891. Affordable Events November 22-December 4 in Multicultural Toronto – 2019.

Want to join the next Global Climate Strike? Hear what academics are saying about China’s leadership?  How about asking some Hong Kong neighbours what’s going on in their heritage country? Or taking  part in an Irish play reading? It’s probably a lot more fun than watching the play.

Lots of Christmas music, traditions, and markets will of course be coming up during this period until mid December. More events to come with the Orthodox Christmas January 7.

So much in our culturally diverse city to do – and much of it free. Here are some suggestions if you want to experience the world here in the GTA.  Please forgive me for not mentioning them all.

Africa. Kenya. A Conversation with Nice Nailantei Leng’ete: Alternative Rites. Monday, November 25. 6-7pm. Free. Novella Room, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.

The Kenyan activist presents alternate rites of passages in communities that practice FGM (female genital mutilation.) This event is a partnership with Amraf Health Africa. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Em=1&Entt=RDMEVT411137&R=EVT411137

Image from Toronto Public Library website.


Asian-Canada. LiterASIAN Toronto 2019: Looking to the Future: The evolving narrative of Asian Canadian fiction. Wednesday, November 27. 3-6pm. Free. Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street.



China. Xi Jinping’s ‘Proregress’: Recent Political and Economic Policy Moves. Friday, November 29. 4:30–6pm. Free. Room 208N – North House, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place. Talk sponsored by Asian Institute and Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.

Speaker: Cheng Li, Director and Senior Fellow, the John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution…; Chair: Janice Stein, Professor and Founding Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/event/28133

Image from Munk School of Global Affairs website.


Christmas. Canada. 2019 CP Holiday Train. Free musical event with real decorated train. Kids will love it. Please donate non-perishable food items. Two stops in the GTA:

November 28. 8:30-9pm. 750 Runnymede Road, in front of CP Lambton Yard office near Walmart in the Junction.

November 29. 10:15-10:45am. N.W. corner of the CP crossing at Nashville Road, near the old grain elevator. Vaughan.

Performers: Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo. For video of the Holiday Train: https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/canadian-pacific-holiday-train2/

For schedule: https://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/schedule-canada

Image from CP Holiday Train website.


Christmas. England. A Christmas Carol is a traditional story for families by Charles Dickens. The name Scrooge has become part of the English language.

Among the several performances is: A Christmas Carol: Readings and Music. November 30. 7pm. Free. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 73 Simcoe Street, King Street West. Donations appreciated for refugee sponsorship program.

Performing are Ben Heppner, Marion Newman, Neema Bickersteth, Rick Phillips and Patricia Garnett-Smith.  https://standrewstoronto.org/events/event-details/?action=evrplusegister&event_id=83

Popular also is: A Christmas Carol. November 30 at 7pm to December 22 at 9pm. $20-$35. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen Street West. https://christmascarolto.com/



Christmas. Music. Multicultural. Have you looked around your neighbourhood and your city? Toronto has many immigrant groups with strong musical traditions. Filipino, Korean, and African Christian churches are among the many whose music is unlike what you hear in the malls. It is refreshingly different and deeply spiritual. Church concerts are usually free though donations are appreciated. Please let me know if you find some worth sharing.

Examples: Christian. Noonday Organ Recital. November 27. 12:30pm. Free. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street (two blocks north of St. Clair Avenue at Heath). Tel. 416-922-1167. http://www.yorkminsterpark.com/gather/news-events.php.

This church also hosts a Festival of Carols with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. December 3 to December 4. 7:30pm. $20-$78. https://www.tmchoir.org/201920-season/foc2019/

Image from Toronto Mendelssohn Choir website.


Christian. Advent. December 1-24. Advent is the sacred period in some Christian churches as worshippers prepare for the birth of Jesus, the Saviour. You can see Advent calendars in stores. Each day a new page is opened with a Biblical story or prayer. Unfortunately, the commercial sector has now exploited the Advent tradition by offering a treat like a daily chocolate, toy or a daily beer.  In Orthodox and Catholic Churches, the same period is the Nativity Fast.

     England. St. James Cathedral has An Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols. Sunday, December 1. 4:30pm. 106 King Street East. https://stjamescathedral.ca/lessons-carols/.

See also Finland below.


Christian. 20th Anniversary Exhibit: Creches from Across the World. Starting December 4 to December 22. Open Sunday to Thursday afternoons from 12:30-4:30pm.  Free. 65 Church Street. www.St. James Cathedral.ca/creche-exhibit. ———————————————————————————————————————————-

Christmas. South America. Northern Hemisphere. A Holiday Fun Filled Afternoon at High Park Zoo. December 1. 12:30–5pm. Free. High Park Zoo, 77 Deer Pen Road.

