Recent K-pop events/concerts in Toronto

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m paying attention more now or if there are simply more events but 2011 seems to be the start of the K-pop invasion of Toronto. And I say invasion with great delight and anticipation as I’m a huge K-pop fan (yay, Big Bang!). Don’t get me wrong, there were a few random events and performances prior to 2011 – most notably the Wonder Girls concert in 2010 (and when they opened for the Jonas Brothers in 2009). But there just seems to be more hype/talk and events in 2011. Or is it just because I’m paying more attention? What do you think?

So why do I think K-pop is taking off in Toronto? First, there were several flash mobs here during the summer by high school and university aged students (as well as in other cities across Canada). There also seems to be several Facebook groups springing up around K-pop in Toronto and in Canada. I’ve super excited to see all this attention and devotion to K-pop because every event increases my chance to see Big Bang play in Toronto (hey, I’m an eternal optimist – I have to be, I’m a Leafs fan).

Second, JYP Entertainment held talent auditions in Toronto (as well as in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles). Perhaps I’m reading more into this but it shows to me that Toronto is on the radar to the larger Korean music industry companies which can only be a good thing.

Third, FT Island was a part of Concert for Japan – a two-day fundraising concert on Labour Day weekend. They are a fairly popular K-pop group so it was a huge thing to have them here. Unfortunately, the fact that they were part of the concert wasn’t promoted very well. All the promotion seemed to happen at the last-minute (although perhaps FT Island joined the concert at the last-minute) so the turn-out for the concert wasn’t as large as it could have been. Plus tickets were quite expensive (I’m still used to Korean prices for concerts). I wasn’t able to attend but I have a few friends who went and they both went on free tickets (there seemed to be a lot of free tickets available at the last-minute). Notice I keep using “last-minute”… not a good sign.

Finally, there was a K-pop talent show/concert last month – Hallyu M.I.C. – that received good reviews (read Carmen’s guest review ). It was organized by a group of University of Toronto students who want to share Korean pop culture with Canada. I hope that they do another one (I wasn’t able to go due to a conference) because it sounded like a great event!

And there’s another K-pop talent show/concert this month – Super Wave Korea 2011 (they had one last year too) – on Friday, October 28th. It’s jointly organized by the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO), Korean Canadian Cultural Association (KCCA), students from Hallyu Dongari at York University and the Korea Club at the University of Toronto. In addition to the performances, there will be short travel presentations, Korean food, a cash bar (so don’t forget your ID), and door prizes sponsored by Samsung along with smaller prizes from KTO and Pat Mart. It should be a lot of fun! Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information, check out their website.

But closest to my heart of all the recent K-pop events – since Big Bang hasn’t done a concert yet (can you tell I love them?) – is the Say Kimchi K-pop Halloween party on Thursday, October 27th! Not only do I get to dress up (I love Halloween!!) but I get to dance the night away (I love dancing too) to K-pop and other great music. I know there will be some Big Bang because I saw DJ Elit spin some great tunes last Friday and I got to dance to them. I can’t wait to dance to 거짓말 (Lies) and other great songs! Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information, click the link.

All in all, it’s a great time for K-pop in Toronto!!

What do you think? Did you (or will you) attend any of the events/concerts mentioned?

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

7 thoughts on “Recent K-pop events/concerts in Toronto

  • October 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Just came across your blog! Thanks for providing the information…I had no idea so many events were happening in Toronto (only heard about FTI concert at Downsview…couldn’t go because of work…ugh but they were giving out free tickets? Damn!). Despite having been tortured for four years at UofT…I never knew that they had a k-pop related group. Where was I? Ugh Robarts! Anyways, though it’s the end of the month and I have probably missed most if not all of the events…I’ll still keep a look out to them and you!

    • October 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      No problem, I hope you keep reading 🙂 And the last two events are coming up this week – both should be great fun – so you could still go to them.

  • January 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Wow!! I’m surprised (and honoured) to find our Super Wave poster on someone’s blog!! Did you end up attending the event, and how did you enjoy it? I’m actually a member from U of T’s Korea Club, and I had a lot of great experiences organizing the event so I’d love to hear your honest opinion!

    • March 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      *fingers crossed* I’ve been watching online since I saw the Tweet but until YG confirms it, it is still a rumour. A fab rumour though!!

      • March 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        i’m waiting for the dates and places they’ll be for the concert….hehehe..i really hope they come to toronto too!!! *fingers AND toes crossed* =D

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