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How Toronto Plans to Celebrate Canada 150

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It seems like only last year that we were celebrating Canada’s 149th birthday… oh wait. The year has come where our beloved country turns 150 years old! Seeing as the official birthday is not until July 1st, there are plenty of events occurring throughout the year to lead up to the special day! Though the most popular and anticipated celebration throughout the entire country is in Ottawa, our capital city, there are many other events and celebrations happening right here in Toronto that you can be a part of! Whether your interests lie in music, culture, art, festivals, or anything in between, there are plenty of ways for you to enjoy celebrating this great country and all that it has to offer. The list is not exhaustive as there are hundreds of events taking place all over Toronto throughout the year, but we will focus on some of the main upcoming events starting with those happening in the month of January, then following with February, March, April, May, June, and, you guessed it, July!

January

To celebrate 150 years of Canadian Cinematic History, the Toronto International Film Festival (also known as “TIFF”) will be selecting 150 essential works that call to the ever-changing cinematic industry from film, to television, to music, and everything in between throughout the year. To kick off this journey, the annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival will be expanded with another 10 titles from the historical list. This festival takes place until the end of January, so if you want to commemorate some of Canada’s cinematic greats, you won’t want to miss out!

Dare to bare the cold this January? For Canada 150 something new is coming to Toronto. Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate will take place on January 21st at Nathan Phillips Square where all are welcome to nurture their inner Scotsman by celebrating the Scottish contribution to Canada’s multicultural heritage. So bring your skates and grab your most fashionable Scottish attire to take part in this unique experience.

Not a kilt-wearing fan? Not a problem! Visit the Toronto Central Waterfront from January 21st to February 26th to indulge in five interactive public winter art installations to witness an “Ice Breaking” cultural experience. In between both of these events, be sure to check out Harbourfront’s DJ Skate Nights every Saturday. This year, it is all about Beyonce! While enjoying a good skate around one of Toronto’s most popular ice rinks, enjoy some classic Beyonce hits to make it the best Toronto block party on ice.

If skating and film aren’t exactly your cup of tea, take some time to truly appreciate art and design. As part of the year-long Canada-Mosaic program , the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is putting on its Canadian Legacy concert in honour of the accessible, tradition-oriented generation of Canadian composers who have made our country proud for 150 years. Join in and celebrate the timeless works of Godfrey Ridout, Jean Coulthard, John Weinzweig and many more!

 

February

January isn’t the only month that is filled with unique events and experiences that bring all Torontonians together for Canada’s big day. February marks the time where Black History is celebrated every year. This year, however, Toronto decided to make it extra special by making it the longest-running celebration to date with the annual Kuumba Festival . The festival has been extended to expand over two weekends; February 3rd to February 4th and February 10th to February 11th!

February is also filled with lots of music! Are you a Jazz fanatic? Tune in as the innovative Art of Time Ensemble presents its first-ever music festival, “Northern Songs.” The festival will present the best of Canadian classical and jazz composers as well as other popular music in celebration of Canada 150 on February 16th to February 18th. Not really into Jazz? The Wavelength Music Festival will feature all things Indie with performances by Montreal’s TOPS, and Toronto’s electro-soul juggernaut Diana, among many others. If you are more into the old-time blues, then maybe you will be interested in attending the 15th Annual Winterfolk Festival that occurs on the same weekend of February 17th to February 19th! Whichever you decide to attend, you will experience great Canadian music and be surrounded by the best of company.

If you still manage to muster up some energy in February, be sure to check out the annual Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause Walk presented by the Toronto Zoo, which just so happens to fall on International Polar Bear Day, February 25th. If you are brave enough to “bear” possible polar bear temperatures, tie up your laces and help to raise money for Canada’s endangered giants!

 

March

In March, as part of the New Creations Festival presented by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, hear Tanya Tagaq perform the revitalized art of First Nations’ throat singing that allowed her to be named the 2014 Polaris Prize Winner!

Are you looking for something to celebrate Canada 150 that the whole family can enjoy? Be a part of the world premiere production of Pinocchio, brought to you by the National Ballet of Canada. The magnificent show will be held at the Four Seasons Centre beginning March 11th.

One of the most popular art shows that has been developed for Canada’s 150th birthday is “Becoming Canadian in Toronto.” The Market Gallery hosts a photo exhibition that takes the viewers through the history of Toronto’s demographics over time. This gallery not only exemplifies Canada and Toronto’s history, but it shows the variety of faces and people that have helped shape Toronto to be what it is today.

