Multicultural Festivals in Toronto: Why They Matter?
The second half of August 2022 saw two big events in the city of Toronto. Both aimed to celebrate the cultural diversity and heritage of Canada. They were the Toronto Chinatown Festival and the Toronto Diversity Festival.
Canada is a country known for its multicultural and diverse demographics, as the country sees a high volume of annual immigration coming from all over the world. Toronto is one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the country, with about 51% of Torontonians identifying as foreign born. Therefore, these two multicultural festivals in Toronto were quite a big deal for Canada.
As events, the goal was to remove barriers and build stronger cross-culture connections amongst everyone. Not just due to the limitless showcasing of cultures, but the festivals will be held in person after an agonizingly long time of separation caused by the COVID-19 quarantine.
But these multicultural festivals in Toronto weren’t just a social gathering event. They are a showcase, a celebration, and even a public service announcement for intercultural understanding and friendship, especially amongst one of the most culturally diverse places on Earth.
About Chinatown Festival 2022
The Toronto Chinatown Festival took place on August 20th, hosted by the Toronto Chinatown Business Improvement Area (CBIA). The CBIA is a non-profit organization based in Toronto city and has been operating since 2007.
2022 marks the 22nd Toronto Chinatown Festival, happening once each year (unless cancelled). The Toronto Chinatown Festival 2022 had the main theme of the Eight Immortals, a well-known Chinese mythology. And now, it is being shared here in Toronto, Canada.
The event saw many cultural performances, mainly featuring dragon dancing and lion dancing, and kung fu performances. There were also many parades, activities, and vendors selling cultural street foods, art pieces, and many other kinds of cultural merchandise.
About Toronto Diversity Festival 2022
The Toronto Diversity Festival 2022 took place on August 28th. The event was held by the Moksha Canada Foundation. Moksha Canada Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Ontario, operating all the way since 2014.
The event serves to showcase and promote the diverse culture and heritage of, not just the city, but also the GTA region, and the country in general. The festival also aims to celebrate and encourage harmony and friendship across different cultural communities through fascinating cultural performances and fun activities.
Toronto Diversity Festival has a very wide variety of attractions, including cultural performances and booths selling cultural clothing, jewelry, artwork, handicrafts, and food. The festival even has lots of participatory activities appropriate for all ages, such as cooking, interactive workshops, games, and so on.
Why Does All of This Matter?
You might have noticed that the Toronto Diversity Festival and the Toronto Chinatown Festival are very similar to each other. For one thing, the events were in person. The events are also long awaited opportunities for the communities to come in touch with one another after the pandemic distanced everyone.
Additionally, both the Toronto Diversity Festival and the Toronto Chinatown Festival are hosted by non-profit organizations owned and run by visible minority groups. The Moksha Canada Foundation and the Chinatown Business Improvement Area both have the mission to increase cultural awareness and social development for visible minorities in Canada.
For Culture and For People
Whether it be the Toronto Diversity Festival, or the Toronto Chinatown Festival, or any other event about different cultures, these festivals all share one common goal: to encourage and celebrate cultures and the unique cultural differences across cultures by recognizing the many cultures and lifestyles represented in Canada.
The events and attractions mainly showcase and share cultures for everyone to bear witness and participate in, especially for marginalized communities. But the festivals go way beyond just sharing and celebrating. They reflect the population. And by extension, the market. Remember, these events and festivals are held by people in Canada, for people in Canada, and attended by the people in Canada.
The Positive Reception of Multicultural Festivals in Toronto
And these festivals and events do get a lot of attendance at every occasion. As mentioned before, the Toronto Chinatown Festival sees over 250,000 visitors each year. Meanwhile, the Toronto Diversity Festival attracts people all over the Greater Toronto Area, also accumulating to hundreds of thousands of people on each occasion.
Furthermore, these events have stayed with us for quite a long time. The first Toronto Diversity Festival took place in 2018, four years from now. But the first Toronto Chinatown Festival has been around for much longer, with the first being all the way back in 2000. The fact that multicultural festivals like these two last so long is another testament to their cultural and social importance.
As you can see, multicultural events and festivals, like the above two, have a strong presence in Toronto and Canada. They are also highly popular and strongly supported by the country’s population. Clearly, culture and cultural diversity holds an important and impactful place in the hearts of Canadians. And the people in general are supportive of the country’s multicultural environment.
What Can Be Learned?
To summarize, the popularity and wide support of multicultural festivals in Toronto is truly something you should pay attention to. They not only testify to the multicultural status in Toronto and Canada, but also reflect the nation’s positive attitudes towards the many cultures here. Culture is clearly something that the population treats seriously.
No matter if it’s the Toronto Diversity Festival 2022, or the Chinatown Festival 2022, all the multicultural festivals in Toronto are further proof that Canada is a place of multiculturalism. Each cultural community is an inseparable part of both Toronto and Canada’s identity, to the point that people dedicate their time and energy to support them, to celebrate them, and make them more visible amongst all the communities in Canada.
Furthermore, the success of these two multicultural festivals in Toronto can also be attributed to its accessibility. These two festivals were very welcoming towards anyone, and attending them involved almost no difficulty, other than possibly transportation. A lesson here is that something with welcoming, friendly and accessible attitudes are always more likely to be popular. A friendliness towards multicultural diversity will enhance this effect. If everyone is welcome, more people will show up.
Always Multicultural in Toronto (and Canada)
It’s no surprise that Toronto, one of the biggest countries in Canada, has become such a predominant representation of Canada’s highly prevalent multicultural climate. But of course, Canada’s multiculturalism goes way beyond events like the Toronto Diversity Festival 2022. It can be as simple as lifestyle, habits, media, down to the brands and products consumed by the people.
Really, it’s everywhere in both the country and the city. Multicultural-friendly attitudes are much more compatible with Canada’s landscape. In fact, “multicultural” is an identity of Canada. And the popularity of the multicultural festivals in Toronto is one of the many ways it shows.