By ABDULMALIK MERCHANT
Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos
I had hoped to celebrate July 1, Canada Day, for the first time in Toronto on the lawn of Ontario’s provincial parliament buildings or Queen’s Park. But Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party has just announced the cancellation of the traditional celebrations at Queen’s Park due to dwindling attendance over the years. Last year, only 5,000 people attended the celebration which cost $400,000 to host! Compare that to tens of thousands who show up at Ottawa’s Parliament Building and its surrounding streets and parks. Instead, the Ford Government will be offering free admission to 10 attractions which will cost the government $80,000.00.
I know where I will celebrate Canada Day 2019 — at the magnificent Aga Khan Museum and adjacent Aga Khan Park for “Rhythms of Canada” which will take place on June 30 (2-11 PM) and July 1 (2-6 PM). It is absolutely free and — to clarify — not part of the 10 free admissions venues offered by the Provincial Government.
The festivities at the Aga Khan Museum have been in the planning phase for some time now. In its brochure detailing 3 free summers festivals, the Museum is asking families to attend “Rhythms” to “celebrate Canada’s contemporary fabric — a dynamic mix of cultures, stories, and tythms.” It further states that “kids and adults alike will enjoy strolling through our market of artisan wares and artisanal food, inspired by the souk markets of the Middle East.”
There will be special musical performances by Cris Derksen and Asiko Afrobeat.
Derksen is known for her unique musical sound which blends classical music with traditional Indigenous music. Her music is often described as electronic cello or classical traditional fusion and has captured the attention of local and international audiences.
Asiko Afrobeat is an all-original contemporary band led by a master of the craft, Nigerian Foly Kolade. According to NowToronto, the members of the ensemble play horns, sax, keys, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and backup vocals, while Kolade handles lead vocals and the double-headed talking drum. Here is a sampling of his music.
ASIKO AFROBEAT AT THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM
Plan to be at the Aga Khan Museum for two invigorating and fun-filled days. The Museum and the Aga Khan Park are located on 77 Wynford Drive.
Date posted: June 26, 2019.
Other Forthcoming Free Festivals at Aga Khan Museum:
- Moon Landing Festival (July 20-21, 2019, 2-6 PM)
- First Five Fest August 31, 2-11 PM; September 1, 2-6 PM