In December 2001, the Government of Canada decided May would be celebrated, each year, as Asian Heritage Month. The Government's web site notes: 'This acknowledges the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Asian Canadians to the growth and prosperity of Canada'
The City of Toronto celebrates Asian Heritage Month but also proclaims May as 'South Asian Heritage Month'. In May 2007, the Access and Diversity Unit of City of Toronto's Park, Forestry and Recreation Division is curating a series of exhibitions across the city on cricket. The overall title is 'A view from the pavilion: South Asia's contributions to the world of cricket.'
The exhibitions start at Metro Hall from May 9th thru 11th. It remains downtown, moving to Toronto City Hall between May 14th to 18th. It will visit Etobicoke Civic Centre between June 4th and 6th; North York Civic Centre between June 11th and 13th; and is set to conclude at Scarborough Civic Centre between June 18th and 22nd.
The exhibition will include photographs, posters, display materials and some cricketing memorabilia. It encompasses the early days of Canadian cricket through to the present. Canada versus the United States of America is the oldest international cricket series in the world. It pre-dates England vesus Australia by many years.
The Scarborough event is followed by the CIMA City of Toronto's Mayor's Trophy cricket day at Sunnybrook Park. This event provides, in a friendly atmopshere, a chance for people to meet, watch and talk cricket. The CIMA event has won development awards from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport's governing body, for promoting the sport in the last two years. In 2005, the CIMA Mayor's Trophy/Spirit of Cricket day won the Americas Regional Award. In 2006 it captured the Regional award but went on to take the Global award. A rare honour.
Cricket is played in across the City of Toronto and into the Greater Toronto Area by a wide range of clubs and people. Attempts are being made to broaden the cricket-playing base in schools and clubs. Indeed, Ontario won the 2006 ICC Regional and Global Development awards its junior program. Women's cricket is also developing in Toronto and in some other parts of the country. The domestic season begins in May and continues to late September. In May, the Canadian senior national team meets Ireland at Grace Road, Leicester, England, in the final of the 2006 ICC Intercontinental Cup. This is a four-day, first class competition for leading ICC Associate countries. Canada lost to Scotland in the inagural final in 2004 and Ireland are defending champions, having won the event in 2005. Canada hosts the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates from late June into July in Intercontinental Cup and some one-day matches.
Most of Canada 's squad to meet Ireland played in Cricket World Cup 2007 in St Lucia. The sport is undergoing a regeneration, having been declared 'the National Sport' at the time of Confederation. Events such as 'A view from the Pavilion' and 'The CIMA Mayor's Trophy' help to promote the sport in this country. It has gained visibility over the past year, with increasing coverage on TV, radio, the mainstream media and the ethnic media. There are hopes this could lead to increased interest from sponsors. Cricket at CWC 2007 showed the high-end of the commercialization in the sport. Free admission to national team home matches has been the norm in recent years. One day, perhaps soon, this might change.