The City of Toronto is hosting its seventh annual Toronto Newcomer Day virtually – a day to welcome newcomers to Toronto and celebrate their contributions to the city. Residents can join the City in celebrating newcomers online on Tuesday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The day will include the Welcome Gesture, a simple guided experience led by Dreamwalker Dance Company, a Land Acknowledgement and a town hall session with Mayor John Tory from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Newcomers need to register for this event ahead of time.
The information fair, which normally boasts more than 80 City Division and community agency exhibitors in Nathan Phillips Square, will be available online. Most exhibitors will have information posted about programs and services available for newcomers. In some cases, agencies are hosting virtual meet and greet sessions at various times of the day. Residents can find exhibitors based on the type of programs and services they provide (i.e. accessibility supports, arts and culture, children and youth, employment support, Indigenous supports and shelter and housing).
In the spirit of Newcomer, five events are organized by the Neighbourhood Arts Network, a long-time community partner of the City, scheduled from Monday, May 24 to Friday, May 28.
The Launch of Critical Narratives: Dreamscapes, a relaxed listening session of a mindfulness audio piece created by RBC Newcomer Artist Award recipient Siavash Kaveh, accompanied by Iranian vocalist Milad Bagheri, is scheduled for May 24.
On May 25, from 6 to 7 p.m., In Conversation: Indigenous and Migrant Placemaking Through Music will focus on a dialogue between Indigenous musician Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone and multidisciplinary newcomer artist Borelson.
In Conversation: Parenting and Artmaking During COVID-19, which is scheduled for May 26, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., will explore the invisible labour of artists during the pandemic.
On May 27, from 6 to 7 p.m., join Esmond Lee and writer Sabra Ismath for an Artist Talk and Conversation around Lee’s Gods Among Us photography series at the Virtual Exhibition Tour and Artist Talk Presented in Partnership with Doris McCarthy Gallery.
ImagineNATIVE Short Films Focus + Artist Talk Moderated by Niki Little on May 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., is a free screening of nine dynamic short films. They range from documentary and dramatic to animation films created by Indigenous filmmakers, which were presented at the 2020 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and which will be followed by an artist talk.
Programming for the day also includes a partnership with the Toronto Public Library to showcase author Koom Kankesan, who will share his journey from being a newcomer to choosing a path in the arts; a partnership with Small World Music to showcase two amazing newcomer artists – Medusa and Moneka Arabic Jazz; a virtual tour of Toronto City Hall; and a glimpse into the development of the Spirit Garden, which is being led by Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre.
To find out more information about the events, including how to register, and participating fair exhibitors, visit the Toronto Newcomer Day web page.
Toronto Newcomer Day is sponsored by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Metroland Media, Desjardins, Tim Hortons, and New Canadians TV Show.
“Newcomers play such a vital role in building up Toronto and it is up to us to create an environment and city that is welcoming and inclusive for them. Although we can’t gather in-person this year, I’m happy that staff and our partners have found a way to provide a virtual experience for newcomers this year. I want newcomers to know that we recognize the value they bring to our city and the role they can play in bringing us together. By providing them these resources and opportunities, we are ensuring that their success is a priority for us as a city and as a government.”
– Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.