7 pm–7 am, Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24
Price: FREE Tickets for performances in the Nanji Family Foundation Auditorium and the Ismaili Centre, Toronto will be issued one hour before showtime on a first come, first served basis.
Celebrate Nuit Blanche at the Aga Khan Museum with free performances in the Courtyard, Nanji Family Foundation Auditorium, and at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre Tipi and Sacred Fire
Aga Khan Park | 7 pm–7 am
A sacred fire is a gateway to the Spirit World, allowing individuals to connect and honour their ancestors. Once the fire is made, all people are welcome to approach and make an offering of tobacco, one of the four sacred medicines. This act of placing tobacco in the fire communicates the intentions behind the ceremony, enabling participants to offer their good thoughts and prayers. Two Fire-Keepers from Toronto Council Fire will be present to support participants and offer teachings.
Ismaili Centre, Toronto | FREE | 7:15 pm
Limited spots available.
Join this free workshop for an immersive experience guided by whirling master Raqib Brian Burke. Known as "Sama" in Farsi and "Sema" in Turkish, this practice translates to mystic listening and movement. Rooted in the teachings of Rumi, it's an intense and transformative meditation that taps into shamanic depths. This workshop will be accompanied by live music. Please wear comfortable clothing and socks. We recommend eating lightly before attending.
Haiku Reading by Lara Okihiro
Presented by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Courtyard | 7:30 pm
Lara Okihiro will be reading Haiku written by her late grandfather Okihiro Nanbara. Haiku, a poetic style from Japan, employs concise, unrhymed lines to evoke images of nature. Generally, it consists of three lines following a five-seven-five syllable count.
Storytelling with the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
Aga Khan Park | 8 and 9 pm
Indigenous Storytelling is an oral tradition passed down through generations — transferring cultural teachings. It is a powerful tradition that sustains Indigenous cultural heritage and strengthens community bonds. While cultural stories are shared in the winter season, Toronto Council Fire’s Anthony Gladue and Kevin Myran will share stories aimed at a more general audience to celebrate Nuit Blanche.
Anthony Gladue is Plains Cree from Kehewin Cree Nation. He graduated from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and has been performing since he was six years old. A traditional dancer, native Flute player, and Pow Wow singer, Gladue travels across Canada sharing his gifts. Currently, he works at Toronto Council Fire as the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin Coordinator (kind man Coordinator) and is one of the lead drummers for the All Nations Juniors.
Kevin Myran is of Dakota and Ojibway ancestry, and his role in the Toronto urban Indigenous community is as a ‘community uncle.’ A proud father of seven and grandfather of two, Myran has worked in various capacities at Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre for the past 20 years — most recently as the Cultural Resource Coordinator. A Sundancer, Pipe Carrier, and Pow Wow Singer, Myran is well regarded in the community for his promotion of healthy activities amongst youth, including organizing and empowering the honourable All Nations Juniors drum group.
The Divine Trio
Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto
Nanji Family Foundation Auditorium | 8 pm
Vidushi Mita Nag, a sitar virtuoso, hails from the illustrious Nag family of Kolkata, tracing six generations of sitarists back to the Vishnupur Gharana. She debuted at the age of 10 and has since graced stages worldwide, solo and alongside her father, the sitar maestro Padma Shree Pandit Manilal Nag. Janab Hassan Haider Khan, the Shehnai maestro, is the grandson of the iconic Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. Trained in the Benaras and Senia Gharanas, he has showcased his artistry at renowned festivals and across continents. Completing the trio is Pandit Subhen Chatterjee, a tabla maestro from the Lucknow gharana. Trained by the legendary Pandit Swapan Chowdhury, his unique style, blending multiple Gharanas, has made him a coveted accompanist to Indian classical music giants.
Ginan and Qasida
Ismaili Centre, Toronto | 8:45 pm
This session includes a selection of devotional poetry commonly recited among Ismaili Muslim communities as a form of religious expression. Recitations include Ginans, the devotional poems of the Ismailis of South Asia, and Qasidas, devotional poetry in the religious tradition of Arabic and Persian-speaking Ismailis.
