Picnics, dances, strike, sporting events, sermons, events in an association or benevolent hall, church organizations and enterprises, evenings in a café, saloon or political club are settings which provide information about the everyday life of people deciding negotiating who they are. A picnic organized by a paese club of Italians or a Macedonian village association, a dance sponsored by Finns or Trinidadians provides much information about peoples everyday lives. For immigrants such affairs with their intense sense of belonging and friendship were and are very important. For their children, the associational dance competes with video games, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The annual Caribana parade in Toronto held every summer since 1967 celebrates the presence of Caribbean people in the Canada. Drawing on the rich tradition of carnival from Trinidad and Tobago and other catholic religious celebrations, Caribana is an opportunity for families to gather, to meet friends as they bend wire, cut cloth and tinsel for costumes, play steel pan, and prepare for the parade.
An annual picnic, beyond being simply a festive event, provides ceremonial occasion for the meeting of obligations to family and friends. It is a chance to affirm membership in a group tied together by language, traditions, religion or ideas. Festivals are events at which as sense of community identity begins to develop and of belonging to a large group is encouraged. Festivals can also be a challenge to the dominant views in society about how one should act, dress, express ones opinion. These events are educational because they encourage participants and people observing to think about their world in a different way. These events help people to remember old friendships, or experiences in another part of the world, to speak a language other than French or English, to eat and dress in ways that recall another place and to share in ideas about belonging to a group apart from a persons everyday contacts at work or home. Festivals, picnics and other public events also make a claim to particular streets or public spaces such as parks, town halls or neighbourhoods and by doing this these events demonstrate the presence of a group in society. Whats more these events link experiences in Canada with places from which people migrated. Musicians come to play music or sing in the traditions of the old country, or religious leaders are invited to speak at a mosque, church, mundir or synagogue. Politicians from hometowns in Guyana, Italy or Poland come to talk about the need to fix up a school or set up a health clinic in the old hometown. Finally family and friends come to celebrate with people they have not seen since they moved to Canada.