Celebrate Toronto Newcomer Day 2021 online today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All Torontonians are invited to join us in welcoming newcomers in Toronto with activities and entertainment at this showcase of Toronto’s diverse communities.

Event Highlights

  • Engagement session with the Mayor
  • Entertaining performances
  • Information fair
  • Virtual City Hall tour
  • “Welcome Gesture”
  • And more…

Below is a list of exciting virtual events that are taking place on Newcomer Day, and in a few cases on May 26, 27 and 28, for you to enjoy.

Virtual Link
Welcome Gesture 10 a.m. YouTube
Information Fair Meet and Greets 10:30 a.m. to Noon Information Fair
Journey to Embrace the Arts by author Koom Kankesan: A Newcomer’s Story Noon to 1 p.m. Crowdcast
Engagement with Mayor John Tory 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Eventbrite
Information Fair Meet and Greets 2 to 3 p.m. Information Fair
In Conversation: Indigenous and Migrant Placemaking Through Music 6 to 7 p.m. Facebook Live
In Conversation: Parenting and Artmaking During COVID-10 (May 26) 5:30 to 6:30 p.m Eventbrite
Virtual Exhibition: Tour and Artist Talk in partnership with Doris McCarthy Gallery (May 27) 6 to 7 p.m. Eventbrite
ImagineNATIVE Short Films Focus + Artist Talk moderated by Niki Little (May 28) 6 to 8 p.m. Elevent


The City of Toronto invites newcomers to a town hall session with Mayor John Tory. Get ready to learn more about municipal government and ask any questions you may have. While the town hall is targeted at newcomer residents, all are welcome to attend.

May 25, 2021

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

To attend this event, please register through Eventbrite. Webex link to be provided after registration.

Please join us on May 25 at 10 a.m. to mark the opening of this year’s Toronto Newcomer Day with The Welcome Gesture. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

The Welcome Gesture, led by Dreamwalker Dance Company is a grand scale Public Action featuring an ensemble of newcomers, ambassadors, artists and youth guiding the public in a collective movement experience that was shared between thousands of visitors in Nathan Phillips Square in 2019. This year, The Welcome Gesture takes place online and invites viewers to tune in and join Dreamwalker Dance Company’s Welcome Gesture in a simple guided embodied experience. We hope audiences will find this healing, moving, inspiring, invigorating, and above all welcoming!

Join here:

Toronto Newcomer Day includes an information fair that promotes newcomers’ knowledge of programs and services available to them.

Visit the information fair page to learn about services and programs in your community.

Journey to Embracing the Arts with Author Koom Kankesan: A Newcomer’s Story

Author and arts journalist, Koom Kankesan, will talk about his journey from being a newcomer to choosing a path in the arts. He will discuss practical as well as creative concerns. Beyond the biographical aspects, he will discuss why the arts, expression, and communication are important – not just in Canadian society but as a way to live a meaningful existence. Koom has experience in working with newcomer students. He can relate to the cultural challenges they face while developing their English writing skills and adapting to Canadian society.

May 25, 2021

12 p.m. to 1 p.m.


Once you register, you will receive a link to join the session.

Please note: you will be asked to enter your name and email in Crowdcast to register. Read Crowdcast’s Privacy Policy.

Toronto Newcomer Day Book List

In honour of Toronto Newcomer Day, Toronto Public Library developed a Book List for kids, teens and adults that offer a glimpse into the diverse experiences and journeys of newcomers and immigrants.


Showcase of Newcomer Artists Medusa and Moneka Arabic Jazz

Tune in on May 25 to hear Small World Music’s Medusa and Moneka Arabic Jazz showcase their musical talents. In the meantime, please see below for their biographies.


Medua is a unique chamber-folk quintet that brings you traditional music from around the world, with instruments to match! Medusa intertwines the sounds of Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, Eastern European, and Celtic music to create something entirely new.

