Tirgan Festival 2015

Tirgan Festival 2015

An ancient celebration of Iranian arts and culture

Tirgan refers to an ancient festival traditionally held in the month of July (the month of ‘Tir’ in Persian Calendar), inspiring what is currently world’s largest celebration of Iranian arts and culture, taking place biennially at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada. Having attracted over 130,000 visitors in 2013, upwards of 150,000 visitors are expected to attend the next Tirgan Festival, in 2015. This year’s festival is going to take place from August 20 – 23, due to Toronto hosting the 2015 Pan American games in July.

Tirgan visitors

Tirgan 2015 will offer a selection of over 70 features showcasing renowned performers in an array of artistic disciplines including: music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature and the visual arts in addition to workshops, organized activities, galleries, delicious food, and a traditional bazaar, all of which will capture the heart and imagination of both young and old alike.

There are many legends on the origins of Tirgan. One is associated with the legend of the arrow (Tir), a reference to ‘Arash of the Swift Arrow,’ who was the best Iranian archer of ancient times. To settle a land dispute, it was stipulated that Arash should ascend Mount Damavand, and discharge an arrow whose landing location would determine the boundary between the two kingdoms, Iran and Turan. Arash climbed the mountain, and discharged an arrow, the flight of which continued from the dawn of day until noon. The arrow finally fell on the banks of the Jeyhun (the Oxus) river, and the boundaries of Iran expanded beyond all expectations, resulting in the inclusion of multiple cultures into the nation. This development led to the birth of Tirgan festival, a celebration of diversity.


Tirgan Festival is built upon the contributions of over 300 volunteers, and numerous public supporters, individual donors, and corporate sponsors, working side by side to promote a cross-cultural dialogue between the Iranian community and the global community at large, and to contribute to the diverse cultural mosaic of the Canadian society. The festival makes a deliberate effort to include works of various ethnic groups in Iran across many artistic and cultural disciplines, and to showcase internationally acclaimed as well as local artists and performers of Iranian descent who promote Iranian heritage through music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, and visual arts.

Tirgan is extremely excited to share the rich heritage of Iranian arts and culture with all visitors from around the world from August 20-23 of 2015 at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.