We know that December is the busiest time of the year; it’s cold and we all want to go into hibernation mode. However, you’ll seriously regret missing the important cultural events we’ve highlighted in this month’s round-up. Be sure to check out as many possible, and in doing so you’ll make your holidays that much more special.


1-3: Indigenous Artisan Marketplace
This unique marketplace will feature authentic, handmade arts and crafts by Indigenous artists. Held at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, vendors will be selling everything from moccasins, paintings, beadwork, dreamcatchers, clothing, to traditional and contemporary jewelry. Head over to take a look at the amazing variety of creative work being produced and perhaps find a gift or two.

4: (Dis)assembling the Archive – Deepali Dewan
Presented by our friends at the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), art historian Deepali Dewan will talk about her curatorial work for the Royal Ontario Museum that encompassed building an Asian photography collection and the other projects that have resulted from it. The ROM collection delves into the evolution and practice of photography in India by the exploration of key photographers, images, styles, technological advances, and obscured histories. We’re particularly interested in Dewan’s insights into how photography in South Asian cultures and its diasporas can be used to explore image-making, colonialism, and modernity.

5: Colour Between the Lines: BIPOC Book Group - Dirty River
Colour Between the Lines is a BIPOC Book Group focused on examining literature by authors of colour. Discussions are approached through an intersectional, de-colonial, and anti-oppressive framework. Join Colour Between the Lines for a night of stimulating and thought-provoking discussion of Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home. Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer, disabled femme of color poet, performer, healer, and activist of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. Her work focuses on people and conversations that are often underrepresented, including disability justice, queer and trans people of color, and abuse survivors—all themes explored in Dirty River.
**content warning: the book contains material on abuse and trauma.

5: Mary Eberts on “Violence Against Women: It’s a Human Rights Issue AND an Economic Issue”
UN Women states, “From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.” Mary Eberts, co-founder of LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund), litigation counsel to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and U of T’s Constitutional Litigator-in-Residence, will be joined by Professor Sarah Kaplan, Director, Institute for Gender + the Economy, in an on-stage discussion about how gender-based violence is not only a civil rights issue but also an economic one. Be sure to make time for this incredibly necessary and topical lecture.

6: Anti-Oppression for Artists & Cultural Producers
As artists and culture creators, part of our job is to be aware and critical of oppressive power dynamics within art institutions and our own artistic practices. This workshop for artists will delve into the theories and practices of anti-oppression and explore creative, technical, and collaborative strategies for building equity and unlearning oppression within the larger artist community. As well, it will equip artists with the tools to examine the power dynamics that shape access to and opportunities in Canada’s arts and cultural establishments.

8-21: Aki Kaurismki’s The Other Side of Hope
TIFF presents the winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, The Other Side of Hope by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. This masterpiece intertwines the stories of a Syrian refuge who comes to Helsinki harbour as a stowaway, and the travelling salesman turned restaurateur who finds him sleeping outside his diner and hires him as a cleaner and dishwasher. A mix of humour, pathos, and anger, this film looks at Europe’s views and handling of the Syrian refugee crises.

16: Xpace Holiday Zine + Maker Fair 2017
Get ready for Xpace’s 8th annual holiday fair at the Xpace Cultural Centre! Artists will be selling zines, comics, prints, t-shirts, tote bags, jewelry, ceramics, crafts, and other cool handmade multiples. Music, snacks, and good vibes will be part and parcel of this free event. Project 40 will also be tabling at this event! See you there, friends!

This list was compiled by Aliya Ghare

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