Santa visits his Reindeer Sky and Rose from 1-2pm (photo shoot opportunity). Music and children’s scavenger hunt from 12:30–2pm. Visit the Friends of High Park Zoo craft table at the Grenadier Fund festivities (Grenadier Restaurant patio) 2-5 pm.” Donations appreciated. https://www.facebook.com/events/high-park-zoo/a-holiday-fun-filled-afternoon-at-high-park-zoo/2127508810889245/

Image of South American capybara from: https://www.facebook.com/events/high-park-zoo/a-holiday-fun-filled-afternoon-at-high-park-zoo/2127508810889245/


Cuba. Chucho Valdés: Jazz Batá. Concert. December 4. 8pm. Tickets start at $40. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West.

Godfather of Cuban jazz, Chucho Valdés, performs music from his newest release, Jazz Batá 2, revisiting his 1972 album of the same name. https://www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/chucho-valdes-jazz-bata

Image from Royal Conservatory website.


Finland. Christian.  First Advent. December 1. 10am. Finnish Communion service, and celebration of Finnish Independence Day; 11:30am. English Communion service; 6pm. Saalem and Agricola will collaborate in presenting music for Advent. The program will include musical performances and singing togetherAgricola Lutheran Church, 25 Old York Mills Rd, North York. https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=cb2b02a82c17dd7895d1f1b9e&id=954ceffa64


France. French Christmas Market. November 30. 10am. Free admission. Alliance Française, 24 Spadina Road.

… French and Francophone artists gather… to exhibit gifts of all sorts. Jewels… tastings of good products with the love for home-made as secret ingredient, bags coming straight from Madagascar, heat-storing cushions… cards taking you to exotic islands where it is warm even in the depths of winter… Feast on caramels, creams, hot chocolate and hot cider with spices, on cakes…” https://www.alliance-francaise.ca/en/culture/events/toronto-events/special-events/christmas-marketrench pastries…’

For this and other France-inspired events: http://alliance-francaise.ca.


Germany. German International School Christmas Bazaar. November 30. 12-4pm. 980 Dufferin Street. https://mailchi.mp/de7c408f680a/gist-newsletter-october-31-2019


Germany. Christmas Market. November 23. 10am-7pm; November 24. 10am-5pm. Free. Christmas decor, gifts, crafts, clothing etc. Traditional German Cafe open daily. German Canadian Club Hansa, 6650 Hurontario Street, Mississauga. Www.germancanadianclubhansa.ca.


Germany. Gundermann and Berlin Wall 30th Anniversary. Film and panel discussion. November 28. 6pm. Free admission, but RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gundermann-tickets-78273356717. Paradise Theatre, 1006 Bloor Street West.

Film in German with English subtitles: https://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/en/ver.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21653249.

Image from Gundermann.


Hong Kong. Demonstrations in support of Hong Kong Human Rights continue in Toronto too. You can talk with people at events of Torontonians Stand with Hong Kong. For dates and venues: https://www.facebook.com/TFHKR/?eid=ARDanP8b1k_ql3NVRK6cXTD4psRm835RXaJphE_I0e-yiadZ_Z9MuH6vEtZQ1cfaeihyyj5AOR11B9LH or https://bit.ly/2kmItqd

Image from Torontonians Stand with Hong Kong Facebook.


Ireland. Toronto Irish Players Play-Reading. November 26. 7pm. Dora Keogh's, 141 Danforth Avenue. (Please arrive at 6:30pm for a 7pm start). 

The Night Alive by Conor McPherson. 8 Characters: 2 Men, 50ish; 1 Man, 70’s; 1 Man, 20’s-early 30’s; 1 Women, 20’s. “Separated father Tommy, currently living in a room rented from his uncle, rescues a prostitute... Don't let the ages restrict you from coming out to read - you're never really too young or too old – and roles shared.” For more information: 416-440-2888. https://www.facebook.com/events/dora-keogh-irish-pub-toronto-ontario/play-reading/557391025017659/
Japan. Fuyu Matsuri – Winter Festival. December 1. 11am–4pm. General admission $5;  JCCC members, seniors, and children ages 6-12 $3. Admission is free for children ages 5 and under! Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court. 

Christmas ornament-making, gingerbread cookie decorating, and many other interactive games for adults and kids… our classic Harmonica performance, a Taiko performance, storytelling, and our fan-favorite Ramune Speed Drinking Contest. Also…Fuyu Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show! … Santa, will be available to take photos… Marketplace (Shotengai) and… delicious foods like Oden… winter favourites… Reindeer Raffle and Silent Auction!” https://jccc.on.ca/event/fuyu-matsuri/


Japan. Nagata Shachu presents HIBIKI (reverberations). Drumming performance. November 30. 8pm. $20-$35. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Avenue (at Bloor).

