Large crowd of people in downtown Brampton with arms held aloft

6 Ways to Celebrate Community in June

Art, theatre, festivals, water walks—there’s no shortage of fun things to do in the city this month

I might be guilty of thinking of June as just the buffer month between my birthday and the start of summer. In fact, June is chock full of exciting ways to get out and get involved. It’s Senior’s Month, Indigenous History Month and Pride, to name just a few. And let’s not forget World Sauntering Day on June 19. Yup. It’s a thing — a day created in the ’70s to encourage people to slow down, take stock and enjoy life. Not a bad idea, when you think about it.

And what better way to enjoy life than to take a little time out for these six fun and easy ways to celebrate your community? I’m pretty sure you can saunter to, around and from every single one of them.

Two indigenous women lit from below with hands over wicker basket amidst smoke

Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way

When: June 6 – 8, 2018
Where: Native Earth Performing Arts, 250-585 Dundas Street East
Price: From $20 to $25

Weaving Reconciliation is a multidimensional theatrical performance about a family coping with the intergenerational impact of residential schools. It includes everything from games and songs to unscripted sharing by young people and knowledge-keepers. Every show is also accompanied by a special preshow audio gallery and display. What a great way to kick off Indigenous History Month!

The perfect bookend to Weaving Reconciliation? Check out Yonge-Dundas Square on June 27 from noon to 1 p.m. for the 9th Annual Indigenous History Month Celebration, hosted by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.

CeleBrampton 2018

When: Saturday, June 9, 2018
Where: Various locations in downtown Brampton
Price: Free

Not just for Bramptonians, CeleBrampton is a day where communities from across the GTA come to celebrate the diversity that makes Brampton one of our region’s most vibrant, exciting and growing communities. You’ll enjoy food, family fun, culture, heritage, arts and entertainment — all reflecting the diversity of the city. This festival is so good that it’s been named in Festival and Events Ontario’s Top 100 for two years running. How can you not go?

Collage of colourful nature photos around framed black and white photo

#FeelsLikeHome

When: Now until August 26, 2018
Where: The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Price: Free, with a suggested donation of $5

What does home mean to you? For me, it’s the smell of sheets that have been hung outside in the sun to dry. (It’s a smell that instantly takes me back to my childhood bedroom.) #FeelsLikeHome is a crowdsourced exhibition that asks people that very question and leaves the answer open to interpretation — a feeling, a place, a person or, as in my case, a smell. The best part? Anyone can participate, because there are no right answers. Hashtag a photo that reflects what home means to you with #FeelsLikeHome, and be sure to tag @rmgoshawa on Instagram and @theRMG on Twitter. The goal is to fill the exhibition space from floor to ceiling with printed 4 x 6 photos. I’ll be submitting my photo. How about you?

Two older women with a collection of knitted crafts

Seniors Craft Fair 2018

When: June 19, 2018
Where: Aaniin Community Centre and Library, Markham
Price: Free admission

Some of my most treasured possessions are gifts that were handmade. One of my favourites is a pair of knitted mittens that my sister bought at a local craft fair. The thumbs are particularly tight to keep the mitts on your hands and although I’m not convinced it’s the best design, I love them nonetheless. If you’re thinking about getting a (big!) head start on your holiday shopping, check out the Senior’s Craft Fair in Markham. It’s not only a great way to find some tight-thumbed mittens of your own, but also the perfect way to celebrate Senior’s Month.

ClearWater Farm Water Walk

When: June 23, 2018
Where: Walk starts at Willow Beach Park, Georgina
Price: Free, but you must register to walk

According to Google Maps, the drive from downtown Toronto to beautiful Georgina on the south shore of Lake Simcoe takes under an hour — and there’s no better reason to make that drive than the ClearWater Farm Water Walk. Led by the Chippewas water keepers, this gentle 2-km walk (some might even call it a “saunter”) from Willow Beach Park to ClearWater Farm will teach the whole family the important connection between water, earth, food and community. The walk includes hands-on learning stations, a special water prayer and a free lunch.

Core members and participants of The Sol Express Creative Arts program at L'Arche Toronto's Gathering Place

L’Arche Toronto Sol Express Art Exhibit

When: June 27 – July 8
Where: Todmorden Mills
Price: Free

At the renovated Papermill Gallery and Theatre in the picturesque Todmorden Mills historic site you can explore this first-time solo exhibit from L’Arche Toronto, an organization providing daily living and employment supports for people living with intellectual disabilities. The Sol Express Creative Arts program is designed to encourage participants to express themselves through art and explore the themes of inclusion and difference. This unique exhibit is a great way to teach your kids about empathy and compassion — you might even want to spark a conversation before you head out. We’ve got some tips on how to guide the conversation in our recent story “How to Talk to Your Kids about Developmental Differences.”

Is there something happening in your community that you’d like to see featured? Let me know by dropping me a line at pitchlocallove@uwgt.org and including COMMUNITY in the subject line.