Panamania: Your Guide to Celebrating the Pan Games

Posted by Sam on June 30, 2015

The Vari Reel

One of the great things about living in a big city is that there is always something to do, and with the Pan Am Games coming to Toronto in July, this summer is certainly no different.

Now, unless your life has been completely subsumed by new Game of Thrones episodes (which is certainly a possibility), you surely by this point in time have at least an idea of what the Pan Am Games are. For this reason, and as a result of my blogging cohort Megan providing wonderfully in-depth coverage of the Games already (Pan Ambling), I shall go ahead and skip any technical details. What I am here to fill you all in on, ladies and gentlemen, is the multitude of festivities taking place throughout the city in celebration of the Games. I am here to tell you about Panamania.


What Is Panamania?

Food, concerts, games and parties: four of my favorite things in life (in that order). Throughout the months of July and August (and even a few sprinklings in June), the city of Toronto will be playing host to all sorts of events in celebration of the Games; so many, in fact, that to list them all here would be equivalent to taking the time to watch The Tree of Life seven and a half times (for all those who have not watched The Tree of Life, that reference is humorous because the film is quite long). So let’s take a look at some of the major, easily accessible events happening in TO (a comprehensive list of all events would be a bit much here).


Panamania Live at Nathan Phillips Square:

In the sunny (right?) months of July and August, one can enjoy free concerts on a near daily basis at Nathan Phillips Square. Headliners include:

July 12 – Death from Above 1979
July 12 – Ondatropica
July 12 – Lila Downs
July 15 – Marianas Trench (for those of you who want to feel 16 again)

July 16 – Luciano
July 19 – The Flaming Lips
July 22 – Marie-Pierre Arthur
July 22 – Café Tacvba
July 25 – Damien Robitaille
July 25 – Calle 13
August 7 – Chromeo (I’m not too cool to admit it . . . Jealous is a guilty pleasure tune of mine)

August 8 – Tanya Tagaq
August 8 – The Roots
August 9 – Brigitte Boisjoli
August 9 – Janelle Monae
August 11 – Jann Arden
August 12 – A Tribe Called Red (a personal favorite)


Pan Am Park:

If that isn’t enough for you, head on over to the Pan Am Park along Lake Ontario any time from July 11 to July 25 to enjoy a street party filled with music, games and, of course, the lifeblood of any good party: food. Musical headliners include:

July 11 – USS
July 12 – A Tribe Called Red
July 17 – Colin James
July 19 – ChocQuib Town
July 19 – Dragonette

July 20 – Lights
July 25 – The Barra McNeils


Panamania Live at the Distillery District:

Not a huge fan of large crowds (like me)? Perhaps Panamania Live at the Distillery District is more your cup of tea. Scattered throughout the duration of the Games you’ll find events that celebrate the cultural diversity of the athletes. Attractions will include food, crafts like basket weaving, music from such groups as the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, and so much more.





Whatever your preference, we here at the YU Blog hope to see you celebrating your socks off at least at one of these events sometime in July and August. For more information on the general goings-on of Panamania, head on over to its official website, and if you wish to learn a little more about the Pan Am Games as a whole, be sure to check out my fellow blogger Megan and her series entitled Pan Ambling.



Sam recently graduated with an Honours BA in Communications.

See other posts by Sam

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