..you’ll be able to take a trip to Italy without leaving the Yorkville neighbourhood! Our doors will officially open to the public at 5 pm on November 13. Arrive early to be one of the first guests to browse our marketplace, learn from a few of our favorite producers with complimentary tastings (maybe a few giveaways!), dine in our restaurants, and so much more. The first 100 guests in line will receive a special Eataly gift! “ https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/.
Kashmir. Solidarity Rally. November 10. 3-6pm. Yonge-Dundas Square.
Latvia. Flag Raising of the Republic of Latvia. Independence Day. November 18. Ceremony at 11am. Free. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Métis. Flag Raising. Louis Riel Day. November 15-16. Ceremony at 9am. Free. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019
Morocco. Flag Raising. Flag of the Kingdom of Morocco. Independence Day. November 17. Ceremony at 3pm. Free. Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019
Multicultural. Muslim. Middle East. South Africa. Asia. Multicultural Market. Hosted by Muslim Womenpreneurs. Nov. 17. 12-6pm. Pinecrest Event Centre, 17 Vinyl Court, Vaughan.; December 1. 12-6pm. Free. QE Conference Centre, 2245 Speers Road, Oakville. http://muslimwomenpreneurs.ca/
Muslim. Book launch. Un-Canadian: Islamophobia in the True North. Saturday, November 16. 5-7pm. Free entry, with book available to purchase. Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay Street.
This book is a “provocative warning to Canadians that the values they cherish are being eroded through a disturbing pattern of political, legal and social prejudice against Muslims…” https://muslimlink.ca/events/toronto/event/11268-un-canadian-islamophobia-in-the-true-north-toronto-book-launch
Muslim. World. Human Concern International Global Water Crisis Our Responsibility as Muslims Toronto. Friday, November 8. 7-9pm. $20. ISNA Islamic Centre of Canada, 2200 South Sheridan Way, Mississauga.
“Water is essential to life, yet 844 million people lack access to it. This is not the world we want to create. With the ongoing climate crisis not only is it more important than ever to address this issue, but to consider our responsibility as Muslims and the role we must play in changing this statistic…
“The evening will be in support of HCI’s clean water projects in Africa. We hope to fundraise towards providing even more people and communities in the region with access to clean water.
For other Muslim events: https://muslimlink.ca/events/toronto.
Poland. Flag Raising. Independence Day. November 17. Free. Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/flag-raising-half-masting/flag-raisings-2019/
Punjab. Sikh. India. Sri Guru Nanak’s Birthday. Tuesday, November 12. All day. Free. Toronto has about 12 Sikh temples.
This is a good time to visit a Sikh temple to see how Sikhs worship and to join them in meditation. The birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion is its most important event of the year. Sikh gurdwaras or temples are especially full of life then, probably more so after 5pm, after people get off work. Go early if you can.
Please take your shoes off at the door, and cover your head. You can borrow kerchiefs in the lobby. Sacred music is played. Worshipers line up at a shrine to donate food or money to the temple or they sit and meditate. Vegetarian Indian food is available in the temple’s basement without charge.
One of my favourite temples is the exquisite Gudwara Dashmesh Darbar at 4525 Ebenezar Road in Brampton. http://www.gurdwaradasmeshdarbar.com.
Scotland. Christian. St. Andrew’s Annual Church Parade. November 17. 10:30-12pm. Free. Glenview Presbyterian Church, 1 Glenview Avenue. Tel. 416-488-1156.
Celebrating Scottish heritage. http://www.standrews-society.ca/event/2016-annual-church-parade/
The St. Andrew’s Society also has a fancy charity ball. Participants practice Celtic dances before attending.
Toronto. Christmas/Holiday Season. Secular.
Christmas Lights. This holiday season started with stores selling Christmas cards and decorations even before Halloween ended.
Hudson Bay launches its Holiday Wonderland Window Unveiling on November 14. 5:30-9pm. Free. 176 Yonge Street. https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/hudsonsbay-window/
The largest of the many Christmas Tree Lighting events is the 53rd annual Cavalcade of Lights on Saturday, November 30 at Nathan Phillips Square, marking the official start of the holiday season. Free. It will have the first illumination of Toronto’s Official Christmas Tree, fireworks, a skating party, and musical performances. More information available at www.toronto.ca/cavalcade
Most if not all of our Business Improvements Areas have a lighting ceremony or similar happening. A sample of these is Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic. November 23. 5-7pm. Free. Donation appreciated. http://www.bloor-yorkville.com/holiday_magic/index.html.
Santa Claus Parade. November 17. Free. One of the world’s longest Santa Claus parades. It starts at Parliament and Bloor at 12:30pm and ends at St. Lawrence Market 2 1/2 hours later. Take your own chairs, water, and blankets. Map of route on: http://www.thesantaclausparade.com/#parade-route
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.
Let us know the kind of events that interest you. Please continue to send posters to ruthlormalloy@. We don’t charge to include them and we don’t accept paid advertising. We are privately financed. Please post comments on “Leave a Reply” below and subscribe to receive our newsletters that announce new blogs. See above right.