April

April is filled with many activities ranging from music, to culture, and we can’t forget, sports! Not only does this year mark the 150th birthday of Canada, but it also marks the 50th anniversary of Louis Riel , the opera, which will be presented to you by the Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre.

If opera is not exactly how you planned to celebrate Canada 150, then you should check out the Art Gallery of Ontario’s annual Massive Party fundraiser. As the name suggests… this event is a massive party indeed. The theme of this year’s fundraiser revolves around the “Machine Age” where artists will create three distinctive spaces within the party for guests to travel through. Just go ahead and mark it down on your calendar now… the date is April 27th.

One thing we can all agree on is that one of the biggest sports teams in Toronto our are beloved Blue Jays. If you are also a fan of our blue and white players be sure to reserve your tickets now for the home-opener on April 11th!

To end the month off strong, you may also want to check out Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival. Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, begins April 27th and guarantees a collection of homegrown documentaries that live up to the Canada 150 celebration.

May

The second last month leading up to the big day just had to be a good one, and, for that reason, there are many other fun events for you to experience! May 7th marks the last day that you have the chance to see Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This gallery pays homage to an innovative period of Toronto’s history and includes over 100 works of art crafted by 65 artists and collectives. If you are someone who appreciates diverse forms of art and culture, you may be interested in also checking out the Toronto Comic Arts Festival held on May 13th to May 14th. This event will be held at the Toronto Reference Library where you will get to meet various creators and publishers of your favourite comics. If you are someone who prefers art in its architectural form, then you won’t want to miss Doors Open Toronto on May 27th to May 28th. The 2017 theme is 15 Decades of Canadian Architecture and exhibits structures and highlights from each decade beginning with the 1860s leading up to today.

Do you want to celebrate Canada 150 in style? The ROM Ball , an annual red carpet fundraising gala at the Royal Ontario Museum, will be an unforgettable evening filled with glamourous company and timeless cultural artifacts. On May 6th, you will not only be able to show your support for the Museum, but you will also be able to celebrate with iconic Canadian celebrities.

Toronto wouldn’t be what it is without the various individuals that make up the depths of this city; and, for this reason, the city felt the need to appreciate that. May 15th marks Toronto Newcomer Day . On this day, City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square will host a “Newcomer Fair” to celebrate and welcome our new Torontonian family members to this great city. In addition to this very special day, The Walrus Talks National Tour is making its way to the Toronto Fleck Dance Theatre on May 31st. The Walrus Foundation is seeing the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation as an opportunity to present Conversations about Canada: We Desire a Better Country, which focuses on the future of our country and features fifty members of the Order of Canada and fifty youth leaders.

June

The last month leading up to the big day is revolved around celebration, appreciation, and commemorating the past. Over Father’s Day weekend brace yourself for the Battle of Black Creek . This is a revolutionary war reenactment held at Toronto Pioneer Village that allows you to enjoy a fun-filled weekend of muskets, soldiers, and spies, oh my!

There are two very important days in June that will be celebrated to an even greater degree for Canada 150. These dates are National Aboriginal Day (June 21) and Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27). National Aboriginal Day is a day filled with Indigenous music, storytelling, dance circles, and traditional dishes at Fort York National Historic Site. Canadian Multiculturalism Day is a day to celebrate our diversity and our commitment to constantly promote equality and mutual respect among all Canadians and the contribution that multicultural groups have put forth to our society. So if you want to take the time to show your appreciation, you won’t want to miss out!

July

The big day is finally here where we get to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. As mentioned previously, the biggest celebration will be taking place in our nation’s capital, Ottawa, focused primarily around Parliament Hill. That isn’t to say, however, that there still aren’t ways to celebrate in the city. From Pride Parade, held on July 2nd, to Caribana, held on July 11 to August 5th, to the Conversation Nation, presented by the Aga Khan Museum, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the big day. The celebration also doesn’t end in July! There are events continuing all throughout the year in Toronto and many other cities to commemorate 150 years of Canada. All that matters is that you take the time to appreciate this amazing country that we get to call home, whether it be for a short term or long term, and we do so with the Torontonians that have helped make this country what it is alongside all other Canadians. We hope you partake in at least some of these amazing celebrations that Toronto has worked so hard to put together, and, from us at Toronto Luxury Suites, we hope that you are as proud to be celebrating this day as we are! 

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