A first of its kind celebration themed, Fast in the 6, took place at Toronto’s City Hall on Friday evening, June 9, as thousands of Torontonians came out to celebrate Ramadan.
Coinciding with Ramadan, the event celebrated the diversity of Toronto through the common experience of breaking of the Ramadan fast.
Fast in the 6 and its message, “Diversity – Unity – Prosperity“, was led by Toronto philanthropists, Dany and Lisa Assaf.
“Fast in the 6 aims to affirm the city of Toronto’s leadership as a major global centre of both social and economic opportunity,” said Dany Assaf.
The free event took place in Nathan Phillips Square and was hosted by Raptors home-game host Mark Strong and featured performances by the TSO Chamber Soloists, pop artist Yuna, and comedian Mo Amer.
“It is an event open for Torontonians of all backgrounds to take part and share in the spirit of the breaking of the fast which is common to many heritages and to enjoy an evening of entertainment and fireworks,” said the organizers of the Fast in the 6 event.
“Toronto’s greatest asset in today’s global economy is our foundation and history of inclusion and openness to a diversity of talent and ideas,” said Mayor John Tory. “Reaffirming that is important for the future prosperity of our great city.”
Dany Assaf said part of his motivation for organizing the event was to “change the channel” on negative portrayals of Muslims and Islam.
“We just wanted to share a great message of diversity and inclusion,” he said.
“Part of the practice of Ramadan is to break your fast with friends, family, and enjoy food — and we thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could do that for the whole city? Clearly our backyard’s not big enough,” added Lisa Assaf.
A portion of the event proceeds raised will be donated to the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank and special guests will address the gathering.