Toronto Christmas Market – Take some Canadian Christmas spirit home with you!

Did you know that the idea of celebrating the Christmas season with a Christmas market came originally from Germany? Yes, it’s true – thankfully they are being held in countries all over the world now. So if you are in Toronto during Christmas time take a walk through the Christmas market in the Distillery Historic District. The market will start on Friday, November 30. Enjoy some time with your (homestay) family and friends – a massive Christmas tree, many Christmas decorations, seasonal music and hot drinks are waiting for you! There are individual and magical Christmas events waiting for you every day. Have a look at the event schedule to be a part of Toronto’s Christmas magic. Great artists like Sean Jones will sing and celebrate the winter season with you and will hopefully bring a smile to your face. And don’t forget: You are never too old to join a storytelling activity to listen to a classic Grimm’s Brothers fairy tale! Here are the most important points about the Christmas market for you: Where? Distillery Historic District Subway Station? Union Station When? Friday November 30 to Sunday December 16 Times? Monday to Friday Noon to 9pm – Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm Specials? candies / dance/ music / individual events / beer gardens & mulled wine Follow this link to get more information: www.torontochristmasmarket.com/index.html If you see some of your teachers or our staff from EC Toronto at the Christmas market you are welcome to join us and drink a hot chocolate with us! Happy Winter and Holiday Season! Your EC Toronto Team

Operation Christmas Child

Hi everybody, As you know Christmas time is coming soon and your EC Toronto team wants to see all kids smile. During this month your team will be taking part in the Operation Christmas Child project, which is a charity to give joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes. Each box can contain school supplies, toys, hygiene products, and a personal note or photo from the giver and can be prepared for kids of all ages.  EC Toronto has been packing some gift-filled shoe boxes and during this week our students prepared a nice box to send. Most of the children who receive a shoe box are being given the first gift they have ever received. Let’s join this cause and help to give joy to poor children around the world without regard for their languages and cultures. Happy Holidays! Your EC Toronto team  

Santa Claus Parade – Santa is watching you!

The Santa Claus Parade is a 100 year-old tradition to put smiles on the faces of kids and families all across the city. The Santa Claus Parade is the longest running children’s parade and one of the overall largest parades in the world. Don`t miss the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto on November 18th. It starts at 12:30 PM at Christie Pitts (Bloor and Christie). More than 30 floats and 25 bands are waiting for you! Tips from EC Toronto for a successful Santa Claus Parade: Be sure to arrive early to have a good spot to see the parade. It is also a good idea to dress warm – gloves, a scarf and a hat are ‘musts’. Be prepared and bring a hot drink with you. Is it too cold for you but you still want to see the parade? Tune in to CTV and CP24 for their live broadcast on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. local time. Aren’t sure which TTC stop you should choose? TTC stops along the parade route are Christie, Bathurst, Spadina, St. George, Museum, Queen’s Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode, Queen, and King Stations. One last tip: Enjoy the Santa Claus Parade with your family and friends! 🙂 Here’s a map of the parade route: source: www.thesantaclausparade.ca/plan_your_day/the_parade_route Your chances to help a good cause: You can buy a red nose between November 1 – 18, 2012 to show your Christmas spirit and anticipation for $2 in Canadian Tire stores. Proceeds are split between 2 charities, Jumpstart and The Santa Claus Parade. Wear it to the parade! The whole Santa Claus Parade is a not-for-profit organization. Because it has so many volunteers and sponsors each year the parade has been successful since 1905. If you want to help to keep the Santa Claus Parade … Read more

Let’s talk about: Square Dancing @ EC Toronto

What do you think is the oldest kind of arts form? Do you think it is painting or music? Well, we researched and found it is dance. Yes, dance has also been called the mother of all other arts because dancing inspired musicians, painters, sculptors and dramatists in the past. If you study the history of square dancing you will learn that there was a development from Circle Dance to Church Choral Dance which inspired Social Dancing which is the initial point of square dancing. There are some characteristics you should know when you talk about square dancing: There are a limited number of basic movements you have to learn to be a square dancer. People dance different figures (sequences of basic movements) which are called (someone is the ‘caller’ who announces the next figures to be done) in a set order and repeated. The use of live music. Square dancers have almost always danced to live music and acoustic instruments are used. The fiddle is one of the most common leading instruments. Other instruments which carry the rhythm vary by region. Square dancing is influenced by many different countries. The big circle figures come from English Country Dancing. The square formation comes from the Quadrilles danced in France. This style of dancing has been exchanged across the borders of Canada and the United States over the last fifty years. Now it is also popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The reasons are probably that square dancing builds bridges between old and young, between different cultures and brings a smile to their faces! Follow this link to see a short video of students at EC Toronto doing traditional Canadian square dancing: Square Dancing at EC Toronto. Your EC Toronto Team

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

Hi everybody, This week your EC Toronto team wants to invite you to the Toronto Reel Asia International Film Festival, which is considered one of the most unique showcases of contemporary Asian cinema. You can enjoy this great festival from November 6 to November 11 in Richmond Hill, as well as enjoy films and videos from 14 countries including Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kashmir / India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. The festival was founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun. Nowadays, the event attracts thousands of people and is held annually in November. This year, the festival will celebrate its 16th annual edition in Toronto with more special events for you. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this great event and to learn more about Asian culture at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. You can go with your friends from EC Toronto! Your EC Toronto team. For more information, check the website:  http://www.reelasian.com/

Remembrance Day

Hi everybody, This week your EC Toronto team wants to talk about Remembrance Day, an important date to commemorate. Remembrance Day is a time to recognize people who have served and continue serving our country during war, military conflicts and peace and is celebrated on November 11 each year in Canada. Normally, during the weeks before Remembrance Day, people wear artificial poppies on their clothes. Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died and white poppies campaign for non-military interventions in conflict situations. The money collected from the sale of poppies helps war veterans who are in need. This important day is a statutory holiday in all Canada except Ontario and Quebec. However, it is recognized by corporations that are federally registered (for example, government offices and banks). Ceremonies will be held in front of the provincial government buildings at Queens Park, at Old City Hall on Queen St, as well as at Historic Fort York around 10:45 am.  (If you plan to attend, remember this is a very serious occasion.) For more information visit the link: www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/history/other/remember EC Toronto will be closed on Monday November 12 for Remembrance Day.

Movember

This month you will see some of your favorite teachers walking around the school with moustaches. Why? Because it’s Movember! Movember is a charity month where men grow moustaches to raise money and awareness for Men’s Health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health. Movember started in Australia in 2003 and has spread all over the world, raising over $ 125 million so far! Let’s do our part here at EC Toronto! If you see one of your teachers with a moustache, please give him some money and help support this wonderful and important cause!  A donation jar is also located in the office. Thanks to our teacher Tom for organizing this and leading the way with a new moustache! For more information, check the website: ca.movember.com