Shizue's Path Reading by Mark Sakamoto
Presented by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Courtyard | 9 pm
Join author Mark Sakamoto for a reading from his new Children’s Book, Shizue’s Path.
Ismaili Centre, Toronto | 10 pm
Fethi Nadjem grew up in Algeria among a family of musicians. He began playing the guitar and oud at 13 and developed his skills within the Fine Arts Association in Algiers, learning Andalusian music and playing the violin and mandolin. At the age of 21, he co-founded Djmawi Africa, a fusion band that still, over a dozen years later, performs around the world. Soon after arriving in Toronto, he began playing with several bands and musicians, including Moskitto Bar, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Jessie Cook, and Maryem Hassan Tollar.
Ismaili Centre, Toronto | 10 pm
The Moneka family holds a cherished Sufi ritual, a tradition rooted in Basra, Iraq. Sung in ancient Swahili and Arabic, this ritual has been passed down through generations. The ritual uses soulful music and rhythmic drum beats, connecting individuals to both their heritage and to one another. This profound practice not only bridges the Moneka family's past with the present but also inspires others to seek inner healing.
Nanji Family Foundation Auditorium | 11:30 pm
Anwar Abudragh and his ensemble will embark on a musical journey inspired by the timeless poetry of Rumi. Through his original compositions and melodies, Abudragh aims to convey the depth of emotion and spiritual insight in Rumi's words.
As the musicians enchant the audience with melodic interpretations, they will be joined by a skilled calligraphy artist. The calligraphy artist will bring Rumi's verses to life, transforming them into stunning pieces of art with every brushstroke.
Sama with Soley Ensemble
Ismaili Centre, Toronto | 12 am
Committed to sharing timeless spiritual Sufi traditions, Sema Space and Rumi Canada come together to facilitate the experience of unity and love through music, performance, and poetry. They will be accompanied by the Persian Sufi music of Soley Ensemble as they present sama, the celestial meditation of the whirling dervishes, presenting the ancient form of this sacred practice.
Mekaal Hasan Band
Nanji Family Foundation Auditorium | 1:30 am
Founded in 2001 by Mekaal Hasan, the Mekaal Hasan Band brings together the finest musicians in Pakistan and India. The unique Sufi rock band has played major stages in India, Pakistan, Europe, and North America. Featuring musicians of international calibre, the Mekaal Hasan Band builds on Eastern classical music with contemporary rhythms, incorporating guitar, traditional flute (bansuri), and compelling vocals into their sound.
From 8:15 pm to 1:15 am, enjoy live performances by local artists in the Museum's Courtyard.
Gurprabh Sandhu and Sarvesh Dhir
8:15 and 9:45 pm | Courtyard
Gurprabh Sandhu, an alumna of MS University in Vadodara, is renowned for her Sufi-infused Indian classical vocals, drawing inspiration from legends like Abida Parveen. Sarvesh Dhir, a versatile musician, has accolades spanning classical to Bollywood genres, highlighted by a national vocal competition win. Together, they shine as key members of the band Ibadat, blending traditional Sufi tunes with modern melodies to captivate audiences.
10:30 pm and 12 am | Courtyard
JER is a Brazilian alternative rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer. Beginning her musical career at a young age, JER grew up around the semi-arid cities of Bahia, the magical Brazilian state known for music and celebration. Over the course of a decade, she has cultivated several impressive musical projects that span different genres and continents.
11:15 pm and 12:45 am | Courtyard
Composed of interdisciplinary artist Jurgita Žvinklytė and musician/luthier Matti Palonen, Honeypaw explores the interconnection of ancient Lithuanian sutartinė and Finnish runo singing traditions. They bring both disciplines to life with modern grooves played on kantele and jouhikko. The Journal of Musicology has called their music “unusual, evocative, and inviting one to rethink the concept of instrumentality.”
Honeypaw has performed and installed tree harp sculptures in several festivals, including Mėnuo Juodaragis in Lithuania and the Pajot festival in Finland. They also give workshops and lectures about their musical sculptures, which have been exhibited in installations in Lithuania and the United Kingdom.