DOORS OPEN Toronto - May 26-27, 2018

Doors Open Toronto is an annual event when approximately 150 buildings of architectural,
historic,cultural, and social significance to the city of Toronto open their doors to the public for
this free citywide event. This year, Canadian Macedonian Place opened their doors to the citizens of
Toronto and the surrounding community for the first time. Canadian Macedonian Place (CMP) is an
independent living residence for seniors. It is also a gathering place which encourages events that
celebrates the Macedonian ethos, history and arts.

Since the CMP is an independent seniors residence of all backgrounds with an aim to encourage the
vibrant Macedonian culture in the city of Toronto. Canadian Macedonian Historical Society (CMHS)
also has established a Library with at least 2600 books pertaining to Macedonia, its history and
literature, as well a program which interviews our seniors and various other prominent Macedonians
about their immigration and life in Canada as well as the first and only Macedonian Museum in
Canada, which is not easily accessible as a rule.

The Museum contains costumes from various parts of Macedonia, either the Republic, Aegean, or
Pirin (areas of Macedonia). The Museum also collects various ephemera and objects of Macedonian
historical value. CMHS and their dedicated volunteers with the assistance of CMP, established this
unique museum. This was a perfect opportunity to make it accessible to the general public.


When we approached DOORS OPEN to inquire about entry and acceptance, they were delighted to
welcome CMP and the Historical Society to be one of over 150 locations that were open for these
two days in May. And because the theme for this year was Film, the Macedonian Film Festival was
included in the presentations.

The CMP showed off their building, the murals near the entrance by Alex Gigeroff and the paintings
on the walls by prominent Macedonian artists. CMHS displayed videos of Macedonian historical
events in Canada which included the history of Macedonian immigration to Canada, along with a
display board of significant historical events over the past 27 years as a “Not-For-Profit” charity
with its home in the CMP.


The Macedonian Film Festival was able to screen the unique and very historical archival film that
Milton and Janaki Manaki made from their first moving image to 1926 . Cinematheque Macedonia
was able to digitize and restore the valuable film made in the Balkans about the history of the area.
The Manaki brothers were referred to as the Balkan Painters with light. Macedonia in this period,
and especially Bitola, was a European metropolis, home to numerous diplomatic institutions and
ideas from throughout the continent.

There was a great deal of interest in this film for this event, as it included the use of the moving
picture camera 300 Bioscope the brothers acquired in 1905 or 1907. Their first subject was their
grandmother Despina, and then went on to film children at lessons outside and women washing at
the riverside, parades, weddings, visiting sultans, Greek Orthodox dignitaries, funerals, etc. This
film covered life in Macedonia under the Ottomans. Although it was a series of clips, etc. one could
come in, stay for awhile and leave. Because the film was historic, many stayed to view it in its


The Macedonian Film Festival also screened short films, two by Canadian Macedonian filmmakers
that were available in the Lounge downstairs. Compliments of CMP, refreshments, cookies and
zelnik (Macedonian pie) were available for the visitors.

The collaboration between three organizations to present this event for the Toronto community is
significant. Even though the CMHS initiated the idea, the CMP actually sponsored it, and the MFF
made it possible with the film theme. ALL THREE ORGANIZATION WORKED TOGETHER to make it a
reality. This should be used as an example to other Macedonian organizations of how we need to
work together and achieve our common goals. Our parents, grandparents and ancestors came to
Canada from a small nation, and cooperation is vital. We hope that we can do this again and bring
our history,culture and arts to all of Toronto.