If you’re looking for a way out of cold Canada, mark your calendars for ASEAN Festival 2017 at Ryerson University's Kerr Hall Gymnasium in Toronto on January 21

While it can’t change the temperature of Canada, the festival lets you experience the warmth of Southeast Asia through its various activities. It’s the first of its kind in Toronto and seeks to showcase the diversity of Southeast Asia. 

In case you don't know what ASEAN is, let me break it down for you. It's a regional organization called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that comprises of ten countries. That includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It's kind of like the European Union without the fixed currency and the Schengen Agreement that abolished internal border checks. 

Enough background? Good, let's move on to the fun part: the food, performances and cultural activities. 

Annie Lin

As you all know, Southeast Asia thrives in its food culture and the event happily invites you all to try them all. Worry about the authenticity of the food? Fret not as all the food will be served by Southeast Asian students and restaurants specializing in Southeast Asian cuisine.

The highlight of the festival will be the performances from students and Southeast Asian organizations. It’ll be a colourful sight as performances will range from traditional costume fashion, martial arts, music to dance acts.

If that doesn’t entice you enough, tickets are $10 and it  acts as your food coupon. Yes, FOOD coupon. Plus, you'll get a gift at the door after you've purchased your tickets online

So what are you waiting for? Book your ticket now as Southeast Asia is closer than you think. 

P.S: If you're not there for the cultural performances and activities, we get it—you're there for the food.