While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the ensemble’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the


Jewish. NoshFest. December 1. 10:30-4pm. $10. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street.

Toronto’s Jewish Food Festival, is proud to present Toronto’s Chanukah Market, a day celebrating Jewish food with a holiday twist. This year’s event combines the best of the city’s Jewish food vendors – including Parallel Brothers, Primrose Bagel and Marty’s Pickles – with local artisans selling Chanukah gifts, including Judaica, housewares, jewellery, and more… musical entertainment, including Rock the Shtetl and Oozakazoo. There will also be cooking demos from Amy Rosen, Carolyn Cohen, and Rooks to Cookshttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/torontos-chanukah-market-presented-by-noshfest-tickets-77770141587


Mali. Ahmed Ag Kaedy. November 29. 8:30pm. $35, $31.50 Friends, $26.25 students and seniors. Includes same-day Museum admission. Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, North York.

Experience the desert rock and protest music that forced this Malian singer, songwriter, and guitar virtuoso into exile. In this evocative concert, Ahmed Ag Kaedy goes back to the origins of Tuareg folk with stripped down, soul-stirring guitar that serves as a lament for his homeland…

After the show, Ag Kaedy will sit down with Errol Nazareth, host of CBC’s Big City, Small World, for a conversation about Mali’s imperiled music scene. You can also learn more about Ag Kaedy’s inspiring story in our free screening of the documentary Mali Blues on November 27.”


Image from Aga Khan Museum website.


Netherlands. Sorry, Dutch Treat Canada tells us that Sinterklaas will not be at the Toronto Christmas Market this year. No white horse. For his appearances in the GTA, see: https://www.dutchtreat.ca/.

These include November 30 at the Holland Store in Toronto (2542 Weston Rd) and the Dutch Treats Store in Bradford (15 Holland Street, 1-3pm). For updates and other Dutch-related news, consult: www.dutchtreat.ca or info@dutchtreat.ca.

Sinterklass Arriving at Christmas Market. Copyright ©2017 Ruth Lor Malloy.


Palestine. Decolonizing Activism: Resistance through Art with Samah Sabawi. James Graff Memorial Lecture. November 28. 7:30-9:30pm. $5-$10. University of Toronto, 91 Charles Street West.

… Samah Sabawi is an award-winning Palestinian-Canadian playwright and poet. Samah is also the writer of Tales of a City by the Sea, the play being produced by CFOS in Toronto this December. This event is co-sponsored by Canadian Friends of Sabeel and Emmanuel College, a theological college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. For more information and tickets: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/necef-sabeel-canada/events/decolonizing-activism-resistance-through-art-with-samah-sabawi/


Sweden. Finland. Yuletide: A Christmas Concert. November 30. 7pm. $20-$25. Agricola Lutheran Church, 25 Old York Mills Road, North York.

Folk dancing presented by Toronto Swedish Folkdancers and Singers, and Vox Finlandiae. Www.Tsfs.ca.


Wales. Toronto Welsh Voice Male Choir. Refugee Fundraiser Concert. December 1. 3pm. $15-$50. Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2379 Lakeshore Blvd. West.

For more concert dates of this famous choir: info@dewisant.com or telephone 416-485-7583. https://welshchoir.ca/concerts/concert-01dec2019-martin-luther-lutheran-church-toronto-on-300-pm/

Image from: https://welshchoir.ca/


U.S. Blind Boys of Alabama. Concert. Friday, November 29. 8pm. Tickets start at $50. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West.

Gospel titans” (Rolling Stone), the Blind Boys of Alabama have risen to fame with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live shows. This concert brings you songs from the band’s Grammy Award-winning Christmas recording, Talkin’ Christmas! album, Go, Tell it on the Mountain, and other Gospel classics.” https://www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/blind-boys-of-alabama-christmas-show

Image from Royal Conservatory website.


World. Rohingya, Uighur, etc. Seeking Accountability in Conflict International Justice. Panel Discussion. December 4. Doors open 6pm. Free. University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Jackman Law Building, Room J250, 78 Queen’s Park Crescent.

A dynamic panel of human rights experts discuss the critical need for justice and accountability in the worst conflicts” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seeking-accountability-in-conflict-international-justice-panel-discussion-registration-80347187601?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.


World. Global Climate Strike. November 29. 11:30am – march at noon. Queen’s Park.

Thanks to Gord Perks, City Councillor, Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park for telling us about this important event. http://gordperks.ca/global-climate-strike-at-queens-park-november-29-2019

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. 

Let us know the kind of events that interest you. Please continue to send posters to ruthlormalloy@gmail.com. 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.

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