FLASH

Festivals

Whether its promoting Latin American culture, establishing a Spanish language radio station or initiating self-sufficient projects, San Lorenzo is constantly engaged in creating a future for the community. Furthering the message of understanding and acceptance, we have been instrumental in creating and organizing two annual festivals in Toronto: "Inti Raymi" and “Abya Yala”.

These festivals celebrate key events in the life of the Latin American people. With their rich cultural content they are notable events not just in the community’s calendar, but also on Toronto’s cultural almanac.

Inti Raymi
The Inti Raymi is a festival which has been celebrated by the indigenous people of the Andean region since the time of the Incas during the week of the summer solstice in June, to give thanks for a bountiful corn harvest. Based on Inca theology, this is a sacred celebration in honour of the Sun God, Inti. The Incas organize this celebration in different parts of South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and part of Colombia and Argentina), but the principal places are Cuzco and Ingapirca located in Peru and Ecuador.

Traditionally, Inti Raimy is a celebration of gratitude for nature’s bounty; in Toronto, it is a celebration to honour nature’s diversity. With performers often coming from as far as Ecuador, this two day festival held at the end of June under the open sky, exposes Canadian society to the amazing sounds and rhythms of Latin America.

While the community shares its cultural legacy, it also presents a stage for the appreciation of other cultures. For many years, this festival has been bringing together artists from a plethora of ethnic backgrounds, countries and religious beliefs. Drawing over 15,000 people, the Inti Raymi promotes tolerance, harmony and cultural appreciation amongst Torontonians.

Abya Yala
Held in August, the Abya Yala celebrates two major events - the anniversary of San Lorenzo (the namesake of the Centre) and Ecuadorian independence.  


It is a festival created primarily to educate the next generation about its traditions, values, culture and history. Abya Yala encourages active participation from its children and youth. The festival includes representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean. This two-day festival draws more than 5,000 people and provides the Latin American  community with an opportunity to share its way of life with other cultures and in turn, enrich the cultural mosaic of Toronto.