Etobicoke, ON - For the past five years, MABELLEarts has been working with community members of all ages and backgrounds to create inter-cultural celebrations that mark the holy month of Ramadan. Each year, residents from a range of cultural backgrounds gather in the Mabelle Park to join their Muslim neighbours as they break their Ramadan fast. In this way, MABELLEarts has helped residents build a strong and vibrant community.
Mabelle Park offers a unique and ideal space for a community-centred event, as it was built with and for over 3000 community members over a 10-year-long community-engaged process led by MABELLEarts (www.mabellearts.ca). Iftar Nights will take place on Thursday evenings June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29th (Eid al-Fitr) from 7:00pm - 10:00pm at Mabelle Park, across from 49 Mabelle Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario M9A 5B1.
At last year’s Iftar Nights, thanks to our partnership with The Arab Community Centre of Toronto, we welcomed over 200 newcomer families to Mabelle Park, including many Syrian refugees newly arrived to Canada. This year, we are busing in hundreds of guests from across the GTA, thanks to partnerships with: The Together Project, The Arab Community Centre of Toronto, The Community Arts Guild, Jumblies Theatre, and The Toronto West Local Immigration Partnership. To help us build these larger-scale events, and host our first ever Eid-al-Fitr in Mabelle Park, MABELLE Youth Leaders have been working with MABELLEartists through the spring to assist in the development of Iftar Nights, and will act as hosts to Mabelle residents and guests from across the city.
“Celebrating Iftar with my neighbours is important because many people here don’t get the opportunity to celebrate Iftar in Canada by visiting family and friends, the way we did at home. In Mabelle Park, we provide everyone who comes with the opportunity to celebrate Iftar as a community; we get to meet new people, join in art activities, and try new food.”
– Farah Jibril, Mabelle Youth Leader
Each Iftar Night invites neighbours and guests into Mabelle Park to participate in free art-making workshops, musical performances, lantern-making, fire-side story-telling and a meal for Iftar. Musical Guests include: members of Turkwaz, The Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir, The Making Room Community Arts Choir and The Jumblies Theatre Ground Floor Choir. Artists include: Anahita Dehbonehie, Hussein Janmohamed, Sharada K. Eswar, Faten Toubasi, Mindy Stricke, Melanie Fernandez-Alvares, Michael Burtt, Leah Houston, Shifra Cooper, and Fiona Raye Clarke.
Mabelle Iftar Nights and Eid al-Fitr are possible thanks to our funders: The Community Fund for Canada's 150th, The Inspirit Foundation, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, The Metcalf Foundation, Arts Etobicoke, Islington Village BIA, Ali Baba's, City of Toronto Birkdale Residence at the Quality Inn, and numerous private donors.
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Media Contact: Fiona Raye Clarke
416 239 4900 • email@example.com