Yes, everyone, you read the headline of this article right — Alma Latina is back at it again and bringing you the best Latin festivals in Toronto, summer 2018 edition. Some of these events are annual, many have new attractions, but all of them have one thing in common: the guarantee that time spent there will be time well spent! So without further ado, introducing the top 10 Latin festivals of summer 2018 in Toronto:
LULAWORLD ~ Thursday, May 31 – Sunday, June 10
Taking place in Toronto’s Lula Lounge, LULAWORLD is an annual festival that showcases the work of artists with Latin and Brazilian backgrounds, along with jazz, folk and global musicians. This year’s festival features CD releases, live Latin music performances and spoken word poetry from well-known musicians from across the globe. The festival also offers opportunities for visitors to take part in musical performances or participate in dance lessons. Although the festival kicked off a few days ago, you still have some time to go and enjoy the final few days and enjoy Latin American inspired music from Latinx performers! For more information on how to book dinner and show reservations, visit the festival’s website here.
CHIN International Picnic ~ Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17
This June will see the 52nd annual CHIN International Picnic — yes, you heard us right, 52nd! This just goes to show you how fun, important and successful the event is. The picnic is organized by CHIN Radio, established in 1966 and the first ever multicultural and multilingual radio station in Ontario. The weekend’s events will consist of performances from artists of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian backgrounds, along with stalls set up by vendors selling delicious food and unique clothing. To learn more about the events and location, click here.
Inti Raymi Festival ~ Saturday, June 23 – Sunday, June 24
The Inti Raymi Festival in Toronto stands for unity, “Todos bajo el mismo sol/Everyone under the same sun.” It is a festival full of art, music and dancing, with Latin American culture and love seeping out of every moment. This year’s festival has been dedicated to the memory of the 10 people who were killed in the Toronto van attack, showcasing how the event truly is about bringing people together through art and food. Here is some more information about the festival along with a video from last year’s event.
Cultura Festival ~ Every Friday night in July, from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Friday nights are never better than they are in July, because of the annual Cultura Festival at Mel Lastman Square! A free event suitable for family and friends, Cultura is an outdoor festival showcasing cultural music, art, food and film. Sounds like a great combination to us! Performances by entertaining buskers also lead to proceeds being donated to local charities, so talk about a win/win situation. We’re hoping to see some sort of tribute for the 10 victims of Toronto as well, and we don’t feel that they will let us down. For a rundown of the events, visit the Cultura website.
TD Salsa in Toronto Festival ~ Saturday, July 7- Sunday, July 8
Deemed to be one of Canada’s biggest Latin-themed cultural celebrations, the TD Salsa in Toronto Festival is back for its 12th fiesta on St. Clair! The event has a lineup of over 20 artists and dancers with backgrounds from all across Latin America. If you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend full of delicious food from different cultures, music and dance, look no further! To see the event’s full line-up, click here.
Beaches International Jazz Festival ~ Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 29
Four weeks of live entertainment for free? Sign us up! The Beaches International Jazz Festival is an annual event celebrating its 30th year. It runs throughout the month of July, filled with a huge variety of entertaining events, fantastic food and vivacious vendors. They showcase more than just Latin music, with different genres such as jazz, reggae, Caribbean, South American and more. However, if you are solely interested in the Latin aspect of this event, we’ve got you. The Beaches Jazz Latin Carnival is taking place from Friday, July 13 to Sunday, July 15 at Woodbine Park. For more information on the full rundown of events, visit here.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival ~ Saturday, July 7 – Sunday, August 12
Although not inherently latin, Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival has something for everyone. Described by See Toronto Now as a “cultural explosion,” this event is one of the largest cultural festivals of North America! Filled to the brim with dancing, music, traditional outfits and mouth watering food, the Caribbean Carnival has been attracting festival lovers of all ages for 51 years now. The theme of the carnival this year is “Celebrating Our Heritage: From Then to Now.” This will be infused throughout all of the events taking place throughout the four weeks, from food to fashion and music performances. You can learn more about the event and buy tickets here.
Latin Sparks Block Party ~ Saturday, August 11
Video Courtesy: THE INTERNATIONAL/Vimeo
The Latin Sparks Block Party celebrated its first event in 2012, gathering only a few dozen people to come out and join the party. Now, six years later, the event has seen tens of thousands of attendees from all across Canada, and even the United States! It is a block dance party meant to expose Torontonians to Latin American culture through music and dance. Highlights include two free dance workshops in which instructors will teach you the basic steps of Latin dancing, live performances, food trucks, bars and more. For additional information and ticket sales, click here.
Pan American Food & Music Festival ~ Saturday, August 25 – Sunday, August 26
Video Courtesy: Pan American Food & Music Festival/YouTube
If you love lively music, delicious food and free admission to these things, check out the Pan American Food & Music Festival taking place during the last weekend of August! Summer time will be drawing to a close, and what better way to wrap up the end of an amazing few months than to enjoy authentic Latin food, music and entertainment? Events include the ‘Caliente y Picante’ food competition, Pan American Light & Music Parade, a live performance by Axe Capoeira and much, much more. The festival takes place in the heart of downtown Toronto, Yonge and Dundas Square, and attracts audience members from many different backgrounds across the GTA. For more information, visit the official festival website.
Hispanic Fiesta ~ Friday, August 31 – Monday, September 3
Labour Day weekend never looked so good! If you attend any of the previously listed festivals on this list, then you will definitely be left wanting more, and Hispanic Fiesta is here for you! With events such as Folklore Exhibitions and International Shows taking place even as we go into September, this fiesta is guaranteed to be the perfect end to your summer. Celebrating its 37th year, Hispanic Fiesta celebrated Spanish and Latin-American food, music, art and entertainment, with free access for all! To learn more about the interesting history behind the event, read here.
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