New name and new focus for International Day

For many years, Trinity College School’s Cultural Awareness Group (CAG) has celebrated our diverse community by hosting the annual International Day. This year’s event, held on Thursday, February 20th, came with a new name – Cultural Day – and a new focus, to include appreciation for Canada’s Indigenous and First Nations cultures in addition to our international composition as a school.

The day began in Cirne Commons, with a welcome from CAG leaders Natasha Pinto and Lily Lai, who explained the day’s new name and expanded focus to students. Ms. Heather McClure, from the Junior School, spoke about the history of the land on which TCS sits and then Grade 12 student Rhayne Tozer read the School’s new Land Acknowledgement. Then a special guest, Ryder, a young Indigenous student from Northumberland Christian School, spoke to students about aspects of local First Nations culture and life in Alderville First Nation. He shared information about Indigenous names, medicine and traditions such as the Pow Wow. Then, he encouraged students to sing along as he and his mother played the drums.

To honour Indian and Chinese cultures, respectively, Nita Das and Lily Lai performed dances. And then students were ready for the tradition of the “parade of countries,” during which TCS students marched, danced and cheered their way through the commons wearing costumes and colours or carrying flags to represent the countries they were born in or identify with. Students shared fun facts about their countries and more.

During morning break, Ms. Laura Baragar and the School’s co-curricular self-defense group performed a Muay Thai boxing demonstration in Cirne Commons. Students were invited to join in and learn some moves themselves!

And during afternoon flex period, the commons transformed into a marketplace, with special foods, calligraphy, and a large dance demonstration led by Ms. Thelma Dillon and the Northumberland Multicultural Dance Troupe. Students could sample borscht, bubble tea and Hong Kong-style pancakes, have their names written in Chinese characters, or join in on the dances. It was a fun and joyous way to finish off the first Cultural Day at TCS!