The United Nations has for several years officially labeled Toronto as the most multicultural city in the world. Of the approximately 150 different ethnic communities making Toronto their home town, the Estonian one, with some 12 to 13,000 GTA residents, is considered to be one of the smallest.
Under these circumstances one might expect the Estonian community not to enjoy any meaningful visibility. Not so. The City of Toronto has focused on Estonians and offered them the opportunity to show their Christmas customs and activities through the city-run cultural program “Sharing our Traditions”. In the past three years Koreans, Filipinos and Icelanders were invited.
Avo Kittask, president of the Estonian Central Council in Canada, received the request this past spring. In close co-operation with the Estonian Ethnographic Society a program will be offered during the three advent Sundays of December – the 3rd, 10th and 17th at the Edwardian manor, Spadina House. The displays can also be seen during the week at regular Spadina House hours.
Each Sunday afternoon known as “Family Sundays” starting at 12:30 and again at 2:30 the audience can enjoy a program including psaltery (kannel) artists Tiit Kao and Dace Veinberga, “Songs to share with Dad and Daughter” with vocalists Järvi and Andres Raudsepp, Chamber music with the Taffanel Instrumental Ensemble, the Estonia mixed choir directed by Margit-Viia Maiste, the Estonian Baptist Church Ensemble and Estonian Christmas stories narrated by Dace Veinberga and Laas Leivat.
Handicrafts and the creation of traditional Estonian Christmas decorations will be featured in the Marketplace. Visitors will be able to taste Estonian Christmas delicacies and witness the preparation of authentic Estonian black pudding (blood sausage) by Ülle Veltmann and her team. A unique display of the late Emil Eerme’s collection of vintage Christmas cards selected by Peeter Piil round out the displays.
Get in the holiday spirit this season by planning to participate. Enjoy “Family Sundays” by visiting the Spadina House for Estonian and Edwardian Christmas celebrations.
Spadina House is located at 285 Spadina Avenue. Parking is available in the Casa Loma parking lot, some 50 meters west. For further information please contact us at 416 465 2219 or .
City of Toronto chooses Estonian community to participate in Christmas program