Join here:

Moneka Arabic Jazz

Rooted in jazz and blues, Moneka Arabic Jazz draws from bandleader Ahmed Moneka’s Afro-Arabic heritage and influences along with Toronto’s own multicultural mix to create a distinct, funky, and unique sound. Moneka Arabic Jazz reflects Ahmed Moneka’s journey to his new home in Toronto from Baghdad – with many stops in between.

Join here:

Marta Solek from Medusa and Ahmed Moneka from Moneka Arabic Jazz share their newcomer experience as artists.


You are invited to celebrate and discover the architectural features, public art and highlights of City Hall through a virtual tour.

This virtual tour highlights many features of Toronto City Hall, including a peek into the Mayor’s Office and views from the 27th Floor Observation Deck.

Join here:

Each Toronto Newcomer Day, The Toronto Newcomer Office partners with Neighbourhood Arts Network to showcase newcomer and immigrant artists and their accomplishments. Join us between May 24 and 28 to celebrate the diversity of art forms.

May 24: Launch of Critical Narratives: Dreamscapes

Tune in for a relaxed listening session of a mindfulness audio piece created by RBC Newcomer Artist Award recipient Siavash Kaveh, accompanied by Iranian vocalist Milad Bagheri. Inspired by the future of musical diversity and multiculturalism in Canada, this 12-minute audio track with Persian poetry sung in Farsi represents Sivavesh’s Iranian-electronic audio work as a musical dream he has for future generations of Iranian-Canadian citizens in Canada.

View: https://www.youtube.com/user/NeighbourhoodArtsTO

May 25: In Conversation | Indigenous and Migrant Placemaking Through Music

In Conversation is a dialogue between Indigenous musician Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone and multidisciplinary newcomer artist Borelson. Music is a method of self-expression that crosses time, borders and cultures. It helps us make sense of ourselves and the world we live in and invites others to see the world through our perspective.

6 to 7 p.m.

Join through Facebook Live

May 26: In Conversation: parenting and artmaking during COVID-19

In conversation will explore the invisibilized labour of artists during the pandemic. Moderated by Syrus Marcus Ware and featuring dancers Merey Ismailova and Angel Kaba as they reflect on their experiences creating and performing from home while caring for family, and how they’ve adapted.

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.


May 27: Virtual Exhibition Tour and Artist Talk Presented in Partnership with Doris McCarthy Gallery

Join Esmond Lee and writer Sabra Ismath for an Artist Talk and Conversation around Lee’s Gods Among Us photography series.

6 to 7 p.m.


May 28: ImagineNATIVE Short Films Focus + Artist Talk Moderated by Niki Little

Join us for a free screening of nine dynamic short films ranging from documentary, dramatic, and animation created by Indigenous filmmakers, presented at the 2020 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, followed by an artist talk moderated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Niki Little. The 2021 imagineNATIVE Tour brings Indigenous-made film and video works, as well as community engagement activities to communities across Turtle Island (Canada).

ASL interpretation will be provided for the discussion portion of the event. The screening will have closed captioning. This event is family-friendly

6 to 8 p.m.


Tune in on May 25 for a preview of the Spirit Garden, led by Toronto Council Fire, located on Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, an Indigenous service provider, is leading the development of the Spirit Garden, a 19,250 square foot multi-purpose programmed Indigenous cultural space located in the southwest quadrant of Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. Full-day cultural programming will be offered year-round at this outdoor Indigenous cultural space.

The Spirit Garden will feature prominent symbols of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures including the focal piece Restoration of Identity, a turtle sculpture designed and fabricated by Anishnaabe artist Solomon King. This large-scale sculpture will act as a commemoration to the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential schools within Ontario’s capital, thereby fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 82.

Join here:

First proclaimed in 2015, Toronto Newcomer Day is an annual event held in May that welcomes newcomers to Toronto, helps them understand and access a wide range of services, and celebrates their contributions to the city. The event features a number of activities including a formal stage program, a citizenship ceremony for new Canadians, tours of City Hall, a newcomer marketplace, and an information fair. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be virtual to ensure the safety of all Toronto residents.

2021 Event Sponsors

Tim Hortons logo
New Canadians logo
Desjardins logo
Metrolandmedia logo
2021 